Teaching Profession Opinion

Weekend PD: Leadership and Cultural Competence

By Christina Torres — October 22, 2016 2 min read
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As the quarter winds down for many of us, it is easy to get weary.

I know I’ve been personally struggling with burn out this year, and this is a prime time for teachers to start feeling the wear and tear of DEVOLSON (aka “the disillusionment phase”). The day-to-day of the job begins to slowly grind away at us, and it’s easy to begin wondering how much longer we can stay invested in work that is, at times, emotionally taxing.

There are a few things I’m trying to do this year to avoid burn-out-- self-reflect, take time for myself, etc. One important tactic I’m trying is making a concentrated effort to improve my practice. This includes trying to carve space to research and learn from other great teachers.

With that, I discovered a number of great pieces on culturally responsive leadership this week. If you can squeeze time in between catching up on sleep, laundry, and the essential self-care aspects that the weekend should hold (have you hugged someone today? Did you exercise or go outside and breathe fresh air? Did you do something for you and/or a loved one?), some of these great reads might inspire you to keep that fire lit in your belly come Monday morning.

  • Renee Moore, “Cultural Competence: A Journey to Excellence": “It is impossible to be a truly effective teacher without being culturally competent, and we cannot develop cultural competency in our teaching force without respecting, listening to, and learning from one another.”

  • Chris Lehmann, “How Leaders Can Improve Their Schools’ Cultural Competence": “Cultural competence isn’t something you ever really get good at -- you just strive to get better at it. Being aware and responsive and listening to your school community in ways that ensure all members of the community feel that who they are...”

  • Teaching Tolerance‘s “Teacher Leadership” section: “Educators teach as much by example as by following a curriculum. Role-modeling proactive responses to bias, discrimination, exclusion and bullying is one of the most important ways teachers can exercise leadership.”

  • And of course, something essential to share with students that teachers should learn from: “My School My Rights,” a California-based website to help students learn their educational rights from. This should be a model for all states and educators to give to students and families.

This weekend, I hope you take care of yourself, whatever that means.

Thanks Teacher2Teacher for the image.

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The opinions expressed in The Intersection: Culture and Race in Schools are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.