The Importance and Effect of iTAG

UrbEd is doing a series of community events that educate teachers on how to build the understanding of underprivileged students’ rights and needs in schools. These events are called the Inquiry To Action Group, or iTAG. While watching the outline of the presentation done by special projects coordinator Horace Ryans and Zoey Tweh, I was very impressed. The presentation begins with a detailed understanding of student perspective, done with a combination of videos, discussions, and explanations from personal experience. Since the main audience of these events is teachers, learning about the student perspective on school safety in classrooms is crucial. Sharing this insight provides a good platform for very interesting and beneficial discussions. There is also a brief lesson to give a deeper understanding of the school-to-prison pipeline and how deeply it affects students. The iTAG digs deeper into how to create a classroom environment that does not perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline. It also touches on the importance of creating a safe classroom setting for students who struggle with various mental health problems. The general celebration of students is extremely important, and showing students their voices are valuable from a young age can make a huge difference in the bigger picture.They share different ways in which teachers can show students their voices are important and their voices matter. One thing that can deeply affect kids while growing up is the feeling of not being trustworthy, and exemplifying trust of students in classrooms is always necessary. Of course, the more you take, the more you give. If students feel respected, the respect will be returned. If students feel more encouraged, safe, and trusted in classrooms, they will naturally put forth their best efforts. Students who recognize their own brilliance and potential will go forth more ambitious and confident in all aspects of their life. As a high school student, it would be extremely reassuring knowing that teachers and adults in my life put in extra effort to make sure I feel welcome at school. Even if you are not going into the teaching field, I would recommend the iTAG program for anyone looking to better understand the importance of respect and mutual understanding between adults and kids, whether it be mentors and mentees, teachers and students, or anything else.

Thea Risher

Communications Associate