“Equity and equality are not the same. I believe that if I am going to be an equitable teacher, then each student is given the tools that they need to be successful,” shared CSTA Equity Fellow James Winn.
“Equity and equality are not the same. I believe that if I am going to be an equitable teacher, then each student is given the tools that they need to be successful,” shared CSTA Equity Fellow James Winn. “I recognize that no one person is the same as another and each student needs to have the tools and experiences they need to be able to grow. I have seven children and each one of them brings something different to the table. As a parent I want each of my children to have what they need, as a teacher I keep this lesson in mind when I am planning for my students. I strive to ensure that while all are getting the same lesson that I am bringing in the tools and experiences that they need so that they can continue to move forward from the place that they are currently at.”
Winn is a library/media specialist/IT Teacher at Wyoming Indian High School in Ethete, Wyoming. The school is located on The Wind River Reservation, where Winn works with Native American children, as well as you who are adjudicated and those who identify with a learning disability.
“I have strived to include strategies that each student needs so that I can support them on their path forward,” Winn said. “The students that are Native American need to have teachers that are sensitive to the tradition and history of the people. I include native language, examples, and history while I am teaching.”
For his students who have been adjudicated, Winn provides one-to-one support to help fill in the gaps of missed lessons. For his learning disabled students, he works with their special education teachers to follow the IEP and supports them as they learn and grow.
Winn doesn’t measure success by the completion of student tasks. He takes into account where they started and where they have finished. “I had a student that at the beginning of the class felt they did not need school as their life plan was to be a drug dealer, at the end of the class their life plan was to be a Google software engineer,” shared Winn. “This student may not have been the highest performing student in class but they demonstrated a successful product.”
When you look at computer science education, less than 1% of students are Native American. They aren’t even really tracked because of this small percentage. To combat this, Winn works with the SCRIPTS team to develop strategies for integrating computer science to meet Wyoming’s legislation which incorporates CS into K-12 education for the 2021-2022 school year. He also works with the Reentry Technology team to develop technology PD and what will be used for distance learning. He’s also a part of the Code.org committee to create micro-credentialing and a member of the CSTA Member Benefits Committee.
“I work with teachers to ensure that they are fluent in the most current and up-to-date information and technology possible,” said Winn. “I believe that having students see, use, and discover technology will encourage more of them to pursue technology in their future educational goals. I participate in training by attending as well as giving, I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted and it is my goal to share all my knowledge whenever possible.”
Winn applied to become a CSTA Equity Fellow to learn better techniques and strategies to better serve Native American people and to find a better way to provide for their needs in regards to technology.
“The people living on the Wind River Reservation do not have equitable access to many technologies and their students are growing up without some of the most basic of skills,” said Winn. “These students need to have those skills so that they can pursue higher education in these areas in the future. I am hoping to gain the skills, techniques, and information I need to make a difference for the students and teachers I work with.”
You can learn more about Winn, this year’s cohort, and the CSTA Equity Fellowship program here.