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
The sixth-graders at Roxboro Middle School tumbled through the doors and into the lunchroom, looking around for places at the tables. The security officer didn’t need a bullhorn; his voice carried.
Raige Hollis always liked the idea of talking to classmates. In fact, he says he's "friends with everybody."
So when his high school announced plans for a Mix It Up at Lunch Day, Hollis, captain of the football team and senior classman, was all in. But some of his classmates at Laconia High School in New Hampshire were less excited about sitting down to lunch with folks who were not part of their usual circles.
I was putting my 6-year-old son to bed recently when he excitedly announced that he was going to be in the school play.
“Peter Pan,” he said.
As a teacher, being responsive to each child’s needs, strengths and interests requires knowing each child and the developmentally appropriate strategies for each child.
I see my cocoa brown hand grab the handle of the door. I take a deep breath. I already know what I will see and I am sure I will know what I feel. I step into the room and professionally scan the room so fast no one even knows I am doing it. It’s what I expect. I accept I am the “only one” with a tan that never goes away.
I am the only African-American in the room.
A few years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama was criticized for revealing some not-so-flattering details about her husband, Barack: He snores. His morning breath is “stinky.” He never picks up his dirty socks. To those who said this was too much information about the president of the United States, Mrs. Obama had an answer. “Barack is very much human,” she told Glamour magazine, “so let’s not deify him.” Putting somebody on a pedestal, she said, is only preparation for knocking him from it.
One of my fondest and most salient memories from the past school year happened toward the beginning of the year. Joe had just turned 5. He was making his own book about pirates.
Jeanette Winterson, author and poet, once said, “Books communicate ideas and make bridges between people.” As a middle school language arts teacher, I believed in this theory but wanted to see it in action. When I suggested to my principal that I would like to organize a book club with my students and local senior citizens, he was cautiously intrigued by the idea.