First responders are the first to the scene of an accident. They are equipped to evaluate, stabilise, treat chronic injuries and hand over to the hospital with a report of everything they know so that the hospital can make the patient well again.
We have an additional ~394,762 first responders on the front line of disadvantage every day… if we take the opportunity to give them the skills, resources and a place to pass on those who need assistance. Real first responders deliver people to hospitals, teachers need to be able to bring their students over to a system that can treat their inequality of opportunity.
Teachers are an incredible resource. They care, they’re present in the lives of children over half the days of a child’s life from ages 5-15 (often longer), and they are in prime position to help identify signs of economic, emotional and physical distress in their students.
All of this is for nothing though, if we don’t teach them how. It is all for nothing if we don’t take their feedback and start to build infrastructure specific to communities, classrooms and individuals, to enable these first responders to take stock of a situation, gather the necessary information and then have access to the help that their kids need. There is no one-size-fixes-all solution here.
We need to acknowledge that in a class of 20, perhaps only 2 or 3 students will need this kind of extra attention, or perhaps all 20 will. We need to acknowledge that a school that is predominantly full of second generation migrants from one corner of the globe has different stresses and demands to a classroom that is full of upper middle class students, or Indigenous Australians, or low-socio economic 5th generation Australians.
Teachers and school administrators have so many opportunities to be the ‘canary in the coal mine’ that we could utilise, and it would give;
The Just Be Nice Project is working to give teachers and administrators the opportunity to upskill their understanding and infrastructure to positively impact their students and the broader community.
An external organisation that brings together information across different school communities to share strategies and best practices for helping alleviate inequality of opportunity. Working alongside curriculum/learning outcomes with organisations like Education Changemakers and events like Educhange who do amazing work improving teacher led innovation and learning design inside classrooms, ensuring teachers and students have a fantastic learning experience.
We want to make sure that no teacher ever quits because of the heartbreak of seeing a classroom where 5 kids never have lunch or breakfast, where children’s clothes are tattered and their shoes have holes, where children carry the stresses of their parents because no-one is attempting to alleviate the invisible poverty and inequality that happens behind the doors of thousands of homes across the country. Right now, teachers see these scenarios every day and short of dipping into their own pockets, are overwhelmingly lacking support to even talk about these issues and how it affects their ability to teach.
We look forward to helping more schools and teachers become well-resourced centers for improving the equality of opportunity in communities all over the country. Teachers should be given every support and resource to shoulder the responsibility that we give them. The ability to have the positive impact they want to have, and the responsibility to teach not only curriculum, but how to pay attention to others, how to be understanding, and how to Just Be Nice.
Just Be Nice
A collection of articles relevant to pursuing the effective execution of altruism in the search for equality of opportunity.