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Posted on November 28, 2012 2:50 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
I Wish I Were Black!
As a teacher of 5th grade students, I try to make sure that my students have a good sense of all the people and cultures that make up this country. Last couple weeks, I paid special attention to the African American people who have made significant contributions to the US. We read a book written by Walter Dean Myers. We have studied scientists, writers, and political figures. Students were very engaged and interested in the content. Yesterday something happened that puzzled me. Three of my White students told me that they wished they were Black. This was not my intention when I planned all my lessons on contributions of African Americans. How should I address this issue?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted December 4, 2012 9:31 am

Jessica Oglesby
Jessica Oglesby
Reps: 110
I would begin by asking that student why they would want to change who they are? I would also explain that black (African American) is just a race and race does not determine the qualties of what makes a person successful or not. I would then find other famous and influential people in America that are of different ethnicities and expose my students to those indivudiuals as well. Furthermore I would ask that particular student to do a character analysis on themselves, I'd have them list the qualities that make them who they are. I find similar qualaties that are present in famous Americans as well.
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Comments posted for this solution

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I agree with you. Perhaps the teacher could also ask the rest of the class to analyze their characters and heritage and share what they find with the rest of their classmates. I think this would promote unity and understanding. I also think the rest of the class should be made aware of the importance of celebrating all ethnic groups and races in case other students are feeling the same way that the original students are feeling but are too afraid to bring it up to the teacher.
  Posted on: May 28, 2013 9:07 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I thought that your post was well thought out and very helpful. I also feel that you should ask the student, "why they would want to change who they are?" Then I would also teach the students about famous inventors, scientists, explorers, engineers, mathematicians, researchers, athletes, motivational speakers or movers, and more that are of different ethnicities. I think it is great for students to get an understanding of important figures who have made their marks on the world of all races, so that everyone can see that it is not your race that determines what you can do in life or if you will be famous or not. To further the lesson even more, you could discuss famous people of different religions. I like how you also discussed doing a character analysis and such.
  Posted on: May 30, 2013 6:58 pm

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I had not considered how beneficial it would be to move from this current unit into a discussion of other influential people of other nationalities, races, and religions. I’m sure that many Native American, Hispanic, and Asian students often feel marginalized because their culture is underrepresented in the curriculum.
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 6:03 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I like that you would dig down that deep and ask the students why they would want to change who they are. I think that is a great way to put it. I really like that you would explain that black (African American) is just a race and that race does not determine the qualities of what makes a person. I really like that you said that.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 10:29 pm

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
I like how you would point out that race does not determine the qualities of what makes a person successful or not. We have talked about his a lot in this class and we need to be teaching it out in our classrooms. Those students need to know that the color of their skins does not matter. If they want to be successful in something, they need to go for it.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 3:52 am

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I do think that the teacher should pull the students aside and determine the true reasoning behind their desire to be "Black." I think that students at such a young age are often influenced by their peers, society, and social media. I love your idea of having students complete a character analysis on themselves. I think that these students need to understand that you can be successful no matter what your ethnicity is. It would be a great idea to compare their character traits to the historical figures discussed in class. I think the students would really benefit from this activity.
  Posted on: September 17, 2014 12:08 am

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I agree with your comment. I think the students are seeing this lesson more of a competition rather than a lesson on people who have contributed to American history. The focus has clearly been misdirected and needs to come back to what the people did rather than who they are and what their race is.
  Posted on: October 11, 2014 3:54 pm

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I think that this is a great response. Pointing out that great qualities can be found in everyone is good strategy. Students should be taught to accept who they are as well as who others are.
  Posted on: October 23, 2014 8:29 pm

HyraLe
HyraLe
Reps: 73
The character analysis is a great idea. This would help students to evaluate who they really are and also be an extension to the lesson. We should focus on who the people are and their efforts before we focus on race alone.
  Posted on: October 27, 2014 5:16 am

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I really love your solution, especially the part about analyzing their own character traits. You could really use that opportunity to find similarities among the students and the studied African Americans to point out that race is not solely responsible for "who we are." Though we are certainly shaped by our ethnicities and the experiences they afford us, they are not the sole reason for who we are.
  Posted on: May 25, 2015 5:04 pm

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
It should never be our intention to get a student to wish they were a different culture or color. Seeing that these students are confused and expressing unhappiness with their culture/color I would ask them to cite specific reasons why they think they would prefer to be black. Skin color is a superficial thing- what really matters are the amazing and wonderful things the black people did. Maybe it would be beneficial to cover standout people from other cultures (Asian, White, Hispanic) to show them that it’s about the character and hard work of the individual. There are always examples of famous, powerful and influential people from every race.
I also like that it was suggested that they do a character/personality analysis on themselves. Understanding who they are and that they are unique will help them.
  Posted on: May 26, 2015 9:57 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
The idea of a character analysis is a great idea. It is one I never thought about. Maybe by creating an analysis on themselves they will discover things they like about themselves that are totally separate from race. Great ideas!
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 1:01 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
I like the idea of a character analysis. One time in middle school the substitute teacher had us complete an exercise where we each wrote down one positive quality about each of our classmates. At the end of the exercise we each had an informal character analysis. An exercise such as this could be utilized individually or amongst the entire class in order to prove the point that each individual possesses qualities that he or she can utilize to impact others positively.
  Posted on: May 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I love the idea of having the students to a character analysis. I also agree that you should point out important people that have made a big impact on their culture. They need to see the importance their culture has on the world.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 1:46 am

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I agree too that it is important to see what the student has to offer personally aside from judst looking at what their culture has added in the past.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 4:37 am

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
I don't think this one is as big of deal as some of the other cases we have been commenting on here. I would just take a few moments of class to explain why we are studying what we are studying and then tell them race has no effect on what they can accomplish. I would then move on.
  Posted on: June 6, 2015 1:23 am

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
I completely agree! The issue is not how great African Americans are but how people can accomplish great things if they work hard and have a tenacious spirit. If one is told repeatedly how great people from a different race are, they might get the impression that they could only be great if they were that race as well.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 5:31 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
A character analysis would be a great way for them to understand that color does not make them who they are. Also teaching them about other people that are of different races is a great choice as well. I think this should help them understand that color does not define a person.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 1:33 pm

Puzesu
Puzesu
Reps: 21
I agree. I think teaching students to embrace who they are is very important. I would definitely focus on other successful people of other races and cultures too to show the students that not just black and white people can be successful.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 6:38 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I really like your idea of finding other famous and influential people in America that are of different ethnicities and show them what they have done. I also like the idea of having the students do a character analysis on themselves. I did not even think of that.
  Posted on: September 14, 2015 11:58 am

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I agree that race doesn't determine your impact on society. It is important that students know that it doesn't matter where they come from or who they are they can still make a difference.
  Posted on: September 14, 2015 4:25 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I think having the students complete a character analysis is an awesome idea. This gives them an opportunity to reflect on things that they value about themselves. This activity could be beneficial is boosting their self-worth and lead to increased self-confidence. I also think it is a good idea to compare those qualities to famous people too; I don't even think they necessarily have to be American. I think students will be ecstatic to see that there are famous people who share similar qualities with them.
  Posted on: September 16, 2015 1:50 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea, I agree
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:27 pm

nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
I like this because it's not black and white, it's individualized and open to many cultures and races. Once the students understand that anyone can be great, they will have more appreciation for themselves as well as the people in the lessons.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:25 am

uWuXyj
uWuXyj
Reps: 232
I really like the way your solution was written, and having student see themselves. Doing a character analysis will be a great way for students to explore themselves and see the good and potential they all have. I think that you need to have students understand that the color of our skin isn't what makes us the people we are and that society curves opinions on who is great and who they believe is not. We need to teach our students that we are all equal and no matter who you are or background you can achieve any thing if you believe hard enough.
  Posted on: February 25, 2017 11:40 pm

Emily Alvarez
Emily Alvarez
Reps: 15
Such an interesting thought. I would present it by asking why. I would also emphasis the importance of diversity. I think often times students see something different and want to be a part of it because it is different and seems so entreating.
  Posted on: March 6, 2017 3:51 am

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Solution 2
Posted November 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Meredith Hein
Meredith Hein
Reps: 139
This seems like a tough situation when you are put on the spot like that, since it is an atypical response. I would try to come-back with questioning, "Why do you wish you were Black? What about being a Black person have you learned that makes you wish that?" (Questioning these students, in a non-derrogatory manner in front of the class, can serve as a summative review of what they learned about African Americans.) After they have given you responses, I would then say, "Now can you think of any White/Asian, Hispanic, etc. people who have accomplished those types of things too?" If they can not respond, you can then mention similar people from different racial backgrounds all from the US who have made significant contributions. To tie up the conversation, I would then ask the students, "After seeing that many DIFFERENT types of people can ALL accomplish great things in this magnificent country of ours, don't you think children from other countries might be saying, "I wish I were American!? And not just a certain color?" This idea will stress that living in the United States can provide you with more opportunities to do great things and take the emphasis off of color and on to the actual people.
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Comments posted for this solution

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
This is actually a very good suggestion and tie-in to the lesson. By questioning the students, you are allowing them to think about the reasons why they stated they wished they were black. It is important for students to know various cultures have contributed to our society, and by giving examples of other people from different cultural backgrounds, they are able to see more contributions that have been made by different ethnicities. Also, I liked how you summed up the conversation by saying, "After seeing that many DIFFERENT types of people can ALL accomplish great things in this magnificent country of ours, don't you think children from other countries might be saying, "I wish I were American!? And not just a certain color?"
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 9:49 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I love your answer, especially since you validated the students' response by asking them WHY they feel the way they do. I also love how your solution flows nicely from validating their response, to sharing a different viewpoint, and then tying it all up with a message about equal rights. I think that's so important to help students see the "bigger picture" of the lesson. Ultimately, I think that your solution would do wonders for really making this lesson "hit home" for the students, giving them the chance to apply their learning to their own lives.
  Posted on: May 25, 2015 5:07 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
Meredith, I liked how you turned the students' response into a summative review. Moreover, I feel that the questions you asked in your solution would facilitate the students' higher order thinking skills since they would have to compare contributions made by individuals from various racial backgrounds. Finally, I agree that it is important in situations such as this to stress to students that they are all capable of making positive contributions to others and to this country. The teacher could then close the discussion by asking the students what makes someone's contribution meaningful? Is it because it helped someone? Changed something?
  Posted on: May 28, 2015 9:09 pm

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I like this solution in the way that students are asked in an non-interrogative way about why they want to be black. I think that bringing up achievements made by different races is a great idea because students will see achievements made by humans not by race.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 4:26 am

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I really like this as a way to open up the floor to many successful people from many different cultures while at the same time using the students' thoughts on the topic. It also unites the whole classroom under the concept of being American versus being a color. Activities like this can help inspire all students to be their best and to be proud of their culture.
  Posted on: May 31, 2015 11:12 pm

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I too would ask the students why they felt that way. I think it is very important to then showcase contributions of many of ethnicities.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 12:14 am

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I also would have an open conversation with the students. I think it would be beneficial to have an open conversation so they can all see what each culture brings to the table.
  Posted on: June 3, 2015 6:38 pm

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
Once again, I feel this is a simple explain briefly and then move on situation. Just tell them why you are studying these figures and tell them race has no effect on what they can accomplish.
  Posted on: June 6, 2015 1:24 am

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
I think a focus on the achievements is great! To broaden the discussion to other races would be a wonderful idea. It might even be helpful to focus on accomplishments from around the world. Anyone has the potential to achieve great things if they work hard and have determination. Students should understand that where one is from is not important, it is their drive and determination that makes things possible.
  Posted on: June 10, 2015 5:38 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
I really like your approach to solving this problem. In the United States, we are a like a large "salad bowl," but too often to want to be different cultures trying to accomplish different things. This needs to quit being the focus and we need to be a "salad bowl," with different cultures trying to maintain the same thing: freedom and acceptance.
  Posted on: September 12, 2015 9:12 pm

uWuXyj
uWuXyj
Reps: 232
I like how this solution can really broaden the students minds. That no matter what your background you can do anything, just like these people, so instead of wanting to be them, be yourself and accomplish great things, like these people did.
  Posted on: February 25, 2017 11:43 pm

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Solution 3
Posted May 30, 2013 8:05 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I would ask students why they felt this way and discuss their feelings with them. It is important to hear students and meet them where they are. I would also discuss why I had chosen to highlight African Americans during the course of these two weeks. I would try to incorporate units that celebrate people from diverse cultures. Unless this were Black History Month, I would tend to pick a topic and make sure that those I represent based on the topic represent people of all backgrounds, including race and gender. Or this could be used as a way to continue with several units also celebrating contributions of women, Latinos, Asian Americans, whites, etc., so that students have a balanced, well-rounded perspective.
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Comments posted for this solution

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
Great idea. All cultures should be represented so that students start to see all cultures as equal contributors and equally valued. Furthermore, we should work on a blended curriculum that does not focus on separating the races as much.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 3:35 pm

wendy burns
wendy burns
Reps: 80
I do agree it is important to share information about individuals who make contributions from all cultures.
  Posted on: May 30, 2014 1:09 am

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
Using people and cultures from many different places in lesson plans is a good strategy. I think that students need to see successful people in many different forms.
  Posted on: October 23, 2014 8:31 pm

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
“Well-rounded perspectives” is definitely something every class should experience. However, I think the students should also see the ups and downs of each race. Even though one cultural is highlighted in a class does not mean that culture is necessarily the best. This could open up learning opportunities for the students to learn there is great people in all cultures and all people should be valued.
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 2:18 am

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I think spending time on several different groups is a great solution. It is important for students to recognize the contributions of various groups.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 12:16 am

