I have been presenting for 28 years now, NAEYC conferences have been a regular sojourn for me. It has been a great honor this year to be chosen for the first day’s three-hour presentation. Equity was the main focus of the entire NAEYC conference.
My doctoral dissertation was written about teacher bias included into the documentation of observational assessment. It is easy to identify how bias in the classroom can interfere with classroom equity. I explained to my participants that us – we – the teachers are the ones who must bear the brunt of showing by example how to be accepting of everyone – no matter the similarities or differences. By setting that example, we are setting the president. As educators, we need to change this world. Bias needs to be replaced with compassion and acceptance.
Teachers need to hold this responsibility up with great fortitude. Ultimately, the conference experience was one of a great intermingling of people from many different places and backgrounds, the perfect set-up for the Equity theme.