Disenfranchised Students

Identifying injustices in the United States is not an issue, they are plentiful. Understanding the difference between equality and equity was not difficult once given examples and shown how this impacts individuals day in and day out. Knowing how to help students overcome their adversities and how to empower disenfranchised groups is not something I know how to do. I have a lot of white guilt; I am a middle class white woman, who in the grand scheme of things has had a really wonderful life. I don’t know what it’s like to be a part of a disenfranchised racial or religious group. I do know that the majority of my students do, however, fall into those groups. I want to be able to empower my students to live their best life possible and give them as many opportunities as I can.

I appreciated in the article, ‘Let Care Shine Through’ that it gave specific examples of how educators were able to use real life examples and turn them from negative experiences to positive learning experiences. In most cases the learning experience was not restricted to the individual it impacted but rather the whole class. It’s important to teach compassion and problem solving skills and there’s no better buy-in than a real life experience that students are actively facing.

These articles have inspired me to use my student’s real-life experiences as opportunities for growth. In the past, I would typically have a conversation with that individual student and try to work out the problem to the best of our ability. I think it would be a thousand times more powerful if we were able to use the experience as an opportunity for growth for all students.