A Life’s Mission: Empowering Teachers to End Racism in Education
The U.S. educational system is one of the most unequal in the industrialized world, with students routinely receiving dramatically different learning opportunities based on their social status, reports The Brookings Institution. Black and brown children in particular face a number of academic disparities; for example, they are less likely to be selected for honors classes and programs for gifted students and more likely to be referred for interventions.
As a result, they are held back from achieving their full academic potential, says Andratesha (Tesha) Fritzgerald, a nationally known educator and advocate for antiracism in teaching. These students, she says, lose their chance to shine.
Fritzgerald is on a mission to change that.
Committed to putting students of color on an expressway to success by promoting antiracism in education, she shares her insights and passion in the Jennasis Speaks podcast episode “Educating the Next Generation on Antiracism and Universal Design“.
Empowering Teachers to Empower Students
Fritzgerald asserts that teachers have the power to change the statistics to help equalize educational experience and opportunity for minority children.
By changing the way they see their students, she says, teachers can change how they connect with them. And changing how they connect with students empowers teachers to create classrooms anchored on an antiracism foundation.
This foundation fosters an environment where students feel safe to share their personal stories. And when they hear those stories, teachers can show students how their backgrounds give them strength and skills that support learning. Together, they can collaborate on a pathway to learning that reflects the students’ individual needs and paves the way to academic success.
Ultimately, by acknowledging and eliminating biases, teachers can create an open road for education that empowers successful learning for all students—and can help them become empowered adults who are capable of making good life decisions, contributing to communities, and advocating for themselves and others.
Become Part of the Solution to End Racism in Education
Fritzgerald says she believes that teachers want to do more for their students but simply don’t know how. That’s why she created the teaching guide Antiracism and Universal Design For Learning: Building Expressways to Learning Success as part of the solution.
Leveraging Fritzgerald’s years of experience, academic research, and passion for ending racism in education, the guide gives teachers a roadmap to understanding and overcoming biases that build barriers between themselves and students.
To learn more about Fritzgerald’s journey to becoming an advocate for antiracism in teaching and how you can become part of the solution, listen to her full story on the Jennasis Speaks podcast.
Jennasis Speaks is a platform that empowers women to safely share their stories, promoting healing and growth through the power of collective vulnerability and acceptance. Believing that “every woman has a story… and every story matters,” founder Jennifer Malcolm gathers stories of women through Jennasis Speaks —and invites listeners to connect to help find their own paths to passion and purpose.