By Hannah Meibers, Guest Columnist

I am an education major, working toward a future of empowering, influencing and impacting all the students I come into contact with. I’ve spent most of my first semester as a freshman strenuously reading what seem to be the same articles on urban education.

However, after sitting through various seminars, specifically Dean Dantley’s, I was moved beyond words. I’ve learned to ask myself questions such as: “Why are African American high school students not graduating in the same numbers as their white and Asian classmates?”; “What role do race, gender, class, ability and sexual orientation play in the classroom?”; “How do we face the fact that students who are facing expulsion are men of color?”; and “What strategic steps can be taken to lessen the existence of these concerns?”

Waiting until I’m a teacher is not the right time to ask these questions. I have every right and ability to question educational injustices now.

We read of statistics and reports, that tell of just another class of minorities that didn’t graduate. Why has no one found a solution? The blame lies not within the student’s skin color or class position. The solution is not within the students, but within the teachers. The importance of knowing your students stems from this problem. What’s happening in your students’ homes? Why don’t their parents come to conferences? Their lives are important.

There are realities that aren’t in the curriculum. Why should that stop us? You see, all these questions are meant to provoke your thoughts. Education is more than just sitting in a desk and more than regurgitating information. We have to ask questions: why did a student come to a conclusion, how can a student expand on their answer, etc.

Education requires questioning the status quo and inspiring transformations — societally, intellectually and emotionally. Without critical thinking, we cannot think creatively and vice versa. Beyond passing or failing, education is an experience. Curiosity and depth should blossom within a classroom, not be restricted.

Education is a chameleon. Each lesson should be constructed to fit any student, but constructed to change at the drop of a hat. Language should not be a barrier, but an advantage. Minorities are becoming more active and involved in the classroom, creating more diversity. There is never a dull moment as a teacher. Passion and determination overpower the fear of low income. Why would anyone want to be a teacher? Well, I don’t know.

meiberhl@miamioh.edu

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