January 19, 2016

Reflection: Back to work after a long weekend celebrating the advances in social justice pioneered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I had time to reflect on racism, bias, and prejudice in this country in many aspects of society: education, criminal justice, income disparity, p0verty, police training, racial profiling, etc…and wonder how long it will take to become a more equal and just society. What will need to be done to move us forward as a nation? Why do these problems persist despite laws that supposedly give equal protection? What are we doing wrong?

When I worked in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, I worked among some of the poorest students in my career. Despite the squalor and deep familial and societal problems in the community, students overwhelmingly seemed happy and well-adjusted on most days, demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness. However, these students (99% minority), seemed to be held back by lack of access to technology, lack of educated role models — especially role models of color, little financial support to meet minimal standards of dress and hygiene, and faced substandard conditions at the school. Compared to higher socio-economic schools, these students were just as in love with life, just as curious about the world they lived in, just as intrigued by a good story. But why was that school so different than those located in green suburbs, where big homes were surrounded by white picket fences?

We are all America. We are all taxpayers. We are all supposed to have the same privileges. Part of teaching is trying to provide opportunities and motivating experiences to help lift those up who have been left behind. I will keep doing this, hoping to serve my community by trying to inspire students, no matter what their color.

Tasks Completed:

Planning

Taught

Email: read and replied

Graded Pre-Assessments

Graded presentations in class

Researched explanatory writing and found resources for that, as well as narrative.

Made copies

Lesson planned for tomorrow

Hours: 7:30 am – 3:45 pm

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