In the new Facing History video with Ben Kingsley my favorite image is the split image of a young woman, the viewer sees half of the back of her head and half of her face. This challenges me. I want to know that I faced history and chose to do or say something that would not make me turn but rather know that my actions/words match what I want people to see of my character.
I work with a variety of students in an urban area. Many lack a feeling of power. Though the world may not know their names, each day they face challenges in their homes and in the classroom that would make many crumble. Whether it is to make it out of the house where the despair is palpable or to face a textbook they cannot read due to learning challenges, they affect me and my understanding of the world. They have left a mark on me.
I need to tell my students more often that their presence changes me and that I am better for knowing them. They have left a mark. How will my life and the lives of my students change if they know that making history can be big like Martin Luther King Jr. or it can be the simple act of defying the odds and making it to school?
This blog was written by Robin Hernandez, a teacher at Whittier High School and a member of the Los Angeles Teacher Leadership Team.