It was great to recap some of our most popular pieces over the last week. Now, it’s time for part II of our countdown. Check out the top five popular articles of 2020.
This piece is a follow up to “If You Want to Keep Educators Like Me, You Need to Think Beyond Your Diversity Quota,” which came in at number ten on our countdown. Educator Barnes decided to address the fact that it’s not only white school leaders that push Black educators like her out the door; other Black educators and other educators of color do the same. “There’s no need to hire diverse administration if the diverse administrators are going to keep the same culture and climate in place as the white administrators who ignore equity and race issues.”
Social justice summer led many educators to flock to social media to proclaim, they are not racist, but anti-racist. There were statements about supporting the Black lives matter movement, but David McGuire asserted this was not good enough if educators really wanted to make a difference in their schools. “If we remain silent about what is happening in our schools to Black children, we are as guilty as those three officers who watched and did nothing as George Floyd was being murdered and his cry for help, “I can’t breathe” went unheard.”
Educator Barnes explained how attempts at diversity, equity, and inclusion work can be traumatizing to educators of color especially when the work seems performative and no real change takes place. “Sharing all the negative situations that have happened to me this school year put me in a situation to retraumatize myself and relive it. Listening to other people share was emotionally taxing even though I already knew some of their stories … If I am going to potentially put myself through trauma, stress, and backlash — because we all know race and equity works comes with backlash — I want to at least have the power to make a change.”
Educator Barnes has served in the urban school setting for her entire career except for her first year in the classroom. The social justice protests over the summer gave her an opportunity to reflect upon the experiences that ultimately led her to leave her first school. “I was isolated. I was seen as only an affirmative action hire who had stolen the job from some deserving white candidate … My team members did not speak to me unless they had to. The special education teacher would not push into my classroom even though she did with my other colleagues. I ate lunch alone in my classroom. The only people I talked to on most days were the students.”
Should students have their cameras on or off during class? This was a fierce debate among educators. David McGuire decided to share his rationale. To learn which side he chose, you have to read the entire piece. “I understand this is unprecedented times for students, especially students of color and students in low income communities, but we must not lower the bar of excellence. We must teach our students how to operate in the digital space.”
Educator Barnes, Cheryl Kirk, Keshia McEntire, David McGuire, and Andrew Pillow thank everyone who has supported Indy K12 over the last four years. We are looking forward to many more years of engaging in the education conversation with you.