Giving Compass’ Take:
• Rann Miller at Chalkbeat discusses how educators have the opportunity to be involved in the communities that they work in and the impact this can have on students.
• How can schools encourage more connections within their communities and help educators forge these relationships?
• Read about what impactful education funding looks like.
It seems to me that whether teachers and students are family depends on the extent to which they’re “doing life together.”
But deeper connections happen between educators and students when they do life together. For teachers who teach Black and Latinx students in low-income communities, doing life together means making a connection with the community where you teach students. Doing life together means more than just going to work to teach Black and Latinx children.
This kind of connection is often misunderstood. Early in my teaching career, some teachers sought my advice on how to strengthen their relationships with students. Others were clearly jealous of my relationships with students. I got the sense that they thought my relationships were stronger than theirs because I am Black, and they are not.
What they didn’t understand was my Blackness didn’t earn me blind loyalty from Black students. My Black skin at the front of a classroom may have elicited good feelings from students on the first day of school, but those feelings would have dissipated if I could not teach, if I was unfamiliar with my content, and if I did not treat students with respect.
I could teach. I was familiar with my content. I treated students with respect. And I also was doing life with them, in Camden. That’s something any teacher can do.
Read the full article about teachers involved in their communities by Rann Miller at Chalkbeat.
Since you are interested in Inspiring Stories, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Inspiring Stories?
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