Pedro Noguera, author of Excellence Through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement, provides invaluable insight on the idea of equity. His main points include:
1. Equity means that every child is different and we need to ensure their needs are met.
2. All students need equity not just students with academic struggles.
3. He offers the following questions: 1) What are your student's needs? 2) How do you organize your school/classroom to meet their needs?
4. Why do we need equity in our classrooms? Our data tells us: 1) Students are not achieving at mastery level. 2) Students are not College and/or Career Ready. 3) Students are bored. 4) Students are disengaged.
5. We need to focus on conditions that allow for great learning to occur.
6. Building relationships is the first step. This is not easy. It takes skills, open mindedness, and a willingness to learn.
7. Students need to know they can trust you, you care, and you are invested in their future.
8. Students are open to learn when they know we are invested in their success.
9. We need to build relationships that are conducive to good teaching and learning.
10. We need to stop covering material.
11. If an educator wants to excel in equity for excellence, you need to have a growth mindset.
12. Commit to the reciprocal process of teaching and learning.
13. Generate evidence that students are learning.
14. Take creative ownership of your classroom.
15. Focus on excellence in teaching.
The bottom line is we need to ensure student's needs are met. We need to ensure all teachers know how to build relationships that will create the conditions for excellence. We need to stop confining ourselves to the four walls surrounding us. We can't just think outside the box. We must BREAK the box!