A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools
My 4-year-old daughter Sophia was confused. She looked to me for an answer. “Greyson's not black,” she said. “Her skin is brown.” This was the first time I had heard my daughter bring up the issue of race or skin color.
Emotions can be frightening for all of us, especially for children. But if students don’t have the vocabulary to express their feelings, they may turn to acting out. This fails to resolve the feelings and makes a teacher’s life much more difficult.
Something was different at the school cafeteria.
The menu included a vegetarian meal of elbow macaroni with cheddar cheese and broccoli. There was also a choice of a 100-percent-beef burger (without pink slime!) on a whole-grain bun. And there was ginger-carrot soup, whole-grain breads, leafy green salads, black beans and shredded cheese.
We are all still thinking, talking, teaching and grieving about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old in Florida, wearing that universal hoodie. Again, as a nation, we confront the issue of race and what it means to be an African-American teenage male in this country.
Most students have heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. They also know of Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus. Unfortunately for many students, knowledge of the civil rights movement stops there.
Carlisha certainly has her share of challenges. I work with her both in small groups and one-on-one. Sometimes she falls asleep, which she attributes to her diabetes medication. Some faculty members speculate that she is faking because she doesn’t want to do the work.
For the second week in a row, I was left partnerless in my graduate class. It was my own fault, I guess. I didn’t feel like moving. As I scanned the room, no one made eye contact with me or motioned toward me. It was clear that I would have to make the first move to ask to be included in a group—and, after a day filled with hundreds of tiny setbacks, I just didn’t feel like it.
I held up the front page of our college newspaper and asked my first-year journalism students if any questions came to mind as they looked at the photographs of candidates running for president and vice president of our student government.
It’s a multimedia storytelling class and the assignments for the week were about analyzing and taking photographs.