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I think it would be wise to celebrate people of all color, races, genders, etc. I think sometimes when we teach certain topics, that is all the student sees and does not think outside of the topic we are teaching. If we try and apply some of this information to other races it may help the students see that it does not matter the color, but what matters is who the person is inside.
  Posted on: June 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I like that you mentioned highlighting multiple cultures as a way to explain to students that no one culture is more productive or influential than another. It is important to highlight different cultures so students understand everyone can make a difference no matter what their background it.
  Posted on: September 16, 2015 4:24 pm

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
Incorporating this 2 week highlight during black history month would be a great idea. We need to incorporate all of the cultures during the year. I would also ask the students why they felt the way that they did.
  Posted on: September 21, 2015 12:19 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
I agree with your idea and think it is very useful
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:27 pm

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Solution 4
Posted May 27, 2014 6:35 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
Embrace it. Although it may not have been your intention in the beginning, a situation has been created in which a unique response has bubbled up. Ask the students why they feel that way today and not yesterday or last week? What part of your discussion and lessons conjured up this feeling with them? I think that because the students responded in this manner is a tribute to how well the unit and lessons were structured and taught as usually very little attention is given to issues of the history of other races in America.
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Comments posted for this solution

Danielle Brock
Danielle Brock
Reps: 100
I found this study to be entertaining.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 11:05 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Me too, I agree with you
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:28 pm

ezyHes
ezyHes
Reps: 101
I think embracing it is a great idea and how the lesson was presented to make them want it is a good point.
  Posted on: March 7, 2016 1:20 am

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Solution 5
Posted May 31, 2013 12:50 pm

Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I can relate to this situation. To combat white privilege, educators try to emphasis the contributions of those of different backgrounds to create an awareness. This is a good idea, but to some, they see it as deemphasizing the contributions of white people. This is a tricky situation. You want to motivate the dominated groups, but you don't want to turn the dominating group into a dominated group. To address the issue with your students, I would tell them that a person's race doesn't determine whether they will succeed or not, but to succeed in this world you need to be motivated and willing to work hard regardless of background.
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Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
Erin,

I enjoyed reading your response. I do like the idea of focusing on the hard-work mentality of the historical figures despite what ethnicity or culture they identify with themselves. No matter what racial group you belong to, it is your determination that leads to success.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 8:32 pm

yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
Erin,

I find your post to be excellent in defining success. While it is easy to say treat this as an equal parts issue, the reality is that the white race is the dominating race it it does seem insensitive to promote what is socially naturally already promoted. Instead, focusing on stories of success in general seems much more responsible and still equal.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 11:19 pm

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
This is a great post! It is important to remind our students that they can be successful not matter what race they are. I think we teach them about people in our history of many different races and emphasize that they are successful not because of their race but because of their hard work.
  Posted on: June 4, 2013 6:44 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
While I do agree that more and more race does not determine success I do think that certain races have been more likely to succeed economically than others. While I believe for the most part our students are over discriminating against one another based on race (not to say they don't about other things) discrimination does still exist and is still at least in part a factor in determining economic success. While I agree that emphasizing hard work and introducing students to historical figures from a variety of backgrounds is important should probably not dismiss within our own minds the reality of discrimination. Consider the following.

Most of us have been in a situation at some point in time where we needed a job. Most of us have also probably experienced or at least understand that knowing someone in a position to influence a hiring decision in your favor is helpful. If we consider the U.S. unemployment statistics for last month we can see that the unemployment rate for white Americans in 5.0% while the unemployment rate for black Americans is 11.5%. If more of the people in a position to make a hiring decision are white and at least some of those people are inclined to hire people they know, who may also be white, then being a minority in the U.S. may still be a barrier to success. The website is linked below in case anyone is intrested.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 11:04 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
You make a good point when it comes to "combating white privilege." Affirmative Action in the work place is an example of this. As a white individual I sometimes feel the dominate cultures can be made out to be evil and our successes are at times underrated. It is important to keep these students motivated and for these students to realize like you mentioned that hard work regardless of one's background will bring success.
  Posted on: September 14, 2014 11:59 pm

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I agree. I think that is the most important concept that this student is missing. It is not the race of the person that determined their success, but their hard work and dedication.
  Posted on: September 21, 2015 2:19 am

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Solution 6
Posted September 14, 2013 11:49 am

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
I would tell them that they should be happy with themselves as they are. No matter the color of your skin everyone is capable of great things. I would have a fairly simple research project for the students in the class to find a scientist/writer/ or any array of "important" figure of their ethnicity and of a different ethnicity. This way the Asian/Hispanic/African American/Caucasian students could see how many people can do important things regardless of race.
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Comments posted for this solution

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
A research project is a great idea! Perhaps they could research contributions to society from their own culture alongside another culture of their choosing. Great way of furthering class discussion.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 12:15 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
I think it's important to realize that these are still kids. They were probably trying to be funny or were not being serious.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:21 pm

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Solution 7
Posted September 22, 2014 1:02 am

ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
The students' desire to be black could just be them showing appreciation for the culture, contributions and achievements of African Americans. I would address the issue by first explaining to them that it is okay to appreciate the culture of other people but that they must love themselves for who they are. Next I would explain to them that their culture is valuable also. This would be an excellent time to highlighting people of other cultures who have made significant contributions to the United States. It is important to let the students know that they are studying the people because of what they have done not because of their skin color. A great activity for the students would be for them to create a project where they highlight the contributions of their culture and also say why they love themselves.
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Comments posted for this solution

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I like that you would first explain that appreciating other cultures is worthy and that their culture is valuable as well. I think that having the students create projects to include people from all cultures and their accomplishments and also why they are valuable and what they might contribute to our society is an excellent activity.
  Posted on: October 5, 2014 10:38 pm

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I think it is a great idea to have the students list contributions of their race and to let them know many different races give contributions to our country.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 1:56 am

Gapasa
Gapasa
Reps: 204
I felt that this was a great solution and enjoyed the points that you discussed.
  Posted on: March 5, 2017 11:55 pm

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Solution 8
Posted December 7, 2012 11:04 pm

areli saucedo
areli saucedo
Reps: 119
Race can be a very difficult issue to discuss, especially in an education environment where your surrounded by ten year Olds.
I would solve this problem by speaking to the students and telling them that every race, culture, and ethnicity have their own individual characteristics and that no race is better than the other. Also, I would mention how Caucasians have many contributions to the United States in the áreas of history, politics, education, enterntainment, and sports. By doing this, these students will feel a sense of pride and realize that their history is important as well.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I think that is a great idea to point out contributions that have been made by many different ethnicities and encourage them to embrace their own cultural background. I think the point the teacher was trying to make is that everyone can make a difference and be successful and that you shouldn't feel your cultural background determines your level of success, so that is what you would want to convey to the students.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 12:01 am

yraGaD
yraGaD
Reps: 28
I agree that it would help the students to understand that many cultures have many contributions to this nation. I think is was a good idea on the teachers part to try and highlight cultures that some of the students would not have otherwise known about.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
I liked your post! To add to what you said, you could extend this into a research activity where all students research their own culture and come back and present to the whole class. This way students are learning about various cultures and backgrounds as well as their own.
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 1:35 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
I agree with your statement that no race is better than the other. I think that statement is most important for students. You never want to give them the idea that one race is better or worse than the next because we are all equally important.
  Posted on: May 30, 2014 6:21 pm

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
Like you had indicated, no one race is more superior than the other. After asking the boys why they made their comment and listening to their reasoning, like you stated, I would also give other examples of other great people of our history to show its based on the characteristics of the individual and not their race.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 1:40 am

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I agree that it would help the students understand that many cultures have contributions to this nation. I also think it is a great idea to encourage the students to do some research on their own cultural background.
  Posted on: September 14, 2015 12:00 pm

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Solution 9
Posted December 7, 2012 6:51 pm

Art Buff
Art Buff
Reps: 111
Young students; in this case; fifth graders are very impressionable. Every other week they want or wish to grow up to be something different. This is a more humorous predicament than anything else. If anything you may have stressed the single ethnicity a little too much. To remedy this issue (not a problem) diversify. It would be necessary to shed light on the important accomplishments/contributions made by those of several different ethnicities. Anyone of any color or ethnicity can make major contributions to society as a whole. I'm certain they were confused in thinking that the contributions made by those discussed was due to them being black. Have a class wide discussion on contributions made by other minority groups. Or have a smaller discussion of clarification with those four students specifically outside of class; perhaps after school.
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Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I think that yours may be the most rational response posted so far. On any given day, I have several students tell me that they want to be art teachers when they come to specials. I wonder how many of them want to be music teachers on music day or baseball players when they go to a game. I agree that diversifying the lessons is a good idea, but I think that you are right that this isn’t so much a problem as it is a portrait of the minds of young children.
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 6:31 pm

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Your observation of the innocence of that age is on par. In an age where students are trying to find out who they are, it is important that they learn about great people no matter the skin color.
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 11:18 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
You make a great observation by discussing the impressionability of students in fifth grade. On any given day they "want to be" at least 5 different things. I think that it is important that they understand that they need to embrace the person that they are and the important things that they will do with their lives while appreciating the great things that others have done with their own lives.
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 11:38 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
This is a great summary of what I believe is going on as well. Students should see the historical figures for their merit and hard work, not their race. In my response I did not address the developmental stage of a fifth grader which you hit right on the head. At some point, possible in that same day, they wanted to be a butterfly too. Obviously, they are understanding how amazing these people were, now we have to get them to understand that it wasn't because of their race.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 9:47 am

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I like the idea of diversifying the covered ethnicities covered. Another suggestion might be instead of studying a culture to study an event and how people of various ethnicities contributed to that event. For instance, a medical event like the discovery of a cure could lead to historical lessons on how many different groups may have contributed in their own ways.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 6:39 pm

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
I like the suggestion of stressing the point of accomplishments as an individual and not basing it on ethnicity. Maybe that should have been the better approach instead of leading the lesson based on accomplishments made by minorities in our society. Again, I have to keep in mind that we are talking about fifth graders and they do tend change their minds and ideas quickly.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 1:14 am

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I completely agree with your post. Very well written. It is what I said in my response, but put in better words. I think that every race needs to be taught what they have brought into society from every angle.
  Posted on: June 3, 2015 6:37 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
I agree with you and think this is a good solution
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:28 pm

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Solution 10
Posted February 11, 2013 2:50 pm

Shannon Taylor
Shannon Taylor
Reps: 25
I believe that the article "Stereotypes" would be beneficial for you to read. I think that you should encourage students to be thankful for who they are as a person and that you are simply just teaching them about black history. Also, you could address this issue by allowing students to write things they are thankful for by being the color that they are.
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Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
I like that you offered a reading to incorporate into the lesson. Your other idea of having students write things to be grateful of why they are who they are is great as well. I think by getting the students more involved in understanding their culture and how it differs from others as well as how all cultures have their own pros and cons is important to begin instilling.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 9:12 pm

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Solution 11
Posted February 18, 2013 1:04 am

Simone B.
Simone B.
Reps: 28
To resolve the issue, explain to the students that your intentions are not to promote one race over another, it is simply to give insight into the accomplishments of all races. Your students probably failed to realize many of the people they study in school are white. This was their time to learn about someone different, and to gain appreciation for those minority figures that have helped to make our lives better.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I definitely agree! The intention of this lesson was to show that all cultures make significant contributions to the United States, not just one. The teacher wanted to engage the students into their lesson my making it relevant to the students. I would take the time to explain this to the confused students.
  Posted on: May 28, 2013 4:08 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I completely agree with your solution. That is what we need to reiterate to our students and explain to them that you are not saying one race is more important than the other. You are merely trying to inform them about other races and made them appreciate not only their race, but others as well.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 10:28 pm

SyQyDu
SyQyDu
Reps: 21
Yes, do not let students begin to think that because of one races achievements that they are better than another. They are younger students and they wish to emulate success. The students are likely viewing this as a means of achieving success by wishing they were in the shoes of another race.
  Posted on: September 12, 2013 4:02 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
I agree! I think it’s important for the students to express to the students their reasoning’s why they wish they were black or any other different skin color or ethnicity. It’s important for the teacher to understand why the students are making this judgment on African American people. I also feel that if the teacher is going to express the importance of African American people, he may also want to express the importance of other famous figures with different ethnicities and culture backgrounds.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 11:28 pm

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
You made a great point that the teacher should discuss with the students that the intent of the lesson was not to promote one ethnicity over another. I think this would be very important to include in any follow-up lessons. In my solution I had not thought to include that in the discussion with students.
  Posted on: September 22, 2014 1:08 am

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I agree! The point of the lesson was not to promote one race over another. This was an opportunity to see the accomplishments made by other people. I think this is also a great time to discuss the achievements made by women or people of other ethnic backgrounds. It is important to see the history of all people and how all people have made wonderful contributions to society.
  Posted on: May 26, 2015 3:15 pm

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Solution 12
Posted May 30, 2013 7:34 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I would first ask the student to tell me why they would want to change who they are or their race. Then I would ask the class to raise their hand if they feel the same or if they would also want to change their race. I would focus on the different students and their responses to the question and situation at hand. I would make sure that I stayed neutral to the discussion and remain a facilitator of discussion. Once students have had a chance to express their thoughts, feelings, or concerns, I would inform students that they should all be proud of their race and who they are. I would then discuss that there are many people of many different races, religions, gender, and more who have had great impacts in our society and U.S history. I would then group students in my classroom for a small group project. I would tell students that they are going to research and find someone of a different race or ethnicity who have made important contributions or who have had impacted our society in a positive manner. I would tell students that they may research famous athletes, musicians, scientists, inventors, doctors, teachers, public speakers, political figures, explorers, and much more to find their figure who has made significant contributions to the United States. I will have students research their person and write a short biography that informs others of what contributions they made to the U.S. and then they will present their presentation to the class. Students must include a picture of their person in their findings and presentation. After all presentations have been presented, I will conclude the lesson by pointing out that it does not matter what color your skin is, be proud of who you are.
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Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
I agree that asking the students and having a class discussion may bring up ideas that you as the teacher might not have thought the students were thinking. If this is a class with a good mix of races, this is the perfect time for a class discussion, especially since they are in 5th grade.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 4:18 pm

