Five things I never knew . . . until I became a teacher:
- that teachers actually worked over the summer
- that teachers working over the summer are not just working summer school
- how much work *I NEED* to do over the summer
- that back-to-school catalogs come out entirely too early
- how short summer actually is
As educators we have been tasked with the monumental job of providing history, paradigms, and inspiration for a better world to our students.
In this honorable role, we must be hyper-vigilant of the stories we have consumed, we must be aware of the misunderstandings we have absorbed, and we must acknowledge that gaps are present–in our thinking, in our understanding, and in our own education. We are products of a system still redefining and finding itself.
In the past year, I have read more nonfiction than fiction–a real reversal in my reading consumption. While I started my anti-racist journey at birth, in a way, its momentum really took hold in my final years of high school, and has been an ongoing part of my life–personal and professional–since those teenage years. Nevertheless, it has only been in the past few years that I’ve had the robust conversations, the language development, and the depth of understanding to put all of what I have seen, heard, read, and experienced together. And this comes as the whole world has recognized that everyone has work to do. That racism is something to be dissected and discussed, not swept under the rug.
For those new to the language and discussions, there is no place better to start than books. While I’m sure there have been plenty of lists and recommendations, I will include 8 here:
- A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing by DaMaris Hill
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
If I had to start all over, or if I had to recommend a start, I would start with these books.
For more details on each of these titles, please visit my book recommendation page on Instagram: Canon Reclaimed.
“For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me, it was teachers and school.”
— Oprah Winfrey
It’s still summer!
So I’m going to enjoy my coffee outside, leisurely enjoy it, while I still can . . .