Starting in March of 2021, Humanities Amped has released a series of think pieces celebrating the first of our three core values: beloved community. As we head into the bustle and promise of this new school year, we are excited to share the last installment in the Beloved Community series with you.
Tareil La'Kisha George
We sometimes forget the most important thing about being human is change. We have the ability to change whatever we want, but we seem to forget the importance of relationships, patience, and vision. One thing that I observe about us as humans is that we adapt. We learn adaptation from our environment. Adaptation isn’t a bad thing; for example, the poisonous Primrose has made a special adaptation so it could survive in desert-like areas. Humans are like the Primrose. We adapt to live, but why don’t we normalize changing the world, so we don't have to depend on adaptation to Survive?
In Amped, we often have our students create their own Norms, which give them the opportunity to set up their own rules to live by within the classroom. One Norm that students often request is ‘Active Listening’. Active listening is the biggest part of the listening and understanding skill. If you are actively listening, you are opening your mind to be more understanding of what’s going on in the space. As part of teaching, once you understand, the next moving part is to now focus on transforming what you have learned or relearned onto the next, but how and to who? This is where teaching and those three relationships start to develop. We have to see teaching as a way of better communication that recognizes students as unique individuals. We are taught that we should use what we have learned in the future, but learners may miss what is being taught based on how it is given. For example, you wouldn't teach a four year old the same way you teach a fourteen year old. You must have the balance between patience and understanding of their differences in order for them both to understand what is being taught. This also plays a role in relationship building. Without a relationship with those you are teaching, you would have a hard time being heard and understood. Being the listener of the youth, which can change the direction of better communication within the community, forms a relationship of understanding which can propel the sense of a Beloved community.