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Solution 13
Posted May 30, 2013 9:22 pm

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
Your students’ comments only reflect that you have done an inspiring job of presenting historical figures who are African American. What your White students are experiencing is what Black students and other minorities experience frequently, which is the feeling that everything important must have been done by someone of another race and that their own race hasn’t contributed anything. Consider how many times your African American students may have heard stories in American history and wished that they were White.
I use a Walter Dean Myers book called Harlem with my fourth graders when we are discussing the Harlem Renaissance and artists Romare Bearden, Benny Andrews, and Jacob Lawrence. It is really more of a collage illustrated poem. It takes a long time to work through the book because there are so many references that need explaining, such as illusions to slavery and the Great Migration, but it is a wonderful introduction to the treatment of African American artists in the 20th century.
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eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Great observation! These students indicate a desire to be what was once a race looked down upon. He must have done a great job inspiring students by teaching about great African Americans. How profound to see roles reversed!
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 11:20 pm

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
I also felt as if the lesson inspired or motivated the students. Often children do not adequately know how to articulate themselves. One student could have said they wished they were African American and the other two could have mimicked the response because they felt the same way or because they really enjoyed the information presented in the lesson. Instead of actually wanting to be an African American, perhaps the students were trying to convey that they wanted to be successful or make an important contribution to society. The teacher could present a line of questioning such as, “What aspects about the lesson make you wish you were African American?” or “Did the invention, contribution, work, etc. of the individuals make you think of the wonderful things you would like to accomplish one day?”
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:08 pm

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Solution 14
Posted December 5, 2012 10:56 am

Booker Hobbs
Booker Hobbs
Reps: 56
I will take in consideration that these are 5th graders. I will clearly let them realize that it does not matter what color you are, one can set goals and can influence others to complish great things as well as the other. One's color, black or white, does not mean that your success are limited or you can only do certain things because of your color. Color is no better or less than the other. I can remember that they were many black chidren that wish they were white back in the day because whites made up ninety to a hundred percent of the lesson that was taught each day. These issues has to be explained at an early age. I would also mix it up a little talking about about the great contributions that were made by both race. I wouldn't give them the idea that one color is better than the other a particular category.
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VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I agree totally with you. Students should be told that regardless of your color, you need to make sure that you work hard to accomplish all of your goals. I think that in this classroom, the students may have been impressed with the accomplishments and inventions of those African Americans discussed. I think that the teacher should let the students know that you do not have to be an African American to reach those accomplishments or create those inventions. The students view those African Americans as role models and there is nothing wrong with that. The teacher, however needs to make sure that he discusses that the students should be proud of who they are and strive to do the best they can do.
  Posted on: May 31, 2013 4:55 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I really like how you point out that a person is not limited to success because of his/her race; instead it is how a person sets goals for him/herself and what he/she does to reach them. Great point of view!
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:35 am

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101

I like how you stated that let them realize that it doesn't matter what color you are. We all can embrace the contributions that were made and set goals for them to accomplish in their lifetime. I said the same thing about color of our skin not being better than anyone else.
  Posted on: October 8, 2014 10:19 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I agree that it should not be the race of the person that is being focused on, rather the contribution they made and the impact it made to society at the time. Certainly, who a person is and where they come from is of interest when talking about people that have made history. But what should be focused on is their hard work, their efforts, and their motivation as it relates to the human race in general, not their personal race.
  Posted on: October 11, 2014 3:51 pm

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I also agree that the contribution is the most important point not the race.
  Posted on: September 20, 2015 11:23 pm

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Solution 15
Posted December 9, 2012 10:54 am

Amari Hagan
Amari Hagan
Reps: 115
I will explain to my student it’s nothing wrong with wanting to be another race or ethnicity but they should be proud of their own ethnicity. I will tell them that Whites had just as much contributions to United States as Blacks. Also that every ethnicity plays a part in contributing to the United States which why this place is unique and land of freedom. I would also tell them the hardships that each race went through to get to present day.
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Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
Amari, I feel that having students research on other Races accomplishments is important and a great activity to get students thinking and feeling their way through history. As students learn more about their own ethnicity and accomplishments of others as well, it helps bring all groups together.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 7:56 pm

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Solution 16
Posted May 27, 2013 10:03 am

yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
I think in this situation that it’s important to point out to students of this age that all people have value and skin color does not make any one person more valuable or successful than another. Also it’s important that you show them there are many admirable figures of every color, shape and size. I think you might have been better served focusing on more than one race of historical figures at a time with this age group. Help your students celebrate who they are, no matter what of their color, shape or size, give them examples of a wide range of successful historical figures so that they can appreciate the fact that our history is not limited to white or black but instead every shade imaginable.
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Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I agree that this is an important age to teach students that people from all walks of life, backgrounds, and cultures have made important achievements to our society. I think maybe even assigning the students some independent work to find someone with a background similar to theirs may also be an applicable solution. They need to learn that we are a diverse country and also be aware of the achievements not only of dominant cultures, but also dominated cultures.
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:24 pm

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I think this is a great idea and an appropriate one! There are so many ways that all educators can apply this into a lesson and make it specific to their group of students and to their teaching style. Well said.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 4:05 am

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Solution 17
Posted September 14, 2013 6:23 pm

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
Focusing on one race and not the other creates the separation that we want to eliminate. When teaching about the people that made significant contributions to the U.S. mention their race, but don't over do it. They weren't successful contributors because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character. Don't highlight their race, but instead highlight their contribution. Be sure that each race in your class is represented when you are teaching this unit. That way everyone sees that someone who looks like them can have a real impact on the world around them.
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BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
I like the idea of more focus being placed on their contribution and not the color of their skin. In my opinion, someone's color is still being used too often when describing who they are. For example, students often refer to each other as "the black girl" or "the white boy". I have never heard them describe each other as "the girl who made an A on the math test" or "the boy who likes to tell jokes". Why are so many people still being defined by the color of their skin? I agree the emphasis should be placed upon their accomplishments and not the color of their skin. I feel if this is done more often, racial tension and comparisons would begin to decrease in today's society.
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:29 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
I really like your idea of focusing on their achievement and contribution, versus their skin color. Middle school especially, is a wonderful time to point out the irrelevance of skin color. What I mean by this is the color of your skin does not define you, necessarily. Of course, I can't say this for absolute certainty, I realize that it does define you and your background. Yet, just because your skin is white or black doesn't prohibit or serve as a catalyst to the impact you can make in society. Middle school is a time when students really struggle to define who they really are. What a great way to begin this topic of expressionism and self-identity than to really break these race barriers?
  Posted on: September 19, 2013 5:39 pm

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
That is a great idea. I really like your solution by not even mentioning the skin color when talking about people. I totally agree that what they did should be remembered and not their skin color. Great suggestion!
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 3:06 am

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I think this is a great way to highlight all contributions that have been made in our country. Each person deserves to be recognized.
  Posted on: September 20, 2015 12:25 am

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Solution 18
Posted September 20, 2013 11:49 pm

upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I would start by asking the students to clarify why they wish to be black. If it is because they feel that they can only be "important" as a scientist, writer, or political figure if they are African American, then I would guide the class to explore and learn about scientists, writers, and political figures of other ethnicities including Caucasians. I would challenge the students to consider how they could make the same impact considering their ethnicity.
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Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I like how you would ask the students to clarify what they mean first; this would give them an opportunity to actually consider what they mean as well. In addition, I think it is wise to have them research other accomplishments by those of all races.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:31 am

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Solution 19
Posted September 22, 2013 10:29 am

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I would explain to the students that it was not these people skin color that made their works great, but instead it was the work they did themselves. I would tell these students that they too could do great things and it has nothing to do with their race, but merely their actions.
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Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
I really like this solution, because it focuses on the ideas and actions of the people and not the color of their skin. Too often people are focused on what others look like. Most of the solutions on here primarily just focus on the concept that you should point out that whites also made signifigant impacts and inventions. The main thing the students should learn from this is that it does not matter the skin color, because the reason they learn about the people they do is because of their actions.
  Posted on: May 28, 2014 7:57 pm

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Solution 20
Posted May 28, 2014 8:12 pm

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
It is quite impressive to make such an impact on white students to make them want to be of another race. I find this very impressive, because after just finishing reading the article "White Privilege", many white students are engrained to believe their race is superior. As a solution to this problem though, I would pull the three students to the side and explain to them that it is very moving that they would say that, but that was not the point of the lesson. Then explain to them that we talk about ALL RACES of people in this class that make signifigant impacts in history. Following the conversation I would plan an activity that has multiple inverntors, musicians, leaders, etc. that all made great impacts on history, but dont name the people or put pictures with the achievements. By doing this, you erase all prejudice and you make the students study the just the facts and achievements alone. After you have finished the activity, you can then show the students the names and pictures the people, but also tell them that the point of the activity was to show the importance of peoples actions and not their appearance.
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Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I really enjoyed reading your solution! I think this process would be very beneficial for the students and open their eyes. Great post!
  Posted on: June 1, 2014 12:43 am

Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Nick this is a great solution! I agree that it is important for students to realize that contributions made by people of all races to our world. I really like your idea of planning a activity to follow that includes multiple important figures who are of various races and cultural backgrounds, but leaving off the names and descriptions so that they return their focus to the deeds done.
  Posted on: June 1, 2014 11:26 pm

Cierra` Barksdale
Cierra` Barksdale
Reps: 61
I love the activity. I have actually done something very similar in my class. I printed pictures of inventors, activist, and important persons in the government. I also had their inventions, movements they led, and contributions to the government posted. I allowed the students to get into group of 3 and match the items with the appropriate persons. Needless to say, their selections were nothing short of interesting.
  Posted on: June 2, 2014 1:58 am

Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
Nicely put. I suggested having lessons about different individuals of different races who made contributions as well; however, I think your idea is a winner! This is how I want to teach my kids...to see people for the things that they do and who they truly are and let the color of their skin or their race dictate one's thoughts of someone. Sadly this happens. I think I will surely use this activity.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 8:51 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
I think this is a very appropriate response to the situation. This will help students to not focus so much on the superficial aspects of individuals, but rather the important accomplishments. This kind of thinking and promoting these kinds of activities should go a long way in helping us bridge some of the cultural gaps we have in our society.
  Posted on: September 17, 2014 4:27 pm

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Solution 21
Posted May 29, 2014 3:03 am

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
If I were the teacher in this situation I would first ask the students why they wanted to be black. After talking with the students about why they feel this way, then I would talk to the entire class about how there are many significant people in this world who have done great things that are of other races and cultures. I would make sure that the students understand that they can make a difference in this world by standing up for their rights and they don't have to be a specific skin color to do so.
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Solution 22
Posted May 29, 2014 1:59 pm

Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I think that your unit has definitely helped students think beyond their own race, which is a good thing. I would not discourage their conversation, but would try to expand it. I would also teach them about people of other racial groups who have contributed to the US, as well as the struggles and opposition each group has faced.

In the future, I would recommend that instead of teaching a specific unit focusing on one racial group, that you integrate these figures and literature into your regular units of study. This would help your students see the contributions that a variety of types of people have made to our nation. While their race may be a contributing factor to the obstacles that they had to overcome to succeed, these individuals are not important primarily because they are black, or from other racial groups. They are important because of how they have contributed to our country and world.
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Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I agree that integrating these topics into other units of study would be very beneficial. I think it would be a great idea to complete a unit on both African American and White contributions to America. This would allow the students to see how diverse American contributions really are!
  Posted on: June 1, 2014 12:38 am

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Solution 23
Posted May 31, 2014 10:29 pm

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
I believe that the students were inspired by the African American people who made contricutions. As a teacher I would address the issue by saying by stating that the African Americans did make great contributions, but the students should be take pride in who they are and their culture. To make sure that their is a balance of culture in the classroom, I would make sure that other races and cultures are talked about, and address the contributions that they made.
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Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
In addition to those you listed I would add females who have made great contributions as well.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 1:22 am

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Solution 24
Posted June 8, 2014 7:33 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
I think you may be assuming the statement by your students is more serious than it is. Sometimes students are not able to clearly express themselves. Your students may have been trying to express a sense of admiration for the Americans you were studying which was your objective. However, supplementing with an additional lesson about all the diverse figures from different cultural backgrounds that have contributed to our society could be useful.
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Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
This is true. I have heard African American children say, "I wish I was white" several times; but, I know that they meant something else. Many times children are "wishing" to be recognized like a specific race or to have material things like a specific race. They are not meaning that they want to actually be another race. I agree and also commented about studying individuals of all races who have made contributions within America.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 8:56 pm

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
I really appreciate how you mentioned that students sometimes do not mean exactly what they say. In fact, sometimes they do not know what they have said. It is always good to ask more questions and work to get kids to explain what they mean. This helps them learn to think before speaking and to speak clearly. However, I still do not think this is necessarily a bad thing to say. After learning more what the students meant by this, I would remind them that admiring other cultures and peoples is excellent, but they should be excited about their own cultures and accomplishments, as well.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 3:42 am

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Solution 25
Posted May 28, 2015 2:45 am

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I would first get a reasoning of why they felt this way. I would then proceed to explain that everyone should be proud of who they are and where they come from. Just because you have a different skin tone of someone does not mean that they are any better than you or you are any better than them. There is also someone from every race that has made a big contribution to the US and explain that it is not just one race that has made this country the way it is.
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Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I like that you would explain to the students that they are each special in their own way. Also, have them explain to you why they made that comment to get them to think about it more deeply.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 1:17 am

uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
I agree talking to students to see why they feel that way is the first important step. It could be they just admired the people in the lesson.
  Posted on: October 14, 2015 11:44 pm

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Solution 26
Posted November 30, 2012 3:24 pm

