The lecture in which had the main focus of racism evoked a true reflection of myself and my values. Although it is an extremely sensitive topic, it is necessary that we, as teachers, understand it.
Racism is engrained within our society and can come in many forms. In the case of Emmet Till – a 14 year old boy from the south-side of Chicago – the false allegations formed through racist thoughts and views had a negative and upsetting outcome. He was kidnapped, beaten and murdered over the accusation of flirting or touching the hand of a white woman. The racism faced here is blatantly evident. Despite this case being dated and uncontemporary, it is still relevant within modern society.
As a Primary Teacher I wish to prevent stories like this by successfully educating the younger children about the effects and impact of racism. This is essential so that there is a change in racist views.
The first values workshop provided a very thought-provoking experience with the core focus surrounding structural inequalities. Unaware of this, we participated in a very cunning practice which unknowingly allowed us to experience these inequalities first-hand.
Upon arrival the class was split evenly into 4 groups of approximately 8. Within these groups we were presented with brown envelops in which contained, what we thought to be, the same resources. Soon after we were instructed to use these resources to create something in which a new student at the University of Dundee would find beneficial. Having opened my groups envelope and finding an array of bright colours, clips and stationary, we were overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities. Engrossed by the task, our awareness of the other groups was overshadowed; hence we were unknowledgeable of the limited resources and belittling comments the others received from the lecturer.
This reveals the subliminal message that most of those who are privileged are less mindful of the unjust treatment of others. We are often too consumed in our own fortune to realise that others are ‘making do’ with the limited resources they have – this represents the situation we were presented with during the workshop. As an aspiring Primary Teacher, I believe the lesson learned within the workshop was vital to my personal development as it reminded me that the children I come in contact with throughout my career will all have different backgrounds and upbringings. Henceforth I will be mindful of such inequalities in my future practice.
Selecting a career path is a daunting and unnerving time with the tiresome “what do you want to do when you leave school” question being constantly repeated. This question, however, never intimidated me (like it did others) as through volunteer work and work experience I was confident that Primary Teaching was my future career path. I believe in the philosophy that if you choose a job you have a passion for, you will never work a day in your life: hence my decision to become a Primary Teacher.
My passion for Primary Teaching was nurtured by my volunteer work as an assistant dance coach. I was unaware, at first, that the enjoyment I felt whilst undertaking this work was from the self-fulfilment of teaching and positively influencing the children’s lives. Through the small accomplishment of being able to communicate with a young girl who spoke little English, I realised the sense of achievement gained everyday within the teaching profession. Thereafter I undertook work experience within a Primary School and Nursery where I experienced, first-hand, the sheer impact and importance of a teacher. It was through these gratifying experiences that I realised Teachers are a pivotal role in a child’s future progress and success so therefore had a yearning to contribute to the shaping of our next generations.
I find the prospect of passing on my knowledge and practical experiences to others exhilarating, thus giving me a great desire to work and tackle the challenges a profession in Primary Education will deliver.