Hearing Laura speak was a privilege, and the readings that followed were easily understood because of her. In classroom situations this talk can benefit me as an educator. When Laura talked about her childhood, and classroom life I was really intrigued. I think that listening to her will make me more aware of the situations that could possibly be going on within my classroom, and to attempt to spot some warning signs. I also want to be able to create a safe space for the kids. I want them to feel comfortable, and confident in the classroom to be themselves, not what society expects them to be. Hearing Laura’s story made the readings come to life, and made them more relatable. I could read those stories and wonder if she had to deal with similar things, or compare it to a story she told our class. Next, I can then try to understand how I could react, and change the situation if I was in the position to do so.
It will be a challenge applying what Laura taught me, but a challenge worth facing. I think the first step to having a safe classroom is to make the rules very clear about respecting each other. Bullying is a serious problem within schools, and if I have zero tolerance for it in my classroom I think that it will make the kids feel more comfortable to be themselves, and not get judged. In addition, I know I need to be careful in the way that gender is brought up in the classroom. Something as simple as not separating the classroom by boys and girls would make a huge difference. It is a combination of small things or comments that could make one kid feel like he is in a safe environment. And, if I am able to detect a warning sign, and can see someone struggling I will be able to adjust to help them. I can help without directly confronting them, but if some small things make a difference in that person’s life, and they feel like they could possibly open up to me then I would be more than happy to listen.