The article Uncovering, and managing unconscious ways of ‘looking’ by Corinne McKamey was a very interesting read. The article discusses the author’s research on educational care and how she rethought her assumptions on the subject. Assumptions, in which, came from a white, middle class background. Additionally, the article discusses how our social identities play a role in how we all see care differently.
Upon reading this article, it made me think about culture and the large role it plays in our lives. Not only does culture provide us with written and unwritten rules, or norms, for interacting with those around us, but it also shapes our perception. Two individuals may experience the same event in their lives, but interpret it very differently from one another. Living in a specific environment and having certain privileges can shape our attitudes and beliefs on life. This makes it difficult for us to relate to others outside of our environment that we find to be the “norm”. This is a main reason as to why it is difficult to see what others interpret as ‘caring for them ; different environments/cultures foster different opinions/assumptions. This is why I feel that it is important to educate ourselves in these differences. Without acknowledging the fact that everyone sees the world differently, we will be unable to reach out to the youth in ways that they need. In order to provide quality learning, it is vital that we first establish better relationships with our students. Additionally, it is important that we realize that diversity matters. Point blank. Period.
Building relationships with youth will help create a bond that will create meaning in their life. Teachers that take the time to get to know their students and relate to them on deeper levels are the one’s to create the most positive change in that individual’s life. My favorite teacher had this same approach. Not only would she show an interest in how I was doing in school, but was also concerned about my life outside of school. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, she would always be there for me no matter what. I know that without her, I wouldn’t have had as great of an experience as I did in school. If more teachers had this mindset, I think that youth would feel accepted and understood which in turn would aid in the quality of their learning.
Another note to consider is how important the structure of an environment is. Certain environments can influence our mood, effectiveness, and ability to form relationships. It is important as youth workers that we do our best in creating environments that are supportive, safe, caring, positive, and comfortable. Setting up these environments/classrooms in this way can make an individual really feel cared for and promote some of their best learning.