This past year, we’ve asked thousands of educators from across the country to stand with us at the intersection of equity and standards work. We asked them to look for the justice we all seek in the details of teaching and learning.
Each time we gather at the Standards Institute, we start the week by examining the growing body of research that makes clear that we educators, as a system, are not yet serving students of color or students living in poverty the way we serve white students across socioeconomic statuses. We also believe that our own learning and growth are part of the solution to this gap (what we call “the provision gap”). As we engage with the language of the standards, the adaptive change necessary to truly implement “the shifts”, aligned curriculum, our own biases, and our role in systemic racism, we become more and more prepared to meet our students where they are and serve each of them so that they are actually ready for college or career after graduation.
Almost one year ago, we introduced five charges that we pulled through the learning each day and in the keynotes that followed. On the final day of the week, we brought the message home through the compelling story of one student, the expectations and assumptions of the adults around him, and the ways his life affected his principal’s practice forever.
Today, as we are one month away from the Winter 2019 Standards Institute, we ask you to do the same. Take a moment if you haven’t already and reflect on your work these past few days of the new year. Have you been as deep into the details of teaching and learning as you intended to be? Have you had any opportunities to examine your unconscious bias and the way it has played out in conversations with students or colleagues? Our students need us to attend to our learning and development on these trajectories each day. They need us to learn beside them, continuously.
Below is a keynote presentation from last winter, that we hope you take back into your learning communities and begin to recalibrate not only instruction but the mindsets of each adult responsible for a student’s learning. You can also watch it on our YouTube channel along with other thought-provoking keynote speeches.
Lacey Robinson, Chief of Program and Engagement officer at UnboundEd, delivers an emotional story of one student and the impact educator expectations and beliefs have on the students we serve.