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Civil Rights Arts Project: A Collaboration Between

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By Brian Hussey: American Studies Facilitator An education professor of mine stressed one basic rule above all others: nothing else matters until you get to know your students. Through four years of teaching, I have returned to this maxim when planning both whole class objectives or devising an individual plan for a student. Moreover, this tenet has held true in the three different contexts I taught. From a charter and magnet school in Philadelphia to a suburban high school outside of Dallas, the need get to know students’ interests, prior knowledge, and personalities remains paramount. In fact, meaningful learning did not happen until I knew more about my students than just their names and faces, and they understood more about me beyond my classroom number and location.
Developing a familiarity between the teacher and learners creates an atmosphere where students are more willing to take risks and accept criticism. Additionally, it places the teacher in a position of constant learning…