There are loads of things I feel strongly about- discrimination whether it is sexism, racism or homophobia, having morals and manners, issue of poverty and corruption in Africa and loads of issues in UK such as the recession, poverty and increasing unemployment rates.
However as a teacher I feel very strongly (and concerned) about young people especially ethnic minority people and their future in the UK. Institutional racism has become less of a problem (or seems to be), especially if you look back to the days of the 1990s when the Stephen Lawrence case came to light. However there are STILL issues, the ethnic groups who have the lowest achievement rates at GCSE are Bangladeshi/Pakistani, Irish Gypsy and African-Carribbeans and it has been this way for years and remains so. I graduated from one of the top 20 UK universities, and I was one of three black people to graduate out of 250! My university had only 2% of students from an African-Carribbean background, to put that in perspective that is 720 out of 36,000. The figures never fail to shock me. I am even more concerned about the lack of role models, not just for African-Carribeans but for young people in general.
Only recently, there was a story concerning Nikki Minaj visiting a high school, as a speaker to speak to female pupils.
Really? Nikki Minaj? But yet, she and Rihanna are the lyrics my pupils recite in school. 70% of African-Americans are born to parents who are not married, 90% of lone parent families are headed by women. What is the impact of the lack of a male role model on male achievement, more specifically African-Carribean pupils? Sometimes I get worried about the achievement of the children that I (hopefully) will have. At the moment I feel I am making a good contribution by being a teacher and showing pupils that you can achieve regardless of your ethnic background. Hopefully things will improve.