If you love working with young people, if you’re okay throwing out your carefully prepared lesson plan because your students have gotten really engaged in a discussion, and don’t take it personally when they argue with you, you’ll be a great Owning Up educator.
We are aware that some educators come to Owning Up on their own while others are told to implement it by a supervisor– sometimes with less guidance and support than ideally needed. We also appreciate how frustrating it can be to be told to do a program without the necessary resources or time to do your best. What we want you to hear from us, whether you identify as a teacher, counselor, educator, mentor, or youth advocate, is you know your students best and we’ve done our best to give you a comprehensive teaching strategy that will empower you and your students.
Too often adults don’t allow young people to have uncomfortable conversations but we think creating an environment where young people can passionately disagree while treating each other with dignity is one of the most important skills they can develop– and one we all benefit from when these young people become adults who can have constructive dialogue.
Owning Up addresses extremely challenging issues in our society— and inevitably, aspects of the program make some people uncomfortable. It takes an extraordinary school, organization, or community to commit itself to addressing these issues. While we all want our students to be safe and healthy, creating strategies that truly enable this to happen takes moral courage, perseverance, and commitment.
As an individual responsible for the implementation of Owning Up, you are the cornerstone for its success in your community. You are teaching your students to treat themselves and others with dignity. You are teaching them to educate themselves about power and privilege, oppression, personal accountability, and bearing witness when others oppress and discriminate against those who have less power. You are empowering them to work as agents of positive change and influence in their lives and in the lives of others– and we have the utmost confidence that you will do a great job.