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Having brave conversations about race featuring Sheldon Eakins

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Hello EduMagicians,

Welcome back to another episode of the EduMagic podcast. Today we will be having a serious conversation about how to have brave conversations about race and ethnicity, featuring Dr. Sheldon Eakins.

  • During 12th grade, Sheldon had an impactful history teacher.

  • History teacher taught middle school and high school.

  • He coached basketball

  • Sheldon is a special education director in Idaho on a Native American reservation. Where he works on the IEPs and reporting, he reports to the Bureau of Indian Education. Sheldon shares the culture and events with the family of learners.

  • The host of the leading with equity podcast, which supports educators with the tools and resources necessary to ensure equity at their school. He covers topics that you don't necessarily hear on other podcasts.

  • Leading equity center Dr. Eakins leads courses, webinars, and training options available to help teachers.

Steps to take

Our educators have influence. We know that most of the teaching workforce is high, and there is a high possibility that you will have one black or brown student in your classroom or school, so when these challenges impact our schools and community, we don't say anything as teachers it says a lot. Racism may be a part of your students' daily lives. We need to recognize that our background may not be reflected in our students. We must respect the differences and lived experiences.

Framing Brave Conversations about Race a
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  • Acknowledge our own biases and privileges. There is some privilege; privilege means the benefits you have that you may or may not have earned—so many privileges out there - race, religion, etc. You must be a self-aware educator to recognize what privileges you have.

  • Own your learning - some people don't want to share, others don't mind sharing, and you can ask away. You need to be respectful - your ownness is on YOU. To learn and engage in conversation. Don't stop there. There are so many differences in everyone's upbringing. Their view is different - don't' assume.

  • Our communities are being impacted heavily. There is a difference between black lives matter and all lives matter. It is about being able to have these conversations.

  • We need to be mindful of the context. Why are people responding to the challenges the way that they are? Understanding the context. Why are people reacting the way they are - what is the way to protest? We were still talking about civil rights in 2020. Let's think about how people are feeling.

  • We must work with our students individually, in all sense of the word, and in class. For example, class assignments, tests, behavior, dress code, etc.

  • Keep learning, and it's ok to be wrong. It's ok to make mistakes, but you have to own those mistakes. Don't be defensive if you get called out; reflect upon it.

  • Listen and engage in conversation with students. Build relationships with your students and learn. Sit back and listen. Hear your students. Be genuine with your students.

Get in touch with Dr. Sheldon Eakins
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