• Alyssa McQuaid

CPB Entry #4: Guest Lecture with Tanitiã Munroe

Updated: Feb 9

The flow of Tanitiã Munroe’s presentation re-inspired intentions behind showing up for Black children and youth in our education system. I left her presentation feeling confident in my ability to make my future classroom safer and more welcoming to the Black students in my care. Tanitiã left us with several questions following her presentation; I would like to focus on these two:

  1. In We Want to Do More Than Survive, Bettina Love writes that “white folx can embrace Black joy by helping, advocating for, and wanting Black folx to win.” What does this look like for you as a teacher candidate?

  2. How will you elevate Black joy in your pedagogy and practice as a teacher candidate?

Embracing Black Joy looks like…

  • It looks like giving honest and constructive feedback to black teacher candidates when they are applying for scholarships—not just the students who think most like you. If you are not the right person to review the application, sending it along to someone who would be better suited.

  • It looks like getting us into networking opportunities and mentioning our names in spaces where we have previously and systematically been excluded.

  • It’s genuinely listening to our goals and interests and putting us in contact with folks/opportunities that align with those interests or on that path to achieving those goals.

  • Celebrating all levels of Black achievement not just those of us who achieve academic excellence/other standards of success dictated by whiteness.

Elevating Black Joy in my pedagogy and practice…

  • It’s not waiting for Black history month to celebrate Black people

  • It’s not breaking up loud and passionate discussions/ artistic expression, dancing or other ways Black folks build community and express joy.

  • It’s encouraging expressions of Joyfulness when whiteness tells us emotion is inappropriate

  • It’s not being reserved about expressing my own joy

  • It’s letting students experience joy without reminding them of the impermanence of the emotion.

  • It’s giving students space to explore about what they want to know more about and giving them protected time to share what they’ve learned.

Tanitiã reminds us to make space for JOY in our pedagogy. Joy is critical to creating safe and welcoming spaces not only for Black youth but all youth

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