Some Key Concepts from Craig J. Boykin’s presentation at the ASCD Empower 19 Conference:
The athletic trap does exist where black athletes become “Gods” but are failing in school.
As we try to help students, consider: The head which is the academic piece; the heart which is the social emotional piece; Health – which is the physical piece, and the home.
Take into account Maslow’s hierarchy where it is necessary to meet basic needs before optimum learning can take place.
“You must care about kids’ situations outside of the classroom or they don’t care about academics.” “Race has nothing to do with building relationships.” Teachers of all colors can and do reach students. Also remember that all relationships have disagreements.
Make your actions match your words.
Don’t ever disrespect a parent in front of the child.
It’s a good example for teachers to apologize when they are wrong.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Some causes for lack of achievement:
Lack of support at home – we can’t always expect help from the home. In these cases, the educational system has also failed the adults in the home. They are distrustful of schools and staff. Parents are sometimes not on the same page.
Lowered expectations – we cannot baby students.
Student motivation - “Students put up walls not to keep educators out, but to see which educators care enough to break them down.”
Kids are in survival mode – when kids are just trying to survive, it is very difficult for them to learn.
Learn versus unlearn – Some kids have developed bad habits. It takes ten times as long to unlearn some behaviors.
On out of school suspensions – sending kids home is sometimes the worst place for them to be.
Teachers send their power out when they send kids to another teacher.
Remind students – “He who angers you, controls you.”
Things teachers can do:
Respect students and keep in mind some of the kids have been raised on – “Don’t let anyone disrespect you.”
Provide relevance – help kids see the value in education and what they are learning.
Resilience – after setbacks help students to recover quickly.
Build those relationships.