Black History Month: Teacher sparks change in classroom, introduces “culturally relevant teaching”

Somerset Co., Md. – A teacher and tutor in Somerset county is bringing more culture and representation — into her math classroom.

Jocelyn Martin, a teacher at the Washington High School and a co-owner of a tutoring service called Averting Familiar Education LLC, has introduced a new way to look at math with the hopes that her students would be able to relate to it on a cultural level.

As you watch the clip above, some of what you will see is how she is helping her students learn geometry, by showing parts and protective styles typically worn by women of color.

The idea came as a way for students of color to see themselves in the textbook and curriculum, which was something that has been historically left out.

Martin says this serves as a way for students to learn about other backgrounds and what makes them different, but also will help them learn to love and accept each other.

“We all know about the racial achievement gap across lines and my goal is to help close those gaps,” says Martin. “So when it comes to making sure that I’m introducing material that gets then engaged that’s my ultimate goal”

Even deeper than textbook education, Martin says in every student, or parent she meets her hope is to help make them a better person. She adds, it is okay to get uncomfortable and experience change because in that change, we are able to grow.

“We just need to constantly remind people that it is okay to change. It’s okay to shift, its okay to change your teaching methods, your policies, your curriculum and your teaching procedures. It’s fine. Nothing needs to stay the same,” Martin said.

Jocelyn Martin, a graduate of the HBCU: University of Maryland Eastern Shore, says although this curriculum was introduced during Black History Month, this was not grounded to February. She says this is something she will teach year-round because her mission is to build students to be the best learner and person they can be. A part of that growth, according to Martin, is being able to adapt and accept others around you.

Categories: Black History Month, Local News, Maryland