Sha'keela McClendon
Sha'keela McClendon
Reps: 141
This shocked me, I've never heard or known for any white students to stay they wish they were black. However, if I was in your position I would do another lesson the next day. This lesson would be on significant contributors of all races; African Americans, Chinese, White, and Native Americans. Showing them that everyone has done an equal share of shaping the American society. After this lesson is complete, I would have the whole class give presentations about significant people of their background. This way everyone in the classroom is learning about each others background. No one is out of the circle.
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Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
Continuing the lesson and expanding it to other cultures may be a great idea. After teaching about the contributions of the Chinese, the students may want to be Chinese, and so on. After so many lessons, and changing their culture so many times, the students may realize that everyone has played a part in history and it doesn't matter how you look, what matters is what you do.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 4:23 pm

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Solution 27
Posted December 4, 2012 11:20 am

Savanna Hayman
Savanna Hayman
Reps: 104
I think that this is a great issue to have, if you have to have one! Students recognizing others' achievements and giving them credit for it is awesome! However, I think that reminding the students that their are plenty of white scientists, writers, and political figures can help remind them that they are just as important and capable of just as much no matter what their skin color.
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A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
You are right. I'd much rather have a student wish to be another race instead of having to deal with a lesson to prevent racism. I do not necessarily feel this student was ashamed of his race he was just very interested and excited about the lessons.
  Posted on: September 20, 2013 10:09 pm

SyQyDu
SyQyDu
Reps: 21
Yeah it is kind of a good problem to have if you're going to have one. It shows that the students are kind of getting the idea that every race has value. The teacher just needs to remind the students that their own race also has great importance. It always seems to break down to the same thing for me, and the point to which I'm referring is reminding our students that we're all human, part of the same greater family, we're equal and equally legitimate.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 10:09 pm

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Solution 28
Posted December 5, 2012 4:38 pm

John Buxton
John Buxton
Reps: 114
I would do a follow up lesson on contributions that other races have given to the U.S. I would also mention a few of the contributions that white people have made to the U.S. I would also mention that all races are important and that America was built by immigrants. everyone is important regardless of race.
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Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
This is a very good solution to the case. I agree that we need to keep the students posted as to WHY we are teaching what we are teaching. Also, I agree that if he did teach something that showcased many of just one race, I would try to incorporate more races or cultures if that were not his intent. If he were trying to showcase one race or culture, then he needs to let the students know why it was important to show them these things.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 10:46 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I think a follow-up lesson on other groups would be a great idea. It is important that students learn about all groups and cultures, not just dominant ones.
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:22 pm

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71

I like the point you made that the United States is made up of immigrants and that all people are important regardless of race. The main point in school and education is to learn more about the world around you. When students are so impacted by a lesson that it makes them have a drastic opinion like the students in this scenario, it means you are really teaching the students. I am sure the students never knew about the people discussed, so when they did, they were so moved by what they learned and the impact these people made.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:03 pm

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I agree with you regarding a follow up lesson on other races and their contributions. I would ensure that the students know the race of a person does not make them who they are, and any one can have an impact on the world, regardless of their race.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 3:04 am

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Solution 29
Posted December 6, 2012 7:21 pm

Jessica Jacobs Graham
Jessica Jacobs Graham
Reps: 116
I think that it would be best to teach the students that all cultures have "heroes" that they can look up to and that we should not look up to someone just because of their race or color. We should teach the students that all heritages have value and to take that into account. I would present historical figures from many races and cultures that have made significant contributions to the US instead of just focusing on those from one race at a time. Also, I think it imperative that we empower our students in terms of their race, whatever it may be, and allow them to see the value in it.
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yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
I agree with you, I think that it’s important to point out to students of this age that all people have value and skin color does not make any one person more valuable than another. Also it’s important that you show them there are many admirable figures of every color shape and size.
  Posted on: May 27, 2013 9:57 am

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I agree with your comments. It is such a valuable skill to be able to find value in all people, no matter where they are from or what they look like, but looking instead at; Are they kind? Are they intelligent? Are they creative? Do they value others? Do they have respect for authority and others? Do they make wise choices?
I feel as though we should be teaching our students to focus on these things.
  Posted on: October 5, 2014 10:43 pm

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Solution 30
Posted December 8, 2012 1:53 pm

Ariane Anderson
Ariane Anderson
Reps: 113
First you should ask the students why they wish they were Black. Then explain to them that every race has a unique culture. Then briefly inform them of other races and their cultural background. Be sure to inform them of people from their culture that has made a significant contribution to the US.
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Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
I think you really "hit the nail on the head". It's crucial to explain to students that just because these individuals are black, doesn't mean that their own backgrounds of skin color (white, mixed, hispanic, etc.) have an impact or serve to be greater than theirs. Breaking this racial barrier means providing equal attention to all of the races evident in your classroom so that all the students feel like they are also apart of a bigger goal. While this may be harder to do in terms of historical relevance, I think it's still possible to show this progression over time.
  Posted on: September 19, 2013 5:41 pm

Elizabeth Comella
Elizabeth Comella
Reps: 51
I agree that the poem should teach about the diverse cultures in our society. We need to teach students about the challenges all people had to face that even today we face our own challenges. We need to teach how to unite and overcome some of the barriers we are face with in our lives.
Elizabeth Comella
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 1:13 am

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I like how simple your solution is to the issue at hand. I agree that the students should first be questioned on why they wish to change who they are. Next, the teacher must explain that each culture has people who have achieved significant achievements. The teacher must also teach and ensure the students that all cultures are different but contribute to society in various ways. I believe that this solution will assist the teacher in addressing the issue.
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 11:01 pm

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Solution 31
Posted December 8, 2012 8:34 pm

Anna Washinger
Anna Washinger
Reps: 121
This is an unusual situation. I think a possible solution would be to discuss with those students many great accomplishments that White people have made and how they too, are a very important part of history and our society. I would then explain that neither race nor ethnicity have anything to do with accomplishments of human beings. If a person sets his/her mind to something, they can reach that goal with hard work and dedication. Then I would try to emphasize the importance of being proud of who we are and where we came from. You may even want to do an activity where the students look up their ancestry and have them create a "family tree." This could help them see that no matter the color of skin, anyone can accomplish great things.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I believe this too is an unusual situation. Instead of discussing with those two students about great accomplishments that white people have made I would discuss with them how there are people from all cultures and backgrounds that make significant contributions. You do not want the students to feel that one race is more noteworthy than another.
  Posted on: May 28, 2013 4:13 pm

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I too find this response to be unusual. I think that students need to understand the importance of each culture as a whole and what they contruibuted to our society. I think that each culture/skin color as contributed both the good and the bad. By discussing these facts with your students, they will have a better understanding of what is true and what is false.
  Posted on: May 29, 2013 1:45 pm

BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
The situation is unusual to you but very normal to me. As an African American growing up in South Ga, I often times felt like the white kids in the case that wanted to be black. The only thing that made me appreciate my culture was that I had a strong family foundation that taught us about our history. My father I know read the Roots and Malcolm X several times growing up. I learned about the achievers and successful African Americans from my family and personal reading. I can vividly remember learning about a few well-known African American heroes. I also remember that we were not allow to have a dance school at my high school, because the school felt that the dancing would led to misbehaviors. It was very strange when I went to college, which was a historical black college that they had a dance team and all the sororities and frats were doing the dance that was prohibited from my high school “Stepping”. There were actually step shows that were judge based on certain criteria. I believed that multicultural education show be implement in today’s school curriculum. Accepting and understanding diversity is significant in succeeding in today’s society.
  Posted on: September 19, 2013 8:28 pm

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Solution 32
Posted December 9, 2012 2:56 pm

Melissa Tolbert
Melissa Tolbert
Reps: 104
I think this is a great way to segue-way into other contributions from people of other races. The students obviously learned a lot from this lesson and have learned to admire people's work from another race so I don't think that this reaction is a bad one as long as the students are going to be exposed to other lessons about other races. I think it is great that you students are learning that all people can do great work. At the end of the unit it would be exciting for the students to have a discussion about how even though all of these people came from different backgrounds, they were still able to accomplish so much.
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yheraZ
yheraZ
Reps: 68
I agree this would be a great bride into another lesson about other historical figures, obviously you taught an engaging lesson to these students hopefully you will be able to show them how important figures of other races are as well and help them celebrate who they are.
  Posted on: May 27, 2013 10:06 am

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
SInce the students did enjoy and obviously learn a great deal about people of other races have impacted society, then you could further your lesson into the teaching of other races. I feel that you could have the students break off into teams to research famous people who have made their marks on society who are of different races and who have not yet been discussed in class. Students could create a biography of the person that they research and present to the class as an oral presentation. I would have students include pictures in their presentation on either a poster board or with technology in the form of a PowerPoint or in Animoto. Then students will see that people of all races are important and have made impacts on our society. These will be a very inspiring lesson to students as they will realize that it is not the color of your skin that determines what mark you make on the world.
  Posted on: May 30, 2013 7:05 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I agree that this would be a great reason to lead into lessons about the contributions of individuals of other races, cultures, and various groups. I think that, because this has been raised, it is important that they see that it is important they understand the purpose is not to set one race or another above the others but to appreciated the great things that have been done to make the world the way it is today.
  Posted on: June 1, 2013 11:41 pm

yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I think it is important to mention why schools focus on black contributions (explaining the significance in light of the racism in this country historically) but I don't think it is necessary to specifically focus on contributions from other people based on their race. I would move away from the skin and instead just discuss their contributions as people. It would be easy to incorporate gender, race, ethnicity, local, etc. form that point to move away from the race card.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 11:17 pm

yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I think that is a great idea and I completely agree on focusing on what their heritage did for the United States as well.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 3:10 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I completely agree with your comment. I was going to say something very similar to this. If the teacher was able to strike an interest in their students on a level that they want to become that race, the teacher needs to continue introducing their students to other cultures in this same way. Even the cultures that teachers seem to overlook because they are so focused on teaching about cultures different from theirs. Some students do not know very much about their own culture which could be why they wanted to be another race other than their own. I would also take the time as a teacher to teach my students about why we should take pride in our individual race and cultures. I would explain why they need to embrace who they are while always continuing to learn about the different people around them. I would make it clear that we, as people, need to keep an open mind at all times just like the students did during that recent assignment.
  Posted on: September 11, 2014 7:14 pm

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Solution 33
Posted December 9, 2012 8:19 pm

Linda Swinson
Linda Swinson
Reps: 107
I would ask the students what brought about this and then I would explain to them that we don't get to chose what color we are but that both blacks and whites have contributed to the history of the U.S and that that they are all important not matter what color you are. I would then relate this same information to my whole class. I would discuss why I chose this lesson and why I felt is was important.
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vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I like your response! I agree that a first approach of asking students why they feel this way is important. All too often teachers simply react with a gut response rather than letting students speak and explain their opinions. It is also important that teachers explain to students why they are choosing certain lessons and teaching different material.
  Posted on: May 30, 2013 8:01 pm

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
I like that you would ask students their opinions first. We do often just tend to try different approaches and change up lessons instead of asking students why they think what they think. I feel that by addressing how the students feel and what is making them think being one race is better versus another is important. This is allowing students to express themselves and start big collaborative discussions.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 9:09 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I think it is important that you would explain it was not these people's 'race' that made their actions great. I also feel that it important to explain how people from all races have done great works to help make our country great. Great post!
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:33 am

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I really liked your response. I essentially said the same thing. Unfortunately we don't get to choose who we are or where we came from. It is important to stress that many cultures have made significant contributions today's American culture. I would stress that African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans have all helped mold who we are as a society today. It is truly amazing how cultures like I mentioned in the previous sentence get a few pages in a text book and a few days out of the year to be recognized. I believe in ethnic studies and that all cultures should be included in the teaching of every subject, not just history. There should be some type of dualism taking place in today's classrooms. By that I mean that not only should the power elite culture be taught for economic mobility, but other cultures should be celebrated and students should be educated on every groups history, traditions, and beliefs. Great Post.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 9:53 pm

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Solution 34
Posted February 27, 2013 1:31 pm

Debbie Lee Gaskin
Debbie Lee Gaskin
Reps: 48
African American History, just like White History, did not occur in a vacuum. Both races and others, such as Native Americans, were involved in histories that taken together represent American History. I think it’s important to teach History in an all encompassing manner. For instance, how Wilbur Wilberforce impacted abolition. While African Americans and their White abolitionist supporters were leading the call for reform in the US, this White politician was leading the fight in England to outlaw the slave trade. Wilberforce was supported by, among others, the Prime Minister, along with Wilberforce's pastor (a former slave ship captain) who wrote the hymn,Amazing Grace. History is dynamic and interlocking. It is easy to recognise value in all if we look at that way.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I like how you referred to history "not happening in a vacuum." Sometimes teachers only teach about various groups and cultures during pride weeks or months and ignore them the rest of the year. Everyday curriculum should address every group involved regardless.
  Posted on: May 31, 2013 1:04 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
This is a very good way to state how it should be discussed. And I agree totally. History was not created in a vacuum and should be discussed globally and ethically. Regardless of racial connotations. Good job!
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 1:19 am

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I definitely agree with your comment about reminding the children that all the successes of the people they are learning about didn't happen over a year or two, but rather years, centuries, decades, etc. Reminding them that there is good in everyone and anyone can achieve the same things as those previously learned about, being black, white, Asian, etc.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 10:43 pm

SyQyDu
SyQyDu
Reps: 21
This is one of the best answers I've read to this problem. I love how you stress the interlocking of cultures and societies throughout history, and you're very right! We're all in this together and we're all human. That is a concept that many often forget after the dividing lines of culture and race come into play.
  Posted on: September 12, 2013 3:56 pm

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Solution 35
Posted May 28, 2013 4:02 pm

Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
I think doing this in the classroom is a great idea. It is important to make lessons relevant to all students in the classroom. By doing so, this earns the students respect and can make the material engaging to all students. I feel that the students misunderstood the point of the lesson. The point of the lesson was that all cultures have important and significant people in them. The teacher should remind the students that all cultures have scientist, writers, and political figures that made significant contributions to the United States.
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Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
Good points Nikki. I think the child probably said that because that was the focus of the days lesson. So if this comment bothers you maybe start with something like Nikki said. Every race has great leaders.
  Posted on: June 13, 2014 3:22 pm

