Guest post by Lacey Carter, CCC-SLP, in partnership with eLuma Online Therapy.
As professional educators, it’s easy to get too comfortable telling others how to learn and grow without holding ourselves to the same standard. We should be more like the children we work with: sponges for new information, unafraid to ask questions, and ready to contribute something incredible to the world! Once we adopt this mindset, we’re ready to re-examine and eliminate our personal biases.
Our biases are shaped by our professional and personal experiences, our upbringing, and our community. Because biases can be woven into the fabric of our being, they may have seemed entirely normal until we were forced to take a closer look.
In his book The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person, author Frederick Joseph interviews Toni Adenle, who states, “By having an expectation of what’s normal, people build an assumption that anything else is abnormal.” No amount of education, experience, or expertise negates the fact that we all hold long-running thoughts and patterns that do not serve a greater good.
By having an expectation of what’s normal, people build an assumption that anything else is abnormal.– Toni Adenle
So what do we do? Although it feels easier to stay the same, when our status quo oppresses others, we have to change. We can follow Adenle’s simple request, “…to protect one another and learn from one another…to turn “different” into the new normal, and then tell others to do the same.”
Let’s talk about how to put this advice into practice:
I encourage you to dig deeper into understanding what biases you may hold. Once you lean into and push past the discomfort, you’ll likely find peace, confidence, and incredible strength. Best of all, your changes will help create greater momentum toward true equality, equity, and healing.
Want to learn more about biases and how to confront yours? Try these free resources:
I really like the structure of Everyday Speech. It’s really nice to be able to pull from different modules to fit different groups’ needs, especially having the age differentiation. Students want to see themselves represented in videos in all aspects (relevant concepts, various ages, genders, ethnicities, etc.).– Nora M., M.S., CCC-SLP