I had an assistant superintendent, that knew OF me, decide that I was a poor/bad educator, after being in his job for about 4 MONTHS. I had been in classrooms for 14 YEARS at the SAME school. What I know for CERTAIN is that I was NOT a bad educator. I was an ill-informed, ill-equipped educator, empowered by my state (without the kind of knowledgeable support that COULD have helped me to be more effective) to take what a college of education had TAUGHT me and go into a classroom to shape minds that were COUNTING on me and other educators just LIKE me. I didn’t know what I hadn’t been TAUGHT. (Much like the MILLIONS of functionally illiterate Americans in this country.) So, what does that mean? It means that there are MANY educators JUST LIKE ME, in classrooms across this nation, doing the BEST they can with the “toolbox” they were given. I began to update my “toolbox” after that man told me I wasn’t good enough for his district. It has taken me over two YEARS to get the knowledge that I SHOULD have been given by the COE that prepared me to teach. Now, I want to ENSURE that both educators AND students get what they deserve, PARTICULARLY those that look like me. We all understand what has systematically happened for people of color in this country. Let’s be honest. So, I know the work that is there for me. I WILL ask to be compensated for what I know because I understand that I SHOULD be. Make no mistake, there are STILL more educators out there LIKE me that THOUGHT they had been given the tools to teach. But there was a DEEPER understanding that was missing. EVERY educator AND administrator NEEDS that understanding if we are to do what students and parents are COUNTING on us to do. So I have one question: How many “toolboxes” have been updated so that we can EFFECTIVELY educate?!
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