I set out to teach class.. but today I told a story.
I told my students I was anxious.
I told them how I was learning to give grace.
I told them I make mistakes.
I told them I am from the south.
I told them “ain’t no” “we ain’t” and “y’all got” on unfiltered occasions.
I told them context and culture shape us.
I told them we are a product of our influences.
I told them to be storytellers with me.
And when my voice quieted..
I heard reflection.
I heard colorblindness corrected
I heard questions worth answering.
I heard silence worth responding to.
I heard virtual strangers connect about a
unnamed cafe on a street in New York.
I heard laughter.
I heard groups from Michigan.
I heard confusion.
I heard groups of connection.
I heard learning.
When it was my turn to share again
I told them how the brain makes shortcuts to make sense of our world.
I told them how it likes to forget.
I told them how it looks to compromise.
I told them how it likes to ignore.
I told them how it likes reduce complexities.
I told them a story about each of our lives and learning processes being different.
I told them a story about a woman.
I told them her name is Breonna.
I told them her story influences mine.
I told them her story is barely different than mine.
I told them to imagine be an educator today, during:
A viral pandemic
A racial pandemic
In a new environment
With students who’s skin is closer to blue than black.
Today, I told about stories about culture, context and cognitive bias today.
The content taught itself.
*Inspired after facilitating my first synchronous Zoom session of the semester, today.
** Alexis Franklin drew this portrait of Breonna Taylor forOprah magazine. Courtesy ofOprah magazine.