I just posted something on Facebook using someone’s preferred pronouns of “them and their”, which I know is an issue that riles some people up, so I want to explain that issue as I see it:
If I started calling you, and referring to you, as “dickface”: – “Hi dickface””morning dickface how’s it going?” – “fancy a quick pint after work, dickface?” – “have you seen dickface lately?” – “Let’s invite dickface to our meeting, he might have some useful input”
I don’t think it would take very long before you got pretty pissed and asked me to stop. And having been asked to stop, the considerate (of your point of view and experience) thing for me to do is to stop.
(Full Transcript for video) “So, I’ve been seeing a lot of things talking, people making commentary, interestingly enough, the ones I’ve noticed have been making the commentary are wealthy black people, making the commentary about we should not be rioting, we should not be rioting, we should not be tearing up our own communities, and then theres been an argument of the other side of we should be hitting them in the pocket, we should be focusing on the blackout days where we don’t spend money. But you know, I feel like we should do both, and I feel like I support both, and I’ll tell you why I support both. I support both because:
The #blacklivesmatter movement has (I hope) got us all thinking about how to be anti-racist – how to be part of the solution not part of the problem.
However, I think we are going to find that being anti-racist is much broader than simply anti-black-and-brown-people racism – being anti-racist means being anti-oppression, and in this short post I’m going to try to explain why I think we classroom teachers (I talk in particular about language teaching because that’s my profession, but my point applies to all teaching) have some learning to do. Let me start with something surprising:
As language teachers:
I don’t think we should be telling our students HOW to speak – I don’t think we should be judging THEIR utterances by OUR “native-speaker” standards. We should be helping them develop ideas about THEIR OWN standards, and helping them work towards THOSE standards, not our own.
And I don’t think we should be telling them WHAT to say – I think we should be helping them to find THEIR OWN voices, to say what THEY want to say, not what WE want them to say.
Yes, as educators we have a role: we can suggest topics and roads of enquiry, and prod them with questions to encourage deeper thought.