The most thoughtful teachers are unlikely to utter that altogether unproductive thought "I already do this" because the point of Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) is not to "do" any one thing. The problems of practice which challenge us are neither simple nor even compound. They are complex and anchored in a range of dimensions of the human experience. The goal of CRE is to operationalize a mental process that yields solutions to problems of practice that are innovative and specific to the needs of your students. We never stop learning. We never reach a pinnacle. We just continue to evolve. Our capacity for growth is as infinite as our will because the circumstances and the context are perpetually in motion. This is at once what is most beautiful and most challenging about being a teacher in the 21st century.
So I encourage you to reflect on your successes and also your failures – especially your failures, even though they may offend your self-esteem—because it is in these failures that you can often discern patterns, assumptions, and conventions that may be undermining your efforts. Every experience is a potential harvest of expanded understanding. Our task as responsive practitioners is to be present enough to absorb these moments as opportunities to improve.
27 July 2020