Fair Isn’t Equal

January 6, 2014 at 2:56 am Leave a comment

So you’ve had a two-week hiatus from teaching, that’s a good thing! We all need time to recharge our batteries and refocus. What better time to do so than over a break?  On the calendar, it’s a new year!  In the classroom, it’s kind of like a new year, at least a fresh start. I hope you took time over the holidays and the break to forget about work, forget about the new standards, the new texts, the new technology, and the demands of teaching.  I hope you took some time over the break to reflect on how much your students (and you) have learned this year, and think ahead to how much more they (you) will learn!  I have never been one to make new year’s resolutions, however I do believe that there is a certain sentiment at this time of year to set new goals, and reach for the stars!

I was privileged enough over this break to see every member of my immediate family and more. Talk about reaching for the stars, that’s not an easy feat with everyone spread out across the United States!  And as I interacted with all of my family, I considered what goals I have for myself, as well as my dreams for my daughter, and all children.  I spoke with teacher friends, teenagers, young children, my peers, as well as my 98-year-old grandfather-in-law.  These conversations  reminded me that we all have the desire to do better, be our best, but our paths to do so take on many curves and bends. This photo of my daughter and her great grandfather captures the essence of how different generations interact with one another and how we don’t have to be the same or “equal” to learn from one another.  She is 6 months old, he is 98 years old, not equal by any means.  These two  look at one another with inquiry and curiosity, she can’t talk yet, but I know she’s thinking when she looks at him. She might not understand everything he says yet, but I know she’s soaking it all in!

What can we teach each other?

What can we teach each other?

This made me think about teaching and learning.  We want all of our students to do well, do their best, but how they achieve that doesn’t always look the same.  Do we model what inquiry and curiosity looks, feels, and sounds like? Do we consciously acknowledge that they are watching us all the time? Do we think that they are listening when we speak about them? What’s best for one, isn’t always best for another. Fair isn’t always equal. Our students deserve fairness in their education.  As you return to your classroom, keep this in perspective. Be sure you check in with yourself, and ask “Am I being fair?” We often say, “Life’s not fair, so that’s not realistic.” But, life isn’t equal for everyone either.  Mathematically speaking, Equal means “the same as” and my life is not the same as anyone’s.  My life is unique to me and I don’t want it to be equal to other’s. Students are not all the same. Students are all able to achieve!

What is one thing you can do each day in your classroom to be more fair? What path will you choose to be your best? What path will you help forge for your students to be their best?

Happy 2014!

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Entry filed under: Reflections, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

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Kristen Hahn

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