The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines exposure as “the fact or condition of being exposed: such as the condition of being presented to view or made known; the state of being unprotected especially from severe weather; the condition of being subject to some effect or influence; the condition of being at risk of financial loss.” To that point, I am going to focus on being made known and influenced.
Recently, I have found an affinity for podcasts and have become a fan of I Am Athlete, 21st and Prime, and The Creative Educator—to name a few. As I listened to the 21st and Prime podcast with Coach PRIME and Professor Duke, a light bulb moment, or “aha” moment, occurred. How can historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compete with predominantly white universities (PWIs)? The answer was simple: exposure. Coach PRIME heavily mentioned exposure on A Primetime Season Finale | I AM ATHLETE. Coach PRIME eloquently stated that “exposure permits better players, visibility, and finances which is easier said than done.”
As a teacher, I allow my students to discover, inquire and explore in the classroom. I expose them to different environments and methodologies that they would not usually have access. In the past, pre-COVID and pre-motherhood, my engineering class comprised students in computer science classes, too. I would challenge my students to apply the engineering concepts to computer science concepts by building and programming a robot, racecar, or drone. During the school year, my students would compete in local, regional, and national competitions. As a result of these competitions, they were exposed to different ways of thinking, various cultures, and places. I showed low-income and middle-class black and brown students that they could be engineers, agriculturalists, chemists, mathematicians, etc. To explain, when I taught at an all-girls middle school, the engineering team and I traveled to the National Society of Black Engineers National Conference for three consecutive years. Because of this exposure, those young ladies became young leaders in high school and were top-tier students. Keep in mind, there were constant, daily struggles about focus, retention, and overall mental health. They prepared me to become the best mother I could be for my daughter.
My mother likes to say, “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” My house is not child-proof, which is something that my boyfriend and I agreed on. Yes, I am 30 something with a boyfriend/baby daddy, LOL. Children are born intelligent and naturally curious. It’s our job as parents and teachers to safely and positively EXPOSE them to life. For example, I have these Turn & Learn Magnetic Gears on the refrigerator at home, and Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes in the car. I noticed that Piglet enjoys both unless it's time for a snack or nap. I bought her Baby Einstein Curiosity Table, a combination of the two toys on a larger scale. Naturally, Piglet is curious about everything so, I purchased DeMoca Montessori Busy Board, exposing her to the wonders and workings of life.
Exposure allows for better thinkers, learners, players, experiences, and finances. Exposure permits better students, experiences, and finances—which is easier said than done, all while building bridges and relationships. My advice to parents and teachers is NOT to limit a child’s creativity and inquiry. If a child desires and questions about anything, it is our job as parents and teachers to foster curiosity; you may learn something yourself.
21st and PRIME. (2021, May 19). We Are Athlete. YouTube. https://youtu.be/4MpPQo7e7FY
Exposure. 2021. (2021, June 1). Merriam-Webster.com. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exposure
I AM ATHLETE. (2021, May 31). A Prime Time Season Finale. YouTube. https://youtu.be/NUmmLo9omE8.