Friday, February 12, 2016

Finding Yourself in the Curriculum

I can't resist sharing this vignette.

I shared this video with a teacher from another school:

She showed it to her class. A young African American boy who she's been trying to reach responded, "I like this movie because it makes me feel good about myself."

That comment made my teacher friend happy because the child responded well to the video, and that also caused my teacher friend to knock on the door of her neighbor, an African American police officer, to ask him if he'd come in and read to the class. The officer agreed.

Many teachers are not African American, yet many of our students are. I know that teachers like me everywhere want to reach out to their students of all cultures, races, religions, and backgrounds. We know that if students see themselves in the curriculum, then they are more apt to respond with interest, investment, and confidence.

Yes, we need a more diverse teaching body in most schools, and yes, we have a lot to learn, but I thought this was one small step in the right direction. Do you agree?