Preparing Teachers For Uncertainty

From reassessing my autobiography (the story I told to share my influences and experiences throughout my life) I have noticed I took particular qualities about myself for granted. I mentioned my inexperience with multiculturalism in my primary and secondary schooling but I never made it notable that I am white. I was raised in a white, middle class home, and community for that matter, where seeing ourselves as having a higher rank than others was never an issue. I grew up viewing all my friends and classmates as equal. I was not introduced to the diversity nearly as adversely I’ve never felt to put emphasis towards that quality of myself. In all honesty, the awareness that others are worse-off and better-off than I was evident, but I have never thought about stating those differences as a way of introducing who I am. I understand now that that ‘ranking’ effected situations I did and did not go through; tons of extracurricular activities were handed to me, I didn’t suffer in poverty and I received new clothes regularly, a cellphone and car once reaching a specific age, but I never thought bragging about or announcing such luxury was important.

That being said, looking at this again with a broader perspective and announcing that I am a white, straight, middle-class may say a lot more about me than what I realized. By being white I automatically walk into more societal acceptance than a minority group, being straight helped me avoid the name calling or bullying in high school, and being middle class allowed me to participate and ‘fit in’ with the majority of my community; I just never thought twice about it. This is where the discomfort is reiterated, I would hate to have that my opening line on ‘who I am’, especially in front of individuals who are neither of those qualities and have suffered from being treated wrongly as a result. This judgment is not necessary for someone to share who they are and how they have got this far unless it has had a significant impact. I suppose if you read between the lines, my gender, race and sexuality have contributed to the smooth sailing of life, but I do not base my experiences solely on these characteristics being present.

I did not choose to highlight my race, sexuality or gender because I subconsciously chose not to flaunt it, or use them to highlight I had little struggles because of them. But at the same time, because I wasn’t raised in a lower socioeconomic household, because I am white and have always been treated with such respect, and yes because I am straight have all ‘secretly’ influenced my life. It is these hidden facts, similar to a hidden curriculum, that influence how people view us or what they learn that without explicitly stating so.

One thought on “Preparing Teachers For Uncertainty

  1. I think it is helpful to think of these taken-for-granted aspects as a hidden curriculum. Just as present as other things, but not noticeable or easily able to draw attention to. These things have enormous power to structure your life, even though you don’t really have to pay much attention to them.

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