For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood had a great third meeting on Thursday, July 29, at Olney Charter School. The group was a bit smaller than the first two meetings (8, instead of 15-18), which allowed for a more intimate free-flowing conversation. The meeting before had yielded some critiques of Emdin’s book: Why doesn’t he ground his ideas within a larger community of thinkers? Why, especially, does he neglect to discuss the ideas of women of color who have made countless contributions to his line of thinking? Aren’t some of these ideas already things we do as teachers? Why the fancy names and very specific directions for the practices?
With these questions in mind, the facilitators suggested that we frame our dialogue around what we found useful and what we found concerning or had questions about. This provided a helpful frame that led to a productive conversation.
We summarized the last chapters with 6 word summaries (below), then got to discussing the book, deepening our analyses of what it means to be a White folk (or a rest of y’all too) teaching in the hood. The framework presented was simple, and provided space for folks to express their concerns, while also leading us down some productive lines of thinking about how we can build more trusting relationships with students and their families.
Six Word Summaries of the Chapters:
Chapter 3 – Find community pedagogues, like preachers, barbers.
Chapter 4 - Choose diversity. Listen. Empower leadership. Repeat.
Chapter 5 – Observe students teaching. Adjust pedagogy accordingly.
Chapter 6 – Build active, mutually supporting classroom culture.
Chapter 7 – Engage in community of our students.
Chapter 8 – Battle education. Street rules. Authentic assessment.