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I agree Nicki that this is a great idea to implement in the classroom and that the students misunderstood the point of the lesson. Your solution to remind students of various figures in each culture is a great solution to aid the teacher in this issue. I feel that this can provide a quick fix to the problem and ensure that the students maintain respect and engagement throughout the lessons.
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 11:05 pm

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Solution 36
Posted June 1, 2013 11:35 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
The first thing that I would do would be to ask the students to explain why they felt this way. By having them explain their feelings, you will better be able to address the issue by understanding their thought processes. I would also be sure to explain to the class as a whole that the purpose of the lessons is not to promote one race as better than any others but to highlight accomplishments. I would then be sure to include lessons showing the accomplishments of individuals from a variety of different races to help students see that it has taken all of these individuals to make America and the world the place that it is today and that they are all important.
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Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
I like how you discussed talking it out with the children first. It's important to have open communication with your students so that they feel comfortable around you and their peers. An open conversation with the class about differences Races and how different groups of people have succeeded would also be a great team building activity.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 7:54 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
Highlighting accomplishments is exactly what the teacher was trying to shed light on. As a teacher, it is important that all races get acknolwedged. By talking to the students first, I would be able to gain insight to why they are feeling the way they are. Digging deeper into all races would help students understand that all races have certain accomplishments and all are equal.
  Posted on: September 9, 2015 7:04 pm

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Solution 37
Posted June 2, 2013 4:15 pm

Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
You obviously did a great job portraying African American people to you students. I believe your students may have made this comment for either of two reason. The first reason being that are thinking of the many contributions African Americans have made solely, and not the contributions of their own races and other cultures. Another reason could be that they admire the hard work and initiative of African Americans seeing they they progressed out of unlikely conditions. Either way,I think you should explain to your students that every culture has an important part and place in history. They should happy in their skin and embrace others.
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ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
I agree that the teacher should explain that every culture has an important part and place in history. It is also important to teach them that people are great because of who they are (what's on the inside) not what they are (skin color).
  Posted on: September 22, 2014 12:53 am

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Solution 38
Posted September 11, 2013 9:45 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
I would emphasize to the students that although it is wonderful to admire others for who they are and what they have accomplished, it is also important that we be happy with ourselves and who we are. Explain that it is okay to want to be like someone, however, we should not want to be someone else, regardless of the reason. I feel if you were to ask these students why they wish they were black you are opening a conversation that may become racial sensitive and could be misunderstood that you don't like blacks. By placing the focus on how these "role models" inspire them may be a way to encourage these students to set goals for themselves. Sometimes the best way to respond to an issue is to strategically "alter" the focus of the discussion. After all, kids say the darndest things.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I love your approach and think it is a great idea to take this opportunity to talk to students about being happy with who you are not matter what the conditions. Focusing on how the scientists, writers, and political figures inspire them is a great way to get them to start thinking about what they want to accomplish in their lives.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 12:07 am

ePeHyM
ePeHyM
Reps: 105
I agree that it is important to let the students know that they should not wan to be anybody else and that must like themselves for who they are. I would also take it one step further and show them that all cultures have great people in them and that it's not about the person's culture (or skin color) but about the greatness on the inside of them.
  Posted on: September 22, 2014 12:49 am

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Solution 39
Posted September 19, 2013 5:36 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
I have always thought it to be very interesting to have a "Black History Month". Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great idea, especially considering the hardships, struggles and challenges individuals of this race have endured to merely receive the freedom they deserve. However, I find it wrong that we devote a whole month to this one race, yet leave the others out. I believe this same notion applies to this situation here. While you are doing a wonderful thing--having students explore and delve into significant black contributors to our great nation, I believe you should treat the races equally. For instance, generate a list of all races and ask students to identify say, at least three, from each race. Then, spend time talking about each one. Spending too much time on one race can make students feel inadequate (or at least less adequate) and can put pressure on them to conform in order to achieve a similar goal.
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SyQyDu
SyQyDu
Reps: 21
I understand your point. We often forget the interconnected nature of our planet and the way we interact. We are all human and we need to keep that in perspective. Having a month dedicated to one race can be a little much, but it does show love and care to those in our society that share the same racial history.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 10:05 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
I agree! The thing about concentrating too much time on my race's history sends the message that some races and cultures are more important than others. Perhaps you could have students research and plan a "Celebration Month" about their own cultures. They could present as a paper and project and share with their students.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 12:17 pm

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Solution 40
Posted September 22, 2013 9:40 pm

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
It seems as if the three white students really admired the accomplishments of the African Americans you presented in your lesson. As a teacher, this is great because the lesson seems to be a source of motivation for the white students. I would explain to the students that each culture has made significant contributions to various countries and the world as well. I would also inform the three white students that it is acceptable for them to feel proud of the accomplishments of past or current fellow African Americans that have contributed to our society, but that does not mean that they have to feel as if they need to belong to a different ethnicity or culture to be proud of an individual or particular group. If the students are not aware of significant contributions whites have made in society, this would be a good opportunity to incorporate these aspects into a lesson.
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Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
If the white students were so intrigued by the accomplishments of the African Americans, I would try to figure out what exactly sparked their interest. In doing so, I would expand on this concept within my own lessons. I would also have the students find out as as much as they could about their topic of interest. This could lead the students to discovering many other ethnicity's contributions to society.
  Posted on: September 14, 2015 2:12 am

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Solution 41
Posted May 27, 2014 11:23 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
As you mentioned you were making sure that all students had a good sense of all people and all cultures that make up our world. It’s important for all students to understand what makes all of us different and unique. It’s also important that students understand that we’re all different for many reasons. I would insure to the students that just because someone is a different skin color or come from a different cultural background doesn’t make him or her any more special than everyone else. I would also discuss to the students that the African American people are not famous simply because of the color of their skin but because of their bravery, their ambition, and their character. I would also remind students of other figures that are not African American who have impacted the US in some way or another.
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Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
You made a great point. Those historical figures didn't do great things because the color of his/her skin, they did great things because they were great people. Emphasize the idea that all types of people are historically significant because of their character, not their skin color/gender.
  Posted on: May 28, 2014 3:03 pm

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
While the lesson started as an exposure to different races and cultures, I agree with you that the contributions were not due to those factors alone. It sounds as if the teacher has been (or will be) exposing students to historical figures from many people groups. Therefore, I think you have a sound suggestion in reminding students of other individuals from others backgrounds studied. Perhaps you might ask them why the skin color of those contributors were not as appealing to them.
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 8:09 pm

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Solution 42
Posted May 27, 2014 11:26 pm

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I think that one way to acknowledge what your students feeling is to ask them why they felt that way or have the write about it. It would be important to see if they are feeling that way because of the accomplishments of the African Americans you taught about or if it went deeper into more cultural values. If it was about the accomplishments then you could do as some others have suggested and turn it into a research project. The research project could focus on the accomplishment or occupation and you could put as a requirement that they find people from different cultures or races that were all very similar in their accomplishments or occupations. If it was more about cultural values then you could have students research more into the values of that specific culture or see if there are any other cultures that share that value that really stuck with them as well.
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Solution 43
Posted May 28, 2014 2:57 pm

Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
I would have a class discussion about being proud of who you are and highlight the notable contributions made by people of all races, religions, ethnicities, and genders. I would have students of different backgrounds discuss if they are treated differently due to their race/religion/ethnicity/gender. I would also ask students if they notice if OTHER students are treated different due to race/religion/ethnicity/gender.
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Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
Michael,
I like your idea of holding a class discussion over the topic. I think it is important for all students to be proud of their heritage and where they come from. The scenario options are also a great addition to help relate the material back to their own life.
  Posted on: May 31, 2014 3:45 am

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Solution 44
Posted May 29, 2014 12:33 am

Kimberly Rahn
Kimberly Rahn
Reps: 70
I would explain to my students the importance of these lessons and why you were teaching it. I would also stress the importance of white people who had also made contributions to the US as well. I would use these lessons to show my students how all of these famous people weather they are white or black made a huge impact on America and should be recognized equally. I would talk to the students on your intention of the lessons and have them examine their own culture as well.
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aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
You could explain to the students that people of their cultural identity have also made contributions and give them examples. Creating lessons that focus on cultural singularity may in fact have the opposite effect of what the teacher wanted. The teacher may be able to avoid this by teaching about different cultures in an inclusive and collaborative way. Teaching about the contributions of different races side by side in the same lesson.

  Posted on: June 1, 2014 3:20 pm

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Solution 45
Posted May 29, 2014 1:31 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
I think this is a good learning opportunity for you and your class to understand cultural and racial differences. The world would be a boring place without all types of cultures and it is important that you as the teacher make this known. Explain to the three students that you are born exactly how you are supposed to be, and think about the reasons why being white is respectable. They should understand that each culture brings its own unique backgrounds and differences and we should appreciate the diversity at the school. Some students may be confused and not really understand diversity, so explain what diversity is, and create lessons focusing on diverse cultures and differences.
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Solution 46
Posted May 29, 2014 7:59 pm

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
It's great to hear that your students were very engaged and interested in the content. As for the three students who "wished they were Black," I would try to clarify the motive behind their comments. Why do they wish they were Black? What makes them say that? My guess would be that they were impressed with the contributions the individuals made to the US. If this were the case, I would encourage those students that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, regardless of race. The color of the individuals' skin was not the determining factor in their successes, rather it was their drive, dedication, and ingenuity.
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Solution 47
Posted May 29, 2014 9:22 pm

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
I have heard a student say this before, even an interview with Kevin Bacon, he said he grew up wishing he was black. I would use this opportunity to acknowledge the students who made the comment and encourage them to research their families heritage and even unnamed heroes. We did a unit on the heroes we don;t hear about on daily basis. In China there is a woman who takes the "throw away" babies that parents do not want due to a deformity and/or females. Bringing the heroes that are barters for God, their countries and even the military for giving us freedom. Explaining to your students the many heroes in our communities should be another teaching moment.
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Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
That would be an excellent assignment for the students to research their heritage. It would be a great assignment because the students would learn for themselves individuals who made contributions. The students could also find an individual of their culture who made a contribution and research that person.
  Posted on: May 31, 2014 10:50 pm

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I really like that assignment and I think it is important for students to know that they can make contributions by just being themselves and helping to fix a need.
  Posted on: June 1, 2014 3:26 pm

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Solution 48
Posted May 29, 2014 9:38 pm

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
In my opinion, I believe that it is important to explain to these students that the great accomplishments that these historical figures have made has little to do with the color of their skin. I think it is important for students to see that there is no one race that is better than the other. It is not our skin color that helps us achieve our goals or be successful in a certain area, but it is our determination to succeed and our willingness to go after the dreams that we have. I think its great to share all of the people and cultures that make up our country so that students can see that all people from all different cultures are capable of making great contributions.
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Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
Great comment. I agree that students should be taught that a race does not matter when it comes to accomplishments or being remembered. I believe we have a lot of influence over students and it is our job to help them understand all different cultures and races. We have to make sure that one topic is focused on more than others. In the situation with the white students, the teacher might want to show them how others, people outside of the black races, achieved the same goals or whatever he was teaching. I do not think it was a bad thing for them to say what they did, but I think they might be confused that lots of different races accomplish historical things.
  Posted on: May 30, 2014 11:21 pm

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
It isimportant that the students understand and other races. They need to know what diversity is and that diversity is what makes one or a group unique from another group. It is also important that the teacher keep his/her identity of his/her cultural diversity.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 6:26 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
This is an excellent point. I completely agree that the students need to realize that people's accomplishments have little to do with their race. With determination and willingness to work hard and go after dreams, we can do anything. This is a great teaching moment for our students because we can show them that motivation does not always have to be extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation helps lead people to accomplishing their goals, regardless of culture.
  Posted on: September 16, 2015 1:55 am

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Solution 49
Posted June 1, 2014 11:21 pm

Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
In this case, I would ask those students to elaborate on their comment to see where it may have stemmed from. In my assumption, I would guess it is because they wanted to be like great people. This would be a great time to switch over to other important figures of other races and cultural background. Also I would try to find connections of people of different races working together to achieve their great accomplishment. This would reiterate the idea the everyone working together can help us achieve the changes needed in this world.
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LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
The students who wanted to be black because of all the famous black people who have made major contributions to society, should look back on all the famous people from their own culture who have also made contributins to the world and their own personal culture.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 6:42 pm

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Solution 50
Posted September 8, 2014 6:14 pm

zuPeQy
zuPeQy
Reps: 99
I would first take into consideration their age. 5th graders want what sounds appeasing and if you were going over all of the accomplishments of the African American culture and it sounded awesome, the students are going to want it. I would say that you should plan a week for going over all of the accomplishments for all ethnicity's and cultures. That way the students are seeing the accomplishments of all cultures as opposed to just one. The students would be able to see what their own ethnicity has done and make them proud to be what they are.
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Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I completely agree with your proposed solution. As I was reading through the case study I also felt that it would be important to discuss the contributions of people from different ethnic backgrounds with the students. However, I had not considered that the students' age or maturity level might have prompted their desire to be African American.
  Posted on: September 22, 2014 1:06 am

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Solution 51
Posted September 12, 2014 1:23 am

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I think that these students must have found the content and the figures studied to be interesting to them, and I don't think that is a negative thing. However, I would use those comments as another teachable moment. I would bring attention to the fact that their race was not what made them fascinating, but it was their actions. I would explain to them that they need to strive for great things through their thoughts, words and actions, not their race.
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SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I like your advice...I do not think that this is a negative thing, but a great way to educate students that race did not make those people special, instead, it was their contributions to society. They could have been purple and their contributions would have been worthwhile! Definitely, make this a teachable moment to bring about that race doesn't matter, it is what people do instead!
  Posted on: September 14, 2014 1:22 am

