A safe space for teachers in Ireland to discuss bias, privilege and racism
The act of listening is perhaps the most underrated skill there is in education. Right now teachers are multi-tasking: teaching, preparing engaging online resources and activities, checking in with their students and families. This pandemic has certainly made teachers more aware of difference and privilege. Most educators will have discovered something new about their students, and learned new ways to address cultural and socio-economic divides. The teacher-student relationship has so many nuances across gender, race and class, and discussing these is never comfortable.
How can teachers create a fair and equitable environment? How can they recognise the privileges we bring and ask questions to address them? Why are we as humans predisposed to make assumptions about people and cultures we may know little about? What are the right questions to ask ourselves and the young people we work with every day?
The answers to these questions are not in a simple “two page” toolkit, they are often within us.
This is why we are creating a safe space for teachers this February to share experiences, ask questions, challenge beliefs as educators and citizens who are ready to make a difference.
Together with Joy-Tendai Kangere we have worked to design a program of professional development for the whole school community to explore the impact of unconscious bias and racism. This opportunity is open to anyone working within the education sector and comes into contact with children and families. To join the three webinars you or your institution need to be a Member of Mother Tongues.
This session is a three-part Learning Together seminar for educators working with children in early years settings and in primary schools. Teachers will learn about the notion of culture as experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and values that affect the lives of everyone in the school environment. The training will focus on the R.A.C.E approach, which involves the following:
R Recognise your own biases, ideas, and stereotypes of cultures that are different from your own.
A Admit/Acknowledge that there are differences in the treatment of people based on their appearance.
C Commit to being a part of the change that is needed in seeing that people are treated fairly.
E Educate yourself and others on cultural differences to gain more understanding.
Joy-Tendai Kangere is a lifelong learning advocate, interpreter, and aspiring lawyer with a passion for equality for women, girls, and ethnic minorities. Her deep commitment to social justice has grounded her educational and career path. In addition, Joy-Tendai is a Board Member of AONTAS and Co-Founder of Rooted In Africa & Ireland Network. Her background is in business and administration and has received an award and taken part in various leadership training programmes.
She is Zimbabwean born, proud mother of two, who has been living in Ireland for nearly two decades. She is someone who has some lived experience of discrimination; she understands the challenges faced by ethnic minorities and young people of African descent. In Ireland, Joy has advocacy experience and knowledge of adult education and working with women from ethnic minorities. She also has worked on various projects to increase literacy in primary school children in Zimbabwe. Joy has also been interviewed RTÉ Radio 1 and BBC Ulster Radio for her advocacy work on anti-racism and access to education. Joy-Tendai also facilitates community and organisational discussion on anti-racism and inclusion
Joy-Tendai holds Bachelor of Civil Law degree from UCD Sutherland School of Law & a recipient of the Denham Fellowship which enabled her to study at the Honorable King’s Inns.
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