teachers maintain inequality

April 14, 2018

So many professors don't realize that students don't have access to information about resources that would help them grow. Namely, we don't have access to information about conferences and journals. We don't know when we should be applying to these things. Most of us don't even know about conferences and journals. But also, many educators do not look around to see what resources are available to students in the sense that they do not check to see  if they embody or a resource that could be of help to students. Perhaps they do not recognize that they have something of value that their students may need.

 

You would think that professors, individuals who have been through the process, individuals who somewhat knows what it takes to get excel in academia, would keep us in the know, They don't. I don't know if the issue is that they went the program so that they just for or if they are just privileged. Some of them have this idea that we should just know about these resources. I guess they know too many people who mobilized in academia via "self-determination" so they think everybody who deserves a "seat at the table" will find a way to attain access to information. They don't. Many bright people don't even know that there they should be accessing particular information that would enable them to do well in their goals.

 

 

 

If professors do share resources, they only share it with certain students they like or students that they think have "potential". To be honest, I really don't know what be up in they head when they decide who to share information with. All I know is that I have had information shared with me but many, many, many, many, many, many, many others have not. In particular, black and brown people, along with first generation college students have not gotten information shared to them. I don't know what the fuck I did to "deserve' information when other students, more brighter, insightful and more well-read, have not. One of the factors has to be that I am an extrovert. I think another factor has been that I have not been conditioned to be afraid of what other students think of me in the classroom. I have always excitedly participated in class discussions, whether I read in for the class or not, because that is just apart of my personality. So really, access to opportunities in my case was probably based on the fact that I am an extrovert.

 

 

 

Of course, these students (black and brown, long income students, and first generation college students)  are more likely to come from a family whose parents went to graduate school or attended college. Their parents are more likely to be be apart of the middle class or higher. Their parents are more likely to teach them how to talk and act in a way that professors will deem as acceptable.

 

 

 And just so you know, telling us that we do not need to worry about applying right now or accessing the information and resources that I'm talking about right now is not a good response. You don't know where we are in the educational process. We could be ready to start preparing for it and you just don't know. It could be that if you tell us that, we will listen and because we are first generation PH.D students we will fall through the cracks. I remember a counselor told me that in high school- she said this about applying to colleges. She never really checked in with me afterwards so I was confused about when I was supposed to do things. This hindered my whole college application process. You may not be there all the time to guide us. It's better for us to just have all of the information and then decide when we will go about applying to this and that. 

 

 

 

It goes without mention that an ability to use particular jargon or expressions does not signal intelligence. But as I'm sure you know, professors love to act like it does. And when students showcase their "intelligence" in that way, they are more likely to give them access to information about the resources that I am talking about.) Additionally, their parents are less likely to be poc. Their parents are less likely to be middle class (or higher). 

 

But not only do educators not share the resources with minorities, people of low income, and first generation college students, they also don't give them information about what it would take to partake in such resources. For instance, there is little to no information about how people will be able to pay to go to conferences or summer institutes. Meanwhile, you got hella money being set aside for students to use so that they can make use of the resources. Obviously every department is different. Every department has a different budget. And the amount of people that try to make use of that budget changes every year. However, most departments will give you stipends so that you can travel and speak at conferences or attend summer programs. It is also probable that the summer program that is a good fit for you will pay for you to go there. (Undergraduates check out the Rutger's Summer Institute. They paid for my travel expense, room and board, and offered me a stipend to attend a few years back.) It's crazy how many students don't know about these things. It's crazy how many professors just don't share the information with their students. 

 

 

 

But it's not just that. Professors make it where certain students hate their classes. There are so many students who are willing to put in the time to do the reading and researching necessary to critically engage with texts. But because of how classrooms are set up, they disengage. 

 

I gotta put a disclaimer out here. I can say this, not because of my experience at UConn. I can say this because of my experience from primary school on up. I can say this because of the many articles, studies, and testimonies that I have heard about this. 

 

I am just one of many who have talked about this. Educators! Listen up! I need you to do better! Please! 

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