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I really like that you removed the race from the equation and recommended pointing out that their actions made them great not the color of their skin. I feel by the students being exposed to the concept that any person can make great contributions to this world they will be motivated regardless of race.
  Posted on: September 15, 2014 10:43 pm

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Solution 52
Posted September 14, 2014 11:46 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
The lesson plans and history of the historical figures they learned about truly moved these three students. It is neat that they felt such inspiration and admiration from the lesson. However, as a teacher I would explain to them that anyone regardless of race, sex, religion, social class, etc. can achieve great accomplishments in life. Greatness is not contained in one culture or one type of people. The students should hone in on what they find so admirable about the historical figures so that they can portray these commendable characteristics throughout their own lives.
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Solution 53
Posted September 17, 2014 12:01 am

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
Being a social studies teacher of 5th graders myself, I have to admit that I’ve heard similar remarks from my students. Students at this age are so young and easily influenced by others. Hearing how influential these historical figures were and portraying their glorifying moments probably made the students idolize them just as they would idolize the hottest football player or country music singer of the time. I think it is important to talk with these students and explain to them that their enthusiasm for these historical figures are great but that they do not need to change the color of their skin to be just as great. I feel as if you should show the students other historical figures from a variety of backgrounds that have made similar contributions to the U.S. Students could even do a research project on a historical figure from their background so they may be inspired to do big things by staying true to themselves.
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Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill
Reps: 99
I agree with solution it is important you show the students how every race has contributed to the development of history.
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 12:26 am

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Solution 54
Posted September 21, 2014 10:30 pm

HaBuMu
HaBuMu
Reps: 52
I would first have a discussion with the students to find out why they wished they were black. It may be the case that they are simply wanting some attention and that it has no relevance to the unit. If they say this as a result of finding out all the interesting facts, then simply explain to them that each culture group has unique and useful contributions and no one culture is more important than the other. Hopefully the idea of being proud of your own culture will come out of this discussion.
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Solution 55
Posted May 27, 2015 12:51 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I think I would ask the students why they felt that way. I would explain to them that their race does not have to be an indicator of who they are as a person. I would also explain to them that many different people from lots of different races have accomplished a great deal. If the students were interested, I would have them look up different historically or culturally significant people from different races. Depending on the characteristics of why they would rather be black, I would have them look up people of different races that share those same characteristics.
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Solution 56
Posted May 29, 2015 12:12 am

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
If this had happened in my classroom, I would have used that time to have the students elaborate on why they feel that way. This is perfect timing to introduce the concept of the Salad Bowl metaphor to the class, and reiterate to the students that it takes all types of people and cultures to make America the great nation that it is. Since this special study ignited such strong emotions within your students, I would consider designating future months for different cultural studies.
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Solution 57
Posted May 29, 2015 3:34 am

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
It is great to hear that you are working to include as many people and cultures in your teaching as possible. This is an excellent practice, especially to somewhat combat the typical bias in most textbooks or curricula towards an Anglo Saxon view of history (whether done intentionally or not). When your students asked this, I would then ask them why they want to change in this manner. If it is because they think that the culture of these African American people is really interesting and appealing, then I would remind them that they can certainly work to adopt some of the practices of this culture. I do not think there is anything wrong with admiring a culture and wanting to imitate it. However, if your students want to change because they think that these people accomplished all of these feats because of their culture, I would have a conversation with my students about what culture really is. Culture may have pushed those people to behave a certain way, but that is not what ultimately enabled them to accomplish these things. Remind your students that they cannot really change their appearance or their background, and there is no reason to do so. They are who they are supposed to be.
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Solution 58
Posted May 30, 2015 4:34 am

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I would begin by first realizing that 5th grade students are going through a lot of changes at this age and can at times, wish they were different than they are. The first question I would ask my students would be why would they want to change who they are? If this response is because they feel that whites have not contributed to society then I would make sure to continue my diversity unit with what whites have done to show the students how all have helped us become successful. However, if the students wish they were black because they feel a personal lack of self-worth then I would make the lesson more personal to talk about what each of my students in the classroom contribute to show how our own diversity makes the class unified and perfect because we are not all the same!
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Solution 59
Posted May 31, 2015 6:28 pm

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
I would first ask why they wished they were Black. Then I would go on to say that everyone can make a difference no matter their skin color or culture. A person's choices and actions take them down different paths throughout their lives. Who you are and who you want to be is up to you. You can make a difference with hard work and dedication.
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Solution 60
Posted June 1, 2015 12:18 am

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
First, I would have them give a reason behind the statement. Then, I think it would be great to have a study of women who have made great contributions to the United States. I am sure that the opposite sex would not wish to be female. However, we have a Wax Museum in which the fifth graders choose someone, from the past or present, who has made significant contributions and they dress and give a speech in first person. This would allow the students to share their knowledge and dress in character. I think it would be a great way to show acceptance of other cultures. Students have free choice to choose regardless of the color of their skin. After it was all said and done, I would make sure that all students understand that it is what is on the inside that makes people the best they can be.
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Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I really like how you stated that you would have asked them to give a reason behind what they said. I think that would make them think about their comment.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 12:53 am

Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I think the wax museum idea would be great. It would especially cool if the department could work together on it and supply some costuming materials for students to use if they chose. This would even the playing field for students in poverty or other students that do not have access to these materials.

I agree that other groups should be covered, and that women are an important group to cover. I would probably clear it with administration first, because you never know how people will react to things, but I think it would be interesting for all of the students to have to choose someone of a different gender to have to portray. It could really help students think about what life is like as someone of a different gender.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 2:41 am

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Solution 61
Posted September 12, 2015 10:32 pm

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I would ask the three students why they would want to change who they are? I would also ask them if their culture determines who they really are? I would then have my students find out information about their own culture and values. This would be a great project for the students to do and present it to the class. They students could learn all about the different cultures represented in the classroom and about how similar or different they are. If all the different cultures are not represented in the classroom, then have the students research in a computer lab about the many different cultures living in our country and present their finding to the class. This will let all the students learn about the different cultures and realize that our country was built on the combined efforts of all cultures and not just one single culture.
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Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
I proposed a similar solution. It's important that students (and really anyone) have pride in their own culture and/or race.
  Posted on: September 13, 2015 2:43 am

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Solution 62
Posted September 20, 2015 2:30 pm

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
This is indeed a very unique and ironic response to your assignment. It is typically the minority that feels inadequate with their contributions to American society, aside from agriculture and labor. I think the appropriate way to approach this situation is to first address that all three students are wondrously made; and then perhaps ask the question as to why they are not happy being what they were born. If the answer pertains to the lessons, I would point out that every ethnic group has made substantial contributions to the success of our country, and no one group is necessarily better or more important than the other. I would draw an analogy to a tapestry, and how each thread holds the beautiful presentation together. And that even by missing one small fiber could completely change the final product of beauty or cause the tapestry to fall apart. I would assure the three students that soon we would be reviewing the contributions that Whites have added to the country’s sustainability, and they all would be in awe, just as with African American accomplishments. This would also be a great opportunity to introduce the “toss salad” metaphor and explain how it relates to this scenario. It is apparent that the three students experienced what the author Joel Spring notes as interpretation of the world “shaped by a particular understanding of history”(139).
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Solution 63
Posted September 20, 2015 2:31 pm

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
This is indeed a very unique and ironic response to your assignment. It is typically the minority that feels inadequate with their contributions to American society, aside from agriculture and labor. I think the appropriate way to approach this situation is to first address that all three students are wondrously made; and then perhaps ask the question as to why they are not happy being what they were born. If the answer pertains to the lessons, I would point out that every ethnic group has made substantial contributions to the success of our country, and no one group is necessarily better or more important than the other. I would draw an analogy to a tapestry, and how each thread holds the beautiful presentation together. And that even by missing one small fiber could completely change the final product of beauty or cause the tapestry to fall apart. I would assure the three students that soon we would be reviewing the contributions that Whites have added to the country’s sustainability, and they all would be in awe, just as with African American accomplishments. This would also be a great opportunity to introduce the “toss salad” metaphor and explain how it relates to this scenario. It is apparent that the three students experienced what the author Joel Spring notes as interpretation of the world “shaped by a particular understanding of history”(139).
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Solution 64
Posted September 12, 2013 3:38 pm

udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
Talk with your class. Tell them that your lesson plans had unintentional consequences, and for that you apologize. You can inform your class that it was not the purpose of your lesson plan to make one ethnic group of people seem more important than the next. Explain to your class that ALL ethnicities of people have contributed to making America a great nation. You can then name people of different ethnicities and how they contributed to America's history. Reiterate to the class that you apologize if the lesson/discussions made it appear that one ethnicity was more important than another.
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Solution 65
Posted September 14, 2014 6:40 am

zaSyNu
zaSyNu
Reps: 58
I would tell the students that we should never "wish" to be something else. When we wish things, which are impossible, we will never be as happy as we could possibly be. I would also tell them it is a good thing that they can put themselves in the shoes of someone else to see and understand their value and where they are coming from on certain issues. I would then probably do some sort of personal culture assignment where students can identify all of the positive aspects of their culture and perhaps develop a sense of pride for their culture.
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RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I like your idea about doing a personal cultural assignment. I think that this may help students recognize their own culture and allow students an opportunity to show off their heritage. Both sides of my family are Scottish and I never got to learn about or show of my heritage at school. My parents told me I was Scottish and showed me the clans I came from and the tartan designs of those clans and I would have loved to share that at school.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 3:13 am

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
A personal cultural assignment sounds much needed in this classroom. Students can identify with others that were successful and that share their race. It will help them understand their history a bit more too. The white kids may have felt that African Americans were successful because the light was shed on them. By the students identifying others that share their race, they can embrace their race easier and share with other classmates too.
  Posted on: September 9, 2015 7:12 pm

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Solution 66
Posted September 22, 2014 1:04 am

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I think that a good way to address the issue would be to discuss with students that individuals of all types of ethnic backgrounds have made important contributions to the US. This should be done in a way that does not dismiss any of the contributions that have been discussed in class thus far.
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Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I would definitely agree to hit on all ethnic backgrounds. Maybe allow for a research assignment assigning each student a different ethnicity.
  Posted on: May 26, 2015 5:19 pm

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Solution 67
Posted February 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Mary Reynolds
Mary Reynolds
Reps: 22
I commend you for focusing on a race other than white for a unit of study! I think that most children who are not white can find themselves thinking, why is everyone we learn about white. I think black history month and Hispanic heritage month have added to students feeling accepted and included. However, in your particular situation I think that I would ask the boys why they felt that way. It could be something as small as they needed a little extra attention from the teacher so they said something outlandish. These boys clearly needed to get a little extra information about why you were focusing on African American people. Maybe you could talk to this group individually and discuss that there are important people in every race and they should be proud of their own personal heritage.
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Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I agree a private discussion may be an excellent solution to the problem. At such a young age, the students may be unsure of the contributions of their culture. An explanation from the teacher could certainly help. Who knows, it may even encourage the students to find out more about these other people on their own!
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:27 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I agree a private discussion may be an excellent solution to the problem. At such a young age, the students may be unsure of the contributions of their culture. An explanation from the teacher could certainly help. Who knows, it may even encourage the students to find out more about these other people on their own!
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:28 pm

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Solution 68
Posted May 28, 2013 8:52 pm

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
In this situation, I would pull these students aside and ask why they feel this way and what about the lesson brought about these feelings, and I would modify the lesson in ways that would prevent these feelings. I would also encourage each member of class to embrace his or her cultural identity and heritage. Instead of focusing solely on African American history, I would branch out and take a multicultural view of history. By only focusing on African American history, you are setting up your white students to feel the white guilt phenomenon that is often associated with the white society's treatment of African Americans throughout U.S. history. I would center my lessons to focus on the different cultural groups in America. Talk about white history, African American history, American Indian history, and the other ethnic groups that are prevalent in the U.S. today. This will discourage students from feeling guilty or superior about their race and will teach them more about cultural diversity.
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qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I think that focusing on multiple cultures is a great idea! We want to teach our students history from various cultural viewpoints, but we do not want them to feel guilt for the actions of their culture in the past. Teaching about multiple cultures in history is the best way to help our students appreciate history many different cultural perspectives.
  Posted on: June 4, 2013 6:49 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I really like this idea of teaching multiple diverse groups. This will allow the students to see how interesting each culture can be once you learn the history and traditions. However, I think it would be important to allow our students to focus on their heritage so they can learn more about their own traditions and hopefully appreciate where their family came from. I read a post earlier, and now I can't find it or else I would comment on it, and the person suggested that the teacher assign the students a project to research his or her own culture and share with the class. I think this is a great way to get students involved in their culture.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 12:13 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I really like this idea of teaching multiple diverse groups. This will allow the students to see how interesting each culture can be once you learn the history and traditions. However, I think it would be important to allow our students to focus on their heritage so they can learn more about their own traditions and hopefully appreciate where their family came from. I read a post earlier, and now I can't find it or else I would comment on it, and the person suggested that the teacher assign the students a project to research his or her own culture and share with the class. I think this is a great way to get students involved in their culture.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 12:13 pm

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Solution 69
Posted May 29, 2013 1:43 pm

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I think that this is a difficult situation to be in epsecially if you are located in the "South". Many schools hold a "Black" history month where they discuss how serveral black individuals changed history. I love to teach this material! There are so many different interesting people and their are so many differnet peices of history to be discussed. I do feel however that the "White" population is left out of schools. We tend to foucs on the negitive aspect of the old "white" popuation. We need to start implementing differnt cultural studies throughout the year. I think that each culture plays a specific role in our society especially since our country is a "melting pot"! I would encourgage this teacher to discuss all the wonderful things their culture/skin color has accomplished.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I agree that in the South, most of the history taught paints white people as the bad guys. That perpetuates generalizations. We should teach students about the specific people on both side of situations, not generalize them. There were African Americans opposed to abolition and their were white people in favor of it.
  Posted on: May 31, 2013 1:08 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
I can agree with this statement. The major topics that are covered in schools about white people such as slavery and the trail of tears definitely paint white people as the bad guys, but that is because they were. But there are great leaps of scientific and medical discovery, classic novels written, and loving actions that were also done by white people throughout American history. I think that classifying everything as "black" or "white" will just foster racist ideas. We should talk about all the great historical figures, without considering race. Maybe that is the way for students to see the amazing attributes that have made these people famous and not just their race. Race won't make you famous, your actions and morals do.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 9:42 am

