I just finished reading Dr. Christopher Emdin’s ‘For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Ya’ll Too.”
Full disclosure: As much of a culturally-aware and embracing educator as I am, I would not have known about this book had my new job not required I read it.
But am I happy I did (even if annotating it took WAY longer than a 208-page book should).
I’ll admit I have certain reservations about the title, his use of “white folks,” and some of his assertions; namely, the classifying certain practices Emdin assigns specifically to the “neoindiginous,” or black urban youth that are universal of youth. However, the text also validated many of my beliefs about educators and the education they must provide for our students, regardless of their backgrounds.
I intend to expound upon the above in a series of blogs – some based solely on education and Emdin’s thoughts; others based on basic human dignity inside and outside of the education realm. For now, though, I want to leave you with this quote/wisdom from Emdin in concluding For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Ya’ll Too“:
The effectiveness of the teacher can be traced directly back to what that teacher thinks of the student. If the teacher does not value the student, there is no motivation to take risks to engage with the student. It is easier and safer to remain in the traditional model – even though that model has failed the student.
Traditional is easy.
Now, think about the kids.
Which you should have been doing from the jump.