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Growing up poor-ish, on a small, 13-acre farm in southern Morrow County, Ohio I learned quickly that people judge others for what they see in a moment and sometimes one needs to work very, very hard to prove they deserve more than just a passing glance. From the moment I stepped foot in the classroom it has been my mission to connect with my students and build relationships that matter. As an educator, that mission continues as I build lasting alliances based on trust between me, teachers, students, and other stakeholders. That trust is established more easily because when I work with people I believe in honesty and getting to know people for who they are as people and recognizing them for their distinct human value.
Being aware of and working with socioeconomic diversity, racial diversity, gender diversity, and other subgroups has been vital to creating avenues for success in the educational settings in which I have been a part. When the status quo is permitted to be disrupted true change, truth, and success can be actualized. If we hide behind the policies that allow things to stay the same, our world never improves, options grow stagnant, change never occurs, and democracy falters.
Implicit and explicit bias are enemies to academic growth, individual success, societal and organizational improvement. It is my hope that true education can be free from these unconscious and known thoughts or attitudes when we purposefully strive towards an all-inclusive way of thinking and learning. We ALL have important aspects of thought and ideas to contribute and whether we are women or men, white, black, latinx, gay, lesbian, straight, rich, or poor, the diversity that makes us human allows us to choose to be leaders in equity and inclusion.
That is my philosophy. That is how I live my life and how I have navigated through my educational career thus far. I believe in fighting for what is right. I have always made my decisions with the best interest of the students in mind. My opinion hasn’t always been popular, but it has been fair and equitable. I am an agent for change. I believe that change has been good, supportive, justified, and inclusive.