Explorations of Restorative Justice, Education, and Emotional Wellbeing
The critical work of the white teacher is the journey into self discovery to position our own belief systems within broader paradigms and systems of oppression that shape both our work and the lives of our students.
Whenever we love justice and stand on the side of justice we refuse simplistic binaries. We refuse to allow either/or thinking to cloud our judgement. We embrace the logic of both/and. We acknowledge the limits of what we know.
-hooks, 2003, p. 10
The Trouble In Teaching
During my time as a high school teacher, I often felt disappointed in my inability to build positive relationships with my students within an environment of emotional wellbeing. Other words that might have better described my classroom were tense, worried, or watched.
Overtime the pressure to maintain control and “good” discipline took a toll. I worried I spent more time monitoring behavior than teaching classroom curriculum. For many years I sought professional development. But even then, everyday continued to feel like an emotional struggle for both myself and my students.
After thinking I had tried everything, I realized there was one stone I had not turned. For so long I had studied education, teaching strategies, and critical pedagogies. But… what I realized much too late, was that I had never studied me.
This website offers materials and resources for white teachers who are ready to consider that when it comes to the challenge in building positive relationships with our students (and particularly students of color), we are the problem
My story is not an uncommon one and points to a broader problem in the way white teachers relate to students of color.