For this month’s challenge, I reflected on both awareness and self-awareness.
To be aware requires a great deal of reflection and therefore self-awareness.
I don’t feel we can really separate the two, they are interrelated and affect us to the core. For example, I am self-aware that I care. Everything about me cares: about well-being, suffering, hatred, violence, discrimination, and of course, those who inflict these feelings and actions upon others.
Sometimes this care is too much, it’s crushing. But in other instances, it becomes a catalyst.
I have raised awareness of DEI in my small classroom, with my class, in the past few years. Young children can listen and appreciate unfairness at such a young age. In fact, it is integral to how they operate! This work has become very important to me. I was able to contribute to suggested core readings this year, so I could widen my sphere across my unit of four classes.
This small step led to another, whereby I am on the verge of launching #WomenEd here in Taiwan. Living in Taiwan I have become aware of the issues, how often Taiwan is overlooked and considered by much of the world as part of China. I admit I was not that aware of Taiwan before visiting the country. So now my next step is towards establishing something much larger than my work in my classroom, in a country which is often forgotten.
Is this next step scary? Of course, it is. Do I feel ready for it? Kind of.
Am I ever ready? Not really. I am aware of all these things. I am aware I wrote a book to help others but shy away when anyone congratulates me on it. I am aware that I work extremely hard as a teacher, creating and contributing projects to improve the children’s experiences and learning, not looking for recognition but instead working on them under the radar. I am aware whatever I do, it is to the very best of my ability. I am aware and aim to build awareness of how not only are these young children highly capable but should be always provided for appropriately. When I think of these ideas collaboratively, I realise that I am that female teacher that needs #WomensEd, I need to realise and push myself to reach my potential. I should be the one with the opinions and not feel fearful to voice them.