One thing that we often neglect is the failure to shift our focus away from ourselves. I've experienced this firsthand. I used to be accustomed to the traditional teaching model where the teacher stands at the front, serving as the "sage on the stage," delivering lectures and information to the students. Then, we would be assessed through tests, quizzes, exams, or homework to gauge our understanding. But it's essential to change our perspective, embracing a more decolonized mindset, primarily if we aim to decenter ourselves as adults, educators, and human beings. We must reflect upon whether we're doing all the heavy lifting. Remember, school is for the kids, not just for us. While we have standards and benchmarks to meet, there's room for improvement in how we approach education.
One challenge we face is assuming that we understand our students simply because we share some identities with them. We might think, "I can relate to most of my students, so I know what they need." Instead, we should adopt a co-learning or co-teaching approach, where we learn from our students as much as they learn from us. This approach ensures that they are included in the learning process.
Another aspect to consider is the significance and impact of allowing students to sleep in class. Some may argue that it's easier when a student like Johnny is sleeping rather than awake. However, these practices can be exclusionary. Disproportionately, certain students are more likely to be seen sleeping in class. We need to question whether we're spending our time enforcing rules like removing hoods, hoodies, or hats, which have no bearing on academic performance.