- Goals: Next year, I want to start a creative writing club. I want to start a LGBTQ+ club. I want to start a black liberation club. So, you know, realistic goals 🙃
- Black students & teachers: I made a list of missing/incomplete assignments for my second period class because as a group they need more attention than I can give them in 50 mins a day. I sent the lists home to their parents as well and got so much positive response from those parents! I ruined a few weekends and they’ll def be mad at me come Monday 🤣The class is also the one with the most Black students. I just keep thinking about all the research I read on how Black teachers tend to have higher expectations for Black students and how Black students tend to do better when they have teachers who look like them. I’m happy to be living that reality, even if it means they’ll be mad at me for a few days.
3. Decolonial & queer pedagogy: We talked about indigenous peoples and LGBTQ+ people and the discussions were interesting. I’m up against the narrative of disappearance–that all the native peoples in America are gone. I started working against that narrative, but I know it’s gonna take time for it to hold in their minds. Also had an unexpected intersectional moment when I used photos of Jamaica Osorio and Sharice Davids to teach descriptions in French. This also included describing ethnicity and tribe, to push the reality that indigenous people exist by showing them people living now, and not old photos that imply a distant history. I also had several conversations about how appearance doesn’t assume gender. One student even asked about how to politely ask about pronouns!
4. Anti-queer messaging: Had some incredible messages from students when asking them about what they knew about indigenous people and coming out (as separate topics). Also got some hate messaging put on my car. I don’t know if it was targeted, or if everyone in the faculty parking lot got the same paper. It honestly scares me a bit and I’m not gonna park in the same area ever again. But it also reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing, and that I need to be strong and take risks for my kids who don’t have the same freedom.
5.Teacher burnout: I’m constantly at war with the burnout of teaching. Working with students. Lesson planning. Printing, copying. Communicating with parents. Maintaining my room. And then there’s observations. On the one hand, it’s nice to have had so many resources (PD, mentoring, meetings) on observations. But at the end of the day I know I’m true to myself and being myself when I minimize other people’s opinions about me. Not that I don’t take/want input to be better. I need it. There’s just a level of concern with outside opinions that I won’t rise to, and it’s honestly felt like people want me to be nervous and paranoid. And I’m not.