Because of the Kids : Facing Racial and Cultural Differences by Jennifer E. Obidah

By Jennifer E. Obidah

The following, the authors recount how they set out on a collaborative three-year examine to discover the impression of racial and cultural alterations in a single in their city, heart institution school rooms. They describe how they discovered to confront and take care of the demanding situations they confronted.

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I lectured the entire class on how bad I thought fighting was, and I voiced my concern about the possible outcomes of uncontrollable anger. ” To my immense surprise the class burst into laughter and one student replied: “Ms. ” I laughed along with the students and for the rest of the class we discussed the violence they coped with daily. As time passed I had fewer disruptions in my classroom. The teacher-student relationship of mutual respect that developed between me and my students also helped to create a space for effective teaching and learning to flourish in my classroom.

Well she is nice and she doesn’t give lots of homework. Oh, and she doesn’t yell at you for no reason. Yes, she gives us PAT [preferred activity time]. Yes, she is way different than my other teachers. Yes, because she is nicer, and she can dress. Yes, she doesn’t act prejudice and she doesn’t act rude. When asked if they thought that African American teachers taught better than White teachers the majority of students said no (70%). These students basically agreed that “sometimes teachers are just teachers.

Karen’s life exemplifies how separation between the races is such a normalized aspect of American society that White Americans are oblivious to it. We argue that this oblivion occurs because the lives of many White Americans are unaffected by the absence of African Americans, so that interactions of many Whites with African Americans are neither desired nor sought. Perhaps this separateness would also not be a problem for African Americans if it weren’t for the omnipresence of White people in the lives of African Americans through social, political, and economic structures, some of which are oppressive to African Americans in their day-to-day lived experiences.

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