Posted in teaching

my biggest success so far

there is always more to tell. as i wrote in my last post, i didn’t apply for this job–They called me.

not only did i not apply… but i actually said that i would NEVER, EVER ever apply for a job in the area where my school is. why? because it is about 5 miles from my childhood home and it is in the worst area of the dallas metroplex. put it this way: i work where 2/3 of the evening news takes place.

the reality is that when a person says “never”, it becomes destiny.

I say that to say this: the student population is extremely diverse both in race and in socio-economic status.

with all of this, what could my biggest success be?

My kids don’t know what color I am. I don’t have any white students in my room. My students are either Black, or some variety of Hispanic, or some mix between various other cultures.

I am…. white. Talking with some of the other teachers on my hall, their “whiteness” has become the elephant in the room. The kids notice. When they do compare and contrast T-Charts, the kids can only come up with one thing: they are black or caramel and the teacher is white.

But my kids, they don’t know what exactly I am. There isn’t any difference between what I am and what they can be. They know I’m not black. Most of them have figured out I’m not Hispanic… but for some reason, I just don’t fit into their cookie cutter idea of white. I’m like that square block that won’t go in the triangle hole in the toddler toy.

I’m not one of those guilty white people, I don’t have anything to apologize for. I don’t think I owe anyone a special “leg up” because of who they are or who I happen to be. I think that we need to recognize and embrace differences, but that we also need to teach our kids that “self-separation” is not a positive component of that.

I love that my kids can’t figure me out. I don’t want them to feel different than me–I want them know they can get whatever they want in life.

-CL

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Author:

Spanish Teacher, in love with life, and dancing til its over. I like giraffes and chocolate. If we aren't living for God, then what are we living for?

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