Early Childhood Educator Views on Children A Powerful Force

Read this.

With 14+ years in education, this is nothing new to me.  There are so many amazing teachers and administrators doing the work…but unfortunately, there are also those who we entrust our children to who do not believe in their worth/potential.  And it’s a big enough trend to be surfaced through formal research.

As a parent of three children of color, with an insider lens into how public schooling works, this research terrifies and energizes me.  I know that as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director, I always advocated for kids beyond what most would find to be professionally safe.  I also know that approaching the work in this way is hard to do without potentially damaging one’s career in some way (particularly if you are an educator of color).  I am so grateful that this was not the case for me and I am still reflecting on my own protective factors- deep belief in higher purpose, clear vision for what is possible, access to external network/theory of change, ability to politically “read” people quickly and accurately, courage to act…

As a parent and fellow educator, I am so incredibly grateful to those educators who speak up, out, and advocate for children on things that we/parents would not necessarily be privy too (like a teacher inconspicuously picking on our kid, an administrator viewing and talking about our kid through a deficit lens, etc.).  I just want to tell those educators who are passionate, deeply committed, and mission-centered….thank you!

The most critical time for our babies is when they first enter school and begin to form their identities at school.  We need more educators who see the best in our babies and who are courageous enough to challenge the status quo.


One thought on “Early Childhood Educator Views on Children A Powerful Force

  1. In regards to the “school-to-prison pipeline”, Carol Ammons will be a keynote speaker at a public policy forum hosted by “Build Programs not Jails” called “Envisioning Future Directions for the Criminal Justice System in Champaign County” (April 30th). I have always been impressed by the folks involved in Citizens for Peace and Justice; it bothers me that we do not have more community dialogues around this topic.

    In regards to your own post, I too want teachers who not only passively observe the best in our children, but also actively seek to nurture those “best” qualities in our children and challenge the status quo. It breaks my heart when I talk to teachers who are beat down by “the system” and are coerced into following so-called “standards” that shift the focus of their job towards a test-based evaluation system. And worse, there is a rational fear that those same standards-based tests will be used to evaluate the teachers themselves.

    If the UN is pointing a finger at the US because we are the most incarcerated country on the planet, and they are saying our practice is inhumane (or “dehumanized”), you know we are doing something wrong.


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