Today the goal was to investigate social justice and what that looks like in the classroom. I read “What is social justice?” written by Janet Finn and Maxine Jacobsen. They discuss how the term social justice is rather elusive. The basic dictionary.com definition isn’t sufficient. In their investigation of the term, they discuss how “Each person has the same indefeasible claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme of liberties for all; and social and economic inequalities are to satisfy two conditions: First, they are to be attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity, and second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society (the difference principle).” I like this definition personally because it addresses the need for equal rights for all, and also that there needs to be equal opportunities available with special considerations for the disadvantaged. I believe this relates to education heavily because educated people have better opportunities, better access into the inaccessible, and it also helps elevate your voice. I believe a good education only serves to empower students for their futures. Unfortunately, this only works if the education is of high quality across the board. Students in more affluent areas have better access to instructional materials like new textbooks and technology, whereas areas with a low SES may not. Education can only elevate all members of society if it is always of quality. As a teacher, I want to ensure that I provide my students with a quality education that helps students find their voices and confidence. I want to make sure that I provide this to each of my students regardless of their race, religion, SES, sexuality, gender, etc. I will be reflective about which students I find difficult in the classroom and why. I intend on holding myself accountable for ensuring all of my students get an excellent education from me. I will listen when they express a perceived inequity in the classroom. I know this exists, I have seen it with my own two eyes. My old mentor teacher (I am at a new placement) treated her black students differently from her other students. It was very apparent to me. I did my best to counteract that inequity by spending more time with them and helping them as much as they needed. I treated all of her students with respect and care even if they were frustrating me. I will continue to do that with all of the students I work with.
I created this blog as a teenager to write reviews about books I enjoyed to recommend them for other teenagers. Now that I am an adult going to school to become a secondary art and english teacher, it seems fitting to continue using this blog except this time as an adult looking for adolescent appropriate fiction. For the next few months I will be posting about various texts I am reading for a class about teaching literature to adolescents.