How We Can Teach for Equity
This tumultuous year has brought into focus the important role you play in young people’s lives.
Amid a global pandemic, teachers like you have been a lifeline to essential resources and meals when needed, a counselor as students process change in the world around them, and a source of care as students adjust to new ways of learning. Concurrently, the harm this crisis has inflicted on communities of color and the national reckoning with racial injustice are a reminder that teachers also play a critical role in disrupting and rebuilding an inequitable education system. When we see our teaching as a force for equity, we bring all students closer to the future they imagine for themselves.
An Opportunity to Teach for Equity
For too long, our sector has made it difficult to live up to this charge. When researchers identify new areas of practice, often there is pressure to create new initiatives without connecting them to the foundation that already exists. There have been moments when I’ve seen our own work at Leading Educators follow this pattern. That’s why our team is taking this moment to reimagine how our education system can build on the brilliance of teachers–not replace it–to better serve the students furthest from opportunity.
When students experience great teaching, they find joy in academic content that is rich, meaningful, and relevant. They feel engaged and seen, and they have the support to build trusting relationships with peers and teachers. Their teachers are grappling with inequity, systemic racism, and how to connect their instruction to the real world. As your partners, we hope our new action guide, Teaching for Equity, will be a source of new inspiration, renewed direction, and purposeful action in your personal and collective efforts for anti-racism.
Not a Prescription, An Invitation to Reflect
We also recognize that you are dealing with a lot. So, this guide is neither a prescription nor something brand new but rather an invitation to reflect on your strengths and prioritize areas for new learning in an integrated way. We see it as a collection of the wisdom that has existed in classrooms, communities, our program, and the field for generations.
What’s new is this structure for linking wisdom to beliefs, practices, and outcomes in a common vision for excellent and equitable teaching. You will also generate new wisdom as you take action in your school, so we hope you will share what you learn to make this work even better.
As we recover from COVID, the inequities that existed before the pandemic will be magnified. Your students will be looking to you for resilience—what an awesome responsibility. Let us commit today to growing in the ways our students need.
CEO at Leading Educators
BONUS: watch a video overview
In early March, we hosted a learning opportunity called “How We Can Teach for Equity.” Dig into the major components of the the classroom strands and hear how our own team is navigating scenarios around equity in instruction.