Qorsho Hassan: Education reform starts with our students. – Sahan Diary | Team Cansler

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Many Minnesotans are celebrating the fact that they just elected the most diverse state legislature in history. But before anyone pats themselves on the back, I would like to urgently remind everyone that we still live in a state where the experiences of white Minnesotans are very different from those of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Minnesotans.

Take teaching for example. We still live in a time when teaching truth can be criminalized and book bans are somehow considered constitutional, and in the midst of it all, color teachers are under unbearable pressure. My own story reflects this reality. If we can’t reinvent education together, we will soon lose even more teachers like me who represent different communities.

Our newly elected leaders are not and cannot be the sole drivers of change in our state. When it comes to big strides and bold change, we need look no further than the strong young people in our communities who can drive the change needed for a better world.

As a former homeroom teacher, my goal was to provide my students with a better school experience than the depressing school experiences I grew up with in Georgia and Ohio. In my classroom, my goal was to focus on joy, literacy, and community in the classroom. I knew that while I didn’t have the power to change the educational landscape as a whole, I did have the ability to create radically different circumstances for my students in my own classroom.

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