I love Ellsworth’s idea that the self comes out through your learning experience. I have seen this many times in myself throughout my education. My teaching philosophy is based on passion for issues and subjects and that is a complete reflection of my learning experience. Now that I am reflecting more on my own learning, I have found that I grew into my interests and passions through others who are also passionate about the same things. I see them as mentors. In the same respect, if I had had teachers who disrespected my identity throughout my schooling, it would have been hard to find support and passion. In terms of knowledge making, I find proof in successful work and passion within my students. Some may connect more than others to certain things but the finding of that personality and interest is important to me as an educator. In order to foster that connection, students must be able to connect with the literature of voices like theirs. Representation in literature matters greatly in my classroom, but also interest. I like Ellsworth’s comparison to the solar system and how our job as educators isn’t to bring these anomalous places closer to our pedagogy but instead use them to diagnose our unforseen and unknown pedagogical forces. These anomalous places are things that we previously hadn’t considered or were taught in the hidden curriculum, overlooked and that we were ignorant of. Many do not get the chances that I have had to interact with these anomalour places of conflicting identity, social justice and other touchy education subjects. I have experienced learning in anomalous ways through experience and interaction with other identities and my own. I do really think that learning from these anomalous places gives you a sense of growing your own identity and fostering comfort for other identites around you.
In terms of making life livable for other people, I think we mainly need to be considerate of their identites and how we all fit together. In terms of LGBTTQIA bodies, I think we need to be considerate of how we speak, how we act and the assumptions we make. It’s hard to open up about these identities for many reasons so we need to be considerate of how they identify. If they don’t publically identitfy as (insert othered identity here), then don’t out them and don’t assume that they are what you think they are. Don’t assume someone’s gender or that they are heterosexual. Aknowledge and normalize all voices, persepctives and identities. Teach compassion and consideration for all students and be a role model in this regard.
Loutzenheiser, L. (1996). How schools play smear the queer. Feminist Teacher, 10(2). pp. 59-64.
Ellsworth, E. (2005). Places of Learning: Media, Architecture, Pedagogy. Routledge: New York.