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
I agree with you that "whites" are viewed as bad people when it comes to slavery, but they are also viewed as good people that made a difference such as; Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington and many more. I feel that African Americans are left out. In the schools that I've done my student teaching an even where I work, African Americans are not taled about until black history month. I do believe that their needs to be a balance, not only with African Americans and white, but other cultures as well.
  Posted on: May 31, 2014 10:57 pm

Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
I agree that race is a difficult situation to discuss, especially in the South. It often seems as though the popular thought is that white people should still be apologizing for actions their forefathers practiced, which in my opinion, is absurd. None of us were alive back then. Let's learn from the past and move on, people! Encouraging the discussion of the accomplishments from various cultures within the U.S will help all the students hopefully see, and appreciate our diverse nation.
  Posted on: September 14, 2015 2:31 am

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Solution 70
Posted May 30, 2013 8:05 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I would ask students why they felt this way and discuss their feelings with them. It is important to hear students and meet them where they are. I would also discuss why I had chosen to highlight African Americans during the course of these two weeks. I would try to incorporate units that celebrate people from diverse cultures. Unless this were Black History Month, I would tend to pick a topic and make sure that those I represent based on the topic represent people of all backgrounds, including race and gender. Or this could be used as a way to continue with several units also celebrating contributions of women, Latinos, Asian Americans, whites, etc., so that students have a balanced, well-rounded perspective.
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VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I agree. It will be important for the teacher to make sure that all cultures are discussed; not only race, but gender, religion, and other aspects of our culture. If the teacher does this, he would probably get the students to see a clearer picture of what America is made up of.
  Posted on: May 31, 2013 4:45 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
You have made a very valid point of this case. Regardless of whe the case refers to, students should see all individuals as equal and not superior or inferior. If we look at many children discussions, they do not realize that color is a part of daily living. It is the adults who bring color into the conversations and open the eyes of the chldren to racial issues. Therefore, I would be very careful on how you explain ethnic stories to students and I would also explain that one race is not superior or inferior and it is not your intent to make them desire to be another race.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 1:14 am

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
Yes, I think other cultures should be expressed as well to show that all cultures/races/genders have done amazing things and no matter your gender or ethnicity you can be proud of it.
  Posted on: September 20, 2013 10:02 pm

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Solution 71
Posted May 30, 2013 9:26 pm

L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
In our classrooms, we must be careful to give the same amount of attention to all the ethnics that we teach. Doing this can be difficult since we tend to use one week or month on one ethnic group, and during this time, our students may lose their attention on what they have learned about other ethnic groups. We must pay close attention to emphasize the accomplishments of all ethnic groups that we teach our students evenly, so as one group does not seem better than the others. By doing this, we will teach our students to be proud of their own heritage and learn to value other ethnic groups as well.
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Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
I see your point. So here is what I think the teacher should do: he can start by assessing whether or not his cultural bias was at work. Sometimes, whether we choose to admit it or not, our cultural frames of reference do influence what and how we teach.
  Posted on: September 18, 2013 11:02 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I could not agree with you more. I feel that all cultures that have made contributions in developing American culture should be taught evenly. Emphasis should be placed on every culture. I also feel that it is unfair to neglect cultural groups who have made significant contributions to this country. I feel that every major cultural group has made some form of contribution to American society at some point in history and that Hispanic, Asian, and Native American cultures should be included in today's classrooms. All of these cultures were interconnected with Anglo-Saxon and African American culture to make America what it is today. I believe that this is what should be taught throughout the school year. We shouldn't jump from one culture to the next as it places the emphasis on just one group. We should discuss how they have all contributed been mixed together to make America what it is today.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:08 pm

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Solution 72
Posted May 31, 2013 4:37 pm

VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I think that this is an interesting issue. The teacher in this classroom should take the students to the side and explain to them, that while it is understood by looking at all of the accomplishments of African Americans, they need to be proud of their race as well. The teacher probably needs to discuss with the students that there are many White scientists, writers, and political figures that they will find just as interesting or admirable. The teacher could also talk with the students about what particular African American they want to be like and focus on the contributions and/or inventions that person made and let get the student to see they want to possibly mirror the actions of that person, not necessarily their race. The teacher does need to make sure that White people are also covered in this view of American cultures. This would allow the students to see people who look like them and know that it takes all of the cultures of America to make it great.
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LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
I also feel a solution to this situation is to have the students hone in on what it is they found so admirable about these historical figures so that they too can aim to accomplish such greatness. It is important to ensure that the students feel pride in their own culture and race and know that regardless of one's background, hard work and determination will achieve success.
  Posted on: September 15, 2014 12:02 am

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Solution 73
Posted June 1, 2013 11:13 pm

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
So much emphasis has been put on white and blacks being different when in today's society those differences are becoming less and less evident. There seems to still be that dividing line between whites and blacks. These students appear to me just to want to be like their friends. They feel inspired by the African American's you've been teaching about and only want to be more like them. Perhaps you can encourage these students that it doesn't matter the color of your skin but that your dreams and goals in life will make a difference in the world around them much like the African American's they've been learning about.
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udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
I, too, feel it is important to share the contributions made by all ethnicities in America's history. As you mentioned, this can pose quite the balancing act for teachers. I think that instead of focusing on one race of people to talk about for a week or two, teachers should discuss particular topics (i.e. famous war heroes, politicians, inventors, etc.). Then discuss how people from different races contributed to each particular topic of discussion. This would make the lessons more balanced.
  Posted on: September 18, 2013 8:37 am

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
Teaching lessons that highlight contributions made by other minority groups would be excellent! That way the students who said they wished they were black could see how important other cultures, besides black and white, contributed to our history as well.
  Posted on: May 30, 2014 6:24 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
My own son has said to me before that he wishes he had brown skin because that is what is est friends in class look like. It is normal for kids to want to emulate people that they like and respect especially when they are young. It is also alright for a teacher or a parent to discuss positive aspects present in all "races" in order to signal to young people that differences between people are nice.

I agree that our approach to teaching about significant people in a class setting needs to be more holistic. If the opportunity to discuss significant figures in history presents itself in class we should try to include a variety of historical figures each time so that students see both significant figures that look like themselves and that are different from one another.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 10:43 pm

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Solution 74
Posted June 2, 2013 1:24 am

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
I think this is a great way to turn the conversation into personalities and self-esteem and self-concept. I would not deter from the lesson taught or how to focus on other religions, but I would explain to the students that these contributors did not make significant contributions just because they were African American. I would explain that they worked around their personality, intellectual abilities and self-concept to become the great person they are. This should help the students to understand that regardless of your color or ethnic background, you can accomplish what you so desire.
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Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I agree with your solution and believe that the topics of hard work and determination should be stressed above racial identity. One of the problems with teaching about history of a particular racial or cultural group is that some students will only relate success with that particular characteristic. Instead, we should inform our students that these people succeeded and accomplished many things because of his or her work ethic and passions.
  Posted on: June 2, 2013 8:37 pm

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I like that you stressed more qualities about the people being mentioned in the lesson than their skin color. It would be a great way to have students take an objective eye towards people and their accomplishments.

I also agree with the previous comment about the difficulty in teaching a specific racial or cultural group trying to avoid it being associated with a particular characteristic. In both cases it is more important to stress the accomplishments or characteristics of the person than their skin color.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 11:32 pm

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
I agree that you should make sure that the focus of the lesson is turned away from their skin color. It is not their skin color that makes them so important, but it was their hard word and determination that made them do what they did to make a difference.
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 3:10 am

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
I agree I think the comment from the three white students does deal more with self-concept and self-acceptance. This would be a great learning opportunity for all students to gain self confidence and accept themselves for who they are. They must realize that our circumstances do not define us, and we must overcome everything we think is holding us back. They also may be confused by the differences between white and black cultures.
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 1:33 pm

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Solution 75
Posted June 2, 2013 8:29 pm

Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I would begin by having the students inform me as to why they feel the way they do. I would inform those students that I am glad that they recognize the value of other cultures other than their own. It is important for the students to realize that all cultures and racial groups have made significant contributions throughout history. I would tell the students that if they are interested in knowing more about African-American history then they should continue to research and read more material. Overall, I do not think that this is an enormous problem and the teacher should be cautious as to how he or she approaches the topic so that no problems arise from his or her response.
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Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
In addition to your suggestions, I think it would be beneficial for the teacher to incorporate studies of historical figures from other cultures in their classroom discussions, too. Students should see that all people, regardless of their culture or race, have greatness within them. When students only see one race, that becomes the race that they connect with. It's crucial, though, to help students open their mind about many cultural groups.
  Posted on: September 18, 2015 1:20 am

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Solution 76
Posted June 2, 2013 9:15 pm

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
You could use this as a jumping off point into outlining other cultures and contributors from those cultures. Maybe have students research their culture or different cultures and let them do a project where they "live a day in someone else's shoes." Because these are 5th graders they are not yet mature enough to totally understand and appreciate their own cultures. They are still young and that must be kept in mind when dealing with issues like this.
You could also use this as a way to start discussions about why they feel this way and helping them to find things about themselves that make their culture "cool" too.
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Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
I love the idea of having students complete a project where they "live a day in someone else's shoes"! This would be an eye opening experience :)
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 4:02 am

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Solution 77
Posted June 2, 2013 10:26 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I would sit them down and try to understand why they wish they were black. As the teacher you don't want to spend all of your time paying too much attention to one race. It is a very difficult thing to do. Some may feel you are spending too much time and others may feel that there is not enough time spent on their race. A good solution could be to dedicate a specific time each day or week to discuss and study a particular race, and rotate different races and cultures each time. This would then allow you to give attention to all and not make students wish they were another race.
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Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
I agree that we should not focus solely on one race, but I also think highlighting people's race so often creates the issue that we are trying to avoid. Focusing on race daily will create separation instead of promoting unity. Focusing on skin color is like focusing on eye color. If we want to help our students better understand themselves and each other then we have to stop focusing so much on what's on the outside.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 6:12 pm

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
I agree that the teacher should not spend too much time just on one race, whatever what race might be. Also, better understanding why the students want to be black would help create the next lesson. That lesson could be on multiple cultures and how they can do the same thing.
  Posted on: May 30, 2014 11:13 pm

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I think your solution about trying to understand why they wish they were black would be a great choice by the educator. It is necessary to talk with students about these difficult topics to help them understand the diverse nature of the world we all inhabit. If the teacher does not address the issue, it may continue to be a problem that the students experience in the future. The three students could feel inadequate in their academic goal of reaching success, due to the prior knowledge they were presented that only African Americans can become prosperous professionals.
  Posted on: September 14, 2014 8:05 pm

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Solution 78
Posted June 2, 2013 10:31 pm

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
Some of the solutions people have posted about young children being impressionable are definitely true. Children are very honest most of the time and will say what they are thinking without realizing what they are actually saying. My five year old son is of mixed race (white mother and black father) and he has told me once that he wishes he were white. I just chuckled because it came out of nowhere. I honestly don't think it's anything to worry about. When children (or sometimes adults) learn something new that is interesting to them, they try to picture themselves as that, i.e. astronaut during space theme, professional basketball player when watching games, etc. I think it's great to teach about diversity and if you are concentrating on a particular culture or race, then that's what you are teaching. The children will respond to every theme or subject you teach them. So, to answer your question, you can just remind them that there are many different people in this world of all different races and cultures that have succeeded, not just African Americans. And to be proud of who they are, and to try to succeed like the others have so he can be the person 5th graders are learning about in 30+ years.
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Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
Kimberly,

Well said; I certainly share your sentiments. I would add this, the teacher should make light of the conversation and ask, "Why?" In doing so, he would be gathering more information to inform his instruction. Now here is the thing, if the students give a reply that is perceived as a negative self esteem issue, or a sense of inferiority, then the teacher certainly needs to emphasize in his lessons that we each belong to a particular ethnic group that has its own identifying elements that are in no way superior over the other despite the fact that others representing these individual groups may try to project such a viewpoint. Also, I would be honest and let the students know about racism and discrimination to a degree that they can handle. Nonetheless, no matter the teacher's approach, his or her number one goal should always be to ensure that his classroom environment is a safe place for his or her students to be comfortable in their skin.
  Posted on: September 18, 2013 10:57 pm

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Solution 79
Posted June 2, 2013 11:12 pm

yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
Your student's response may not have been intentional but that does not mean it has a negative impact. Students often covet newly learned identities and circumstances, especially when the issue is one of great joy and pride. The question is really, if you had been doing a lesson plan on American Indians and the students had wished they were Indian, would it have affected you the same? WHile others have suggested that you should now show instances that instill pride in white people, I feel that the focus should be less on the race of the people and more on the social impacts they made as a human being, regardless of race. Focusing on people who have overcome strife, struggles, and discrimination of any and all kinds will take away the desire of the students to chance race and instead hopefully instill a desire in them to do something inspirational as themselves.
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yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
That is a very good way to look at it. We all get excited when we learn about something new and exciting. We want to be a part of it and if we can't claim that our race or part of our heritage helped create the place we live today then I would probably feel the same way about wanting to be a different race. It is important to acknowledge all types of race or culture when referring to how this country was built.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 3:11 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
Great idea! Encouraging students to learn about how famous people overcame the hardships in their lives to achieve their goals is a great way to teach children. Everyone has dreams for a better future. Encouraging students to learn about others and how they solved their problems creatively will help prepare children to face the challenges of their futures.
  Posted on: October 15, 2014 8:16 pm

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Solution 80
Posted June 4, 2013 6:34 pm

