On Tuesday I wrote about the first three hours, of nine total, of "unconscious bias" training we had at school. Imagine my surprise at the coincidence of seeing a post on the same topic over at Joanne's today.
After reading that post I got to thinking--I used to draw numbers out of a bucket to call on students, that way everyone has an equal chance. Some of us teachers were talking at break today and we agreed that it's not uncommon to "engage with students who engage with us"--in other words, we do tend to call on kids who participate, who raise their hands, even those who just talk to us. I can see that, and I see that it does leave certain students left out. Yes, they may want to be left out, but that doesn't mean they should be. Starting today, I went back to drawing numbers out of the bucket. Having to attend these trainings may be as unpleasant as sucking lemons, but doing so, combined with the post at Joanne's, reminded me that I could do a better job of engaging with all students. I'm making lemonade.
I mentioned that at our department meeting today. Another teacher said "that's exactly what we're trained not to do" in some other program in which she participates. The logic there is that kids who are called on when they don't want to be get stressed too much, especially if they're shy anyway.
As you can see, you can't win for losing!
So I'm going to stick with drawing numbers out of the bucket and thus giving each student an equal chance of being called upon. I can hardly wait to be told that somehow I'm not respecting someone's race or religion or whatever. With some people you're always an -ist.