READ TIME: 4 minutes!
Those that follow me on Twitter or know me in real life know that I talk a lot about equity, teaching and learning, my toolkit and BAMEed.
So… (I have written some of this blog on the BAMEedNetwork.com website too…
I left my school yesterday after just under 4 years as an Assistant Head Teacher there. I am Asian, Muslim and Male. The first my school has ever had. Along with being the only AHT in a Senior Leadership Position in all of the Oxford City schools.
Lots of students came and said good bye to me. As they do. I recieved parting gifts, cards, kind messages and boxes and boxes of chocolates. (For which I am very grateful for!)
Good bye gifts and cards. Lovely gestures. But when you get a handmade one with a personalised message. It makes your heart melt. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2EGn9tsgIm
— Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli) April 7, 2017
I hung around at break, lunch and after school for students to come and speak to me one last time, if they wished. I did my usual daily, walk around school, asking students to do the right thing! On my last day, Aside from the tears, pleas for hugs and asking for me to add them to instagram/snapchat a few students said some really interesting things to me…
- Sir, seriously, we are really going to miss your face here, you made it seem like we can make it too.(Asian boys, year 11.)
- Sir, you opened up discussions in my household that I can now defend properly.(Black boy, year 10.)
- Being here, showing us that you can be yourself and proper smart, makes me think I don’t need to change who I am to be successful.(Asian girls, year 11/12.)
- You have continually showed us, that talking about equity, is much clearer than equality.(Year 9/10/11 white girls.)
- Sir, you make England loving.(Year 11 Looked After Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker.)
This is why, we need to keep up with #BAMEed. This is why we have started this grassroots movement to ensure to all of our students that we all benefit from diversity.
- They need to see us
The are spaces for our faces. Is it as crude as saying students need to see people that aren’t white in other positions other than the site/cleaning staff. Then yes. I am saying that. Students need to see what they can be. However, that should not stop them, it should drive them, make them more determined, more focussed and more committed to becoming the First Of.
- They need to believe they can be us
By being in those positions, being a senior leader, being in front of them, their parents, the community, active, proud and visible makes the obstacle of reaching up somewhat easier, believable and tangible. So, if there is no US? Who will they be?
- They need to be assured that they will get all chances because of their skills and nothing else
At BAMEed or any group that advocates equity and equality in the system it does not want preferential treatment but wants people looking at skills and experiences to look past race and ethnicity or religion. We need to be able to stand and talk to our students with certainty that they will get equal chances. Can we do that if we do not?
- They need to know we believe in them and the system
We show constant regard for them, but what about the system? So if you are White, Black, Asian, Minority ethnic, of dual heritage, or simply human, then come to our first BAMEed event. An unconference themed on Unconcious Bias.
More details here.