chapter  3
13 Pages

September

Pretty Books
WithVictoria F. Trinder

This chapter challenges socio-political contexts of urban teaching, unidirectionality of professional supports, and implications of de-professionalizing teaching by missionary-like philanthropists. Refusal as a key construct of decolonizing principles is examined with the teacher as the agent of resistance as well as the object of resistance. The Marxist theory of centrality circles is demonstrated through the subtle and nuanced knowledges students model in the refusal of complicity in their own oppression. In the comparison of two different years and her understanding of democratically-shared norms of classroom environments, the teacher embarks on reparative practices with students who experienced her teaching as a tool of the colonial project. The teacher reflects on indigenous knowledges of her students and the impact of these on her theorizing around quantifying compliance capacity. In conflict with white benevolence and the autocratic dimensions of white-womanhood in schooling norms, these reparations are returned in kind as her strong students defend her resistance and work to keep the minimal classroom resources they have acquired. Pueblo philosophies are uncovered by students in interdisciplinary and intergenerational activities, and serve as a foundation for radical shifts in the teacher’s deconstructing of her own whiteness to clear space for more authentic anti-racist and decolonizing practices.