I found this week’s Values module input an important and interesting insight into racism and patriarchy. The lecture tackled these difficult topics in a respectful manner, which I found engaging. Although difficult, it is important not to shy away from these topics. Many lecture attendees got involved in discussion and contributed points I had not previously considered.
As a Primary teacher I believe that it is my job to raise my awareness of racism and sexism in order to educate my pupils and prevent these issues in the classroom. I feel it is important to highlight to young people that everyone is equal and deserves the same respect and opportunities, regardless of their background. As a Primary teacher must also ensure that no genders are subconsciously favoured.
The Values workshop on Tuesday was an interesting and thought provoking experience which shed a great deal of light on structural inequalities in society and how easy it is for us to not even notice them. The group I was part of had the most resources and encouragement from the tutor, making me totally oblivious to the lack of resources and help the other teams were given. I was horrified that I did not notice these basic inequalities in the classroom, nor did I notice how downhearted the other teams were. However the exercise definitely opened my eyes to issues people deal with on a daily basis. I hope not to make this oversight again during my professional career or in life in general.
As a teacher I believe it will be my duty to identify and work past inequalities and deliver lessons accessible and inclusive to all, regardless of the different barriers students may face. This correlates to The General Teaching Council for Scotland’s ‘Standards for Professional Registration’, which states it is essential to show trust and respect for all by “Demonstrating a commitment to motivating and inspiring learners, acknowledging their social and economic context, individuality and specific learning needs and taking into consideration barriers to learning.”
It is also important that young people feel their voices are heard and valued by their teacher, who must accept everyone for who they are. Social justice should be at the forefront of education and a core value for all teachers. The GTCS states that teachers must be “Committing to the principles of democracy and social justice through fair, transparent, inclusive and sustainable policies and practices in relation to: age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.” I believe children need to be given all the facts about a subject in order to allow them to come to their own conclusions, without pressure or bias from outside sources. As a professional I know it is vital that I never let my personal opinions come through.