Today I went to a Professional Development session that was about Cultural Responsiveness. I expected to learn about differences in cultures, religions, races, sexes, or other things that have the potential to divide and separate people. However, that wasn't really how the day unfolded.
The PD started off with the speaker asking us to think of a student who was failed by the system. We were asked to keep that student in mind and stand if they fell into each of these three categories:
Next, we watched the video "Take a seat, Make a Friend. We were given the opportunity to recreate our own "Strangers in a Ball Pit Moment", where we were asked to answer three deep questions with our peers:
The speaker went on to explain that using this protocol of "Strangers in a Ball Pit" is a way to get to know our students, in order to meet them where they are. If you know that someones dad inspires them, how might that affect the way you teach them? Forming relationships based on deep knowledge of our students is one research-based strategy of overcoming the achievement gap. We all have heard the saying:
"No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care"
The speaker shared with us, "the best way to end racism is to get to know one another". So climb into that ball pit, ask the hard questions, find out what makes them who they are, and grow from there.
Instructional specialist/coach, Google Certified Trainer, Level 1 and 2 Google Certified educator, Ed Tech Team Teacher Leader Certified, growing and learning