Education is the bridge to our society’s future. This is the reason why our society demands the education system to fix countless societal problems. Our government requires education, not only because it is everyone’s right, but also because of the hope that education will help minimize crime rates and social injustices within, which will provide a transformation to a better nation. With this in mind, our contribution in guiding today’s generation is essential to witness successes and failures that will shape the future of our society. It is our role, as educators, to incorporate social justices to our pedagogies. Our education system may not be perfect to produce an ideal society but we can move to a better path by showing our students the treasure within education through continuous learning, differentiation, and with the help and support of connected educators.
Learning is a continuous process that requires a SAFE space as base for students’ growth and development. This begins with my own acceptance of all students as a whole distinct individual instead of asking them to create a separate identity—by leaving all their baggage outside my class—for exclusive school purposes. Recognizing my students as a person will allow me to not see them as vessels that must be filled but to perceive them as beings that have emotions, achievements and complications. Learning is a daily dual process that brings improvement to both students and teachers by challenging what we perceive, overcoming negativity, and celebrating improvements—even small victories count.
I believe that differentiation is an essential part of our pedagogies. Instructions are flexible guidelines that create connections between the students and the lesson. It is easy to fall to a favourite type of instructional strategy but I, as an educator, will adjust to reach all of my student’s learning level. I will give them the freedom to express their knowledge in infinite ways. With this in mind, I have to be aware that there are also numerous ways of learning assessments. I want my students to feel that they have more worth than any summative of their grades. Learning has to be engaging because students learn better with interactions.
I used to think that respect was an enough base to achieve my entire social justice advocacy. Nonetheless, respect is too vague to follow. From the beginning, I want to be clear with rules and procedures that we follow so that I can use it as a concrete reminder to manage my class. I believe that everyone has unique potentials and it is my responsibility, as a teacher, to help them reach their full potentials. I will initiate the creation of special bond within the classroom to associate attaining knowledge with happiness so that students can feel comfortable and passionate about learning. With this in mind, I will openly share that teachers are not just authoritative figures but also an advisor, a supporter, and a friend who will guide them with their life. Educators have to recognize our students’ lives outside our classrooms, consider their personal life, acknowledge that they are capable of having problems of their own and we need to offer an open approach to communicate instead of jumping into criticism. I have to be mindful with my physical presentation, word choices, and interactions to try being conscious about the direct messages that I am giving them, as well as to problematize the hidden messages within. Over-preparation and clarity may be clichés but they are few of the keys for successful classroom management. However, lesson plans are just class guides and it is acceptable if the lecture did not end up as how I wanted it to be. Nevertheless, I still have to keep an open space for mistakes, for both my students and I, because it will be a constant proof that we are both learning. All of these beliefs may seem ambitious to achieve and I will be honest to say that I can’t fulfill them easily. However, I know that extending my personal learning network will help me gain further knowledge and support from connected educators with experiences, as well as being an active participant to various professional development events.