Equity, by definition, is fairness. It is justness. It is giving each and every child regardless of race, class, gender, religion, ability, citizenship status, or sexual orientation - a chance to succeed. And equity, in practice, means that all kids do not get the same thing because they do not all need the same thing. Equity in our schools means that we have created a space where all students are seen and where all students' stories are valued. Each and every one. I've been reading Dr. Brad Gustafson's new book, "Reclaiming Our Calling," and in it he says, "We need to enter into our students' world, wherever they might be, and seek to understand who we can become to serve them better." I would add to that WHOever they might be. He says we must "seek to understand who we can become to serve them better." Who we can become. How can we change, what can we intentionally do to better situate ourselves to build relationships and empathy and understanding for these children that we serve? Especially the ones that come from a different background than we do, a different type of family than we do, a different way of life than we do?
If this premise, the idea of serving each and every kid no matter who they are to the best of our ability is not at the foundation of who we are as educators, I would argue that you are in the wrong profession. Equity is not something we do. It is not a professional learning series. It is not a workshop. It is not a box to be checked. Equity is a way of being. It is making sure ALL your kids have what they need to learn. It is not one more thing, it is THE thing.