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
This is a difficult situation for a teacher to be in. There is so much emphasis on teaching history from multiple perspectives and making sure all cultures are taught about, not just white people in our history. I tell the students that it is wonderful they have found people of a different race to admire, but it does not mean that they have to wish they were a different race. I remind them of contributions that white people have made to our country, and teach them about people of other races and from other cultures that have made significant contributions in our history. Hopefully this will help show them that there are people of many different races in our countries history to admire, but you don't have to wish you were a certain race to admire them.
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BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
Although I agree with your solution, you will have to be careful when continuing to identify others by their color. If you have students from other racial backgrounds, this may seem as their race not being as important as blacks or whites. If time allows, one way to conclude this lesson might be to give students the option to conduct research on finding someone in their own race who has made significant contributions to society.
  Posted on: September 15, 2013 9:41 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I agree that it is important to remind them that there are a variety of different people from different cultures who have helped shape American society into what it is today. I would urge you to be careful when using the terms 'white' and 'black' as this is a very sensitive subject. I wouldn't focus so much on the color, but more on the fact that it wasn't just the dominant culture that shaped our history and how we viewed things here in America. I do feel that the students should understand that there were many other cultures that are unique, valuable, and rich in tradition that we often never learn about. I would take the opportunity to begin teaching this class about other cultures and their contributions to American culture. I would urge that today's culture is a mixture of many different cultures and that our traditions, beliefs, and history have been affected by many people.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I appreciate the idea of dominant/non-dominant cultures who shaped the issue at hand. I think at times we all get hung up on the idea of white vs. black and the sensitivity that goes with the subject. By approaching the issue from a group is primarily associated with an event and other groups contributed X-Y and Z, the situation is able to be looked at with much more clarity than when cloudy terms are included that incite feelings from within.
  Posted on: May 27, 2014 6:45 pm

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Solution 81
Posted June 12, 2013 9:30 am

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
The purpose of this lesson is to highlight people of great achievement who happen to be African American. They can serve as wonderful role models for any American student and I think these students are wishing to be black because are looking at the historical figures as role models. I would tell the students that they do not have to change their race to have the same qualities as the people in the lesson. Hard work, dedicated, and motivation are the driving forces that allowed for success. These are not racial traits. They are traits of someone who wants to succeed.
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zaSyNu
zaSyNu
Reps: 58
I like that a lot! It is a good point to ask the students why they wish that. Because your right, they probably wished they were a different race at that time based on what the particular individuals did and achieved that they learned about. It is very important to point out to them that everyone is the same and capable of the exact same things no matter what race or culture they may be a part of.
  Posted on: September 14, 2014 6:44 am

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
Thank you for your encouraging comments!
  Posted on: September 19, 2014 1:33 am

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Solution 82
Posted September 12, 2013 3:44 pm

SyQyDu
SyQyDu
Reps: 21
I feel as if the students may have been confused by the point of the lessons. They may have thought that one race was superior to another and as a result wish to emulate what they percieve as superior. I would pull the students aside and discuss that we are all equal, and equally important. I wholeheartedly agree with this approach to delivering multiculturalism to the classroom, and helping students to understand the wonderful achievements of all cultures and peoples.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I'm curious why you would pull the students aside to discuss that we are equal instead of discussing it with the whole class. I think it is something that all the students could benefit from discussing.
  Posted on: September 21, 2013 12:04 am

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Solution 83
Posted September 19, 2013 4:29 pm

BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
Reading the selection made me think about me being an African American living in a dominated southern white culture. I remember at times wondering why all the inventories, scientist and etc were always of another nationality. I commend you on implementing multicultural education into the curriculum, because as a youngster I always thrived for that knowledge. The issues of the white students wishing to be black, isn’t far fetch. The roles are just reversed. I would address the class as a whole about embracing their heritage and culture. I would discuss with the class the meaning of diversity and acceptance and explaining that throughout the school year we will be exploring a variety of cultures and that it’s okay to find different cultures interesting. I will also elaborate on the fact that skin color, size, or gender has nothing to do with intelligences and achievements.
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Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I really like your comment. I agree that it is great that the teacher embraced and taught different cultures. I don't think the teacher should feel bad for their student exclaiming that they wish they were black, but rather applaud them for feeling so interested. We all wished we were someone else especially in the 5th grade.
  Posted on: September 22, 2013 12:06 pm

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Solution 84
Posted September 22, 2013 12:08 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
Like a lot of people that have responded to this, I do not see this as a terrible thing. I think it's great that a White student felt so excited about a different culture. Perhaps, as a teacher, you could express that it is great to want to be involved and learn more but it is simultaneously important to hold on to your own culture and embrace it. I think as teachers we can teach young children to embrace others and embrace ourselves.
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Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I think that embracing other cultures, as well as, our own is very important. Students need to be comfortable with the skin they are in, but also aware of other races. For the students to say they wish they were black, I would have a heart to heart with the students. There must be a significant reason why they felt this way. They may need to know that others with their own race have accomplishments too.
  Posted on: September 9, 2015 7:09 pm

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Solution 85
Posted September 22, 2013 12:14 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
I think it's great that you're making it a priority to make your students culturally aware and culturally educated. I think the fact that students told you they wished they were black means you're doing something right- they are seeing value in other cultures, which should be a key part of the curriculum. However, they are obviously missing part of the point if they believe that another culture is better than their own. I would take this opportunity to have a conversation with your students where you discuss how all cultures are EQUALLY beautiful and valuable, and they shouldn't discredit their own because they see value in another. Maybe have a lesson where students list characteristics and contributions to society of their culture as well as a few other cultures to see that each culture has something beneficial to contribute to the world.
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NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I think that your solution is a very good idea. It is similar to mine. Although it is important for students to learn about other cultures, there should also be lessons included to help students appreciate their own cultures because that appreciation is as equally important as learning about different cultures.
  Posted on: September 7, 2014 5:15 pm

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Solution 86
Posted September 22, 2013 9:46 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I would discuss with the class that America is over flowing with cultural diversity. I would share with the class that every culture in America has made some type of contribution to today's society and that they all are rich in tradition and history. I would encourage everyone in the classroom to be extremely proud of their heritage and where they came from. I would try to give the students the opportunity to discuss their feelings to better understand what they meant by stating that, "They wished they were black." I would assume that the lessons did not occur during February. After seeing this level of student engagement, I would also teach them about the Hispanic, Asian, and Native American cultures. These cultures have also been basically swept under the rug and most states don't think that it is necessary to teach about non-dominant cultures and their contributions. I believe that this unit may have shown a few of the white students just how rich and interesting another culture can be. These students may have been so blown away by the traditions and history that they did not really know how to react. I believe that after a response like this that the door would be open to teaching the beliefs, traditions, and history of other non-dominant cultures. I would continue to share these cultures with this class and allow for student discussion.
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Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I agree with your take on the situation. All of our students today need to know the contributions of all the cultures in our country to see that not one or two races make a difference. Even if you don't fully teach it you can have a project where students discover the contributions of other cultures and present it to the class. Then you can build off of that to have discussions of other cultures.
  Posted on: September 19, 2015 3:31 pm

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Solution 87
Posted September 22, 2013 10:58 pm

yraGaD
yraGaD
Reps: 28
I think what's important to see in this situation is that the lessons inspired the students. Yes they may have taken it to the extreme but the fact is that they were moved by the contributions of others to our country. I would reinforce the fact that people of all colors and races have made this country what it is today. Reminding them that it's important to be proud of who you are and being proud of your own race wouldn't diminish their ability to celebrate the achievements of those of another race. I would make an effort to plan other lessons that would highlight people of various cultures that made significant contributions to the U.S.
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zuPeQy
zuPeQy
Reps: 99
I agree that the students probably got really into the lesson and felt inspired by what the teacher was teaching. I would also reinforce that people of all cultures have contributed to this country possibly by making a week out of it.
  Posted on: September 8, 2014 6:36 pm

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Solution 88
Posted May 25, 2014 9:42 pm

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
You most have really had your students engaged and thinking during this unit of study! I think it's wonderful that you had students excited about the accomplishments of past African Americans and that the students were gaining knowledge about their own culture. I would talk to the students who stated that they wished they were black and tell them that people of all races and nationalities have made contributions for people today to be proud of. To carry through into reading/ELA, students could conduct a research project on different American Figures that have positively contributed to what America knows and loves today. This way students can learn about more people and also be exposed to a wide range of minority contributions that impacted the entire world.
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Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
A research assignment of various historical figures of different backgrounds is a great idea. I also suggested having a class discussion where students of different backgrounds talk about ways they are treated different or ways they see OTHER students treated differently based on race/religion/ethnicity/gender.
  Posted on: May 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
Laura,
I like your recommendation of discussing this further with the students. I also think it is a good idea to incorporate stories from other nationalities as well to give students a good picture of America. After all, it is called “The Melting Pot”. The idea of a research project sounds fun, I think it would help them gain a better knowledge of some of America’s historical figures.
  Posted on: May 31, 2014 3:36 am

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I think your suggestion about a research project on historical figures is a great idea and one that could create a lot of different discussions in the classroom. I think your response was great!
  Posted on: June 2, 2014 1:44 am

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
I really like the research project ideas and the class discussion. I would assign different people from different time periods so that part of the discussion could be a compare and contrast to find out how things have changed over time.
  Posted on: October 15, 2014 8:13 pm

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Solution 89
Posted May 26, 2014 9:03 pm

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
It appears that these students who wish to be black feel the accomplishments of their monocultural identity has been over shadowed by the accomplishments of many great African- Americans. I would explain to the students that we spend so much of the school year and our time on the accomplishments and contributions of white, anglo-saxon people than that of African-American history. I would also explain to these students that while we are hurt or saddened because there is so much focus on one culture, that their culture seems left out, we should embrace and learn about other cultures as well.
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Solution 90
Posted May 29, 2014 1:36 am

Elizabeth Comella
Elizabeth Comella
Reps: 51
During the lessons the students learned about people who were black and their accomplishments in life. When the student said that they wished they were black, I feel as though the student wanted to relate to the people through their race. While the goal of the lesson was to teach about diversity it should also have been a lesson about hard work and determination. As the teacher I would have addressed the statement in that it does not matter your race but if you work hard you can achieve great things. I would tell the student that all these people faced many challenges but they never gave up on their dreams. I would continue to tell the student that we can all make a difference and be someone great regardless of our gender or race that what matters most is our determination, perseverance and hard work.
Elizabeth Comella
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Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I agree- expanding the lesson that students learned to make it applicable to them just as they are would be more beneficial.
  Posted on: May 29, 2014 2:00 pm

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Solution 91
Posted May 29, 2014 4:33 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
I feel like this is an opportunity to have a great conversation. These students should be encouraged to explore the culture more as they have an interest in it. You can easily address their statement by saying, "I'm glad your interested in the content! What about this content interests you?"
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Solution 92
Posted May 30, 2014 1:07 am

wendy burns
wendy burns
Reps: 80
I think these children see these African American scientist, writers, and political figures as someone they would like to be. I'm not sure there is anything to address because they see these people as someone they would like to emulate.
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Solution 93
Posted May 30, 2014 6:19 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
The first thing I would do is ask the students why? I would be interested and I'm sure other students would be interested in hearing their responses. Then I would tell them that it isn't my intention to persuade you to change, my intentionwas simply to educate you on individuals different from your own. Then I would explain to them that so often individuals who had an impact in our history are overlooked when they should not be. It's important to equally recognize important individuals in our past. I would not try to make it a big deal nor try to over analyze the situation because I never intend to make students feel embarrassed.
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James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I agree that this situation probably does not need to be over analyzed. I doubt that these students are ashamed of their own race. I would remind these students that everyone has people from their own culture that are significant.
  Posted on: June 2, 2014 2:53 am

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I like your solution to this problem. I think it is important for students to realize that we overlook a lot of good information and people while teaching history. I would also find it interesting to know why students wanted to be another culture beside their own. Based on their responses I think I would find people and information to show them that their are people from their cultural background who have done amazing things as well. Just adding to the teaching opportunities from this case study!
  Posted on: September 11, 2014 7:20 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I also agree that this situation should not be over analyzed especially because of the student's age. Younger students may not see wanting to become another race as anything other than being different. I think you have some good ideas. It sounds like you would give them academic information about people who have achieved a lot that are over looked. I think that would be a great idea.
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 12:57 pm

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Solution 94
Posted May 31, 2014 3:27 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
It is refreshing to see diversity taught in the classroom through these types of units. I think your students probably made that comment because of the excitement they felt from learning all of the new things. There is also a level of pride associated with making history. I would dig deeper and have a discussion with the students and ask them to explain why they wished they were Black. During the discussion, I would also bring up accomplishments and names of people from other nationalities who have made contributions to our country. Show students that people of all races helped make America into what it is today. You could even include accomplishments from White Americans so the students could feel a sense of pride in their own heritage as well.
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aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I agree that it is refreshing to see so cultures so widely accepted. It seems as if the teacher has done an excellent job of educating the students on different cultural perspectives. I agree that the teacher should discuss historical figures from a variety of different backgrounds who have been successful in the U.S. Students need to be aware of the fact that they do not need to change the color of their skin to be successful; they can make an impact by staying true to themselves.
  Posted on: September 17, 2014 12:04 am

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I had a similar post, except I would have the students discover and research about other people who have made a difference in our country. That way the students are exploring and discovering their own cultures contributions and the contributions of others. They could then present it to the class, so that everyone can learn about the different people who have made changes to our country.
  Posted on: September 19, 2015 3:16 pm

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Solution 95
Posted May 31, 2014 7:12 am

Justin Redmond
Justin Redmond
Reps: 51
The best thing to do in this situation is to pull those kids aside and explain to them that Whites have also made significant contributions to the U.S. I would provide several examples to them as well. I would also explain that every race has its own unique characteristics and that one is not better than the other; we are all equal. I would not try to get too deep into racial talk since these students are so young. I would just try and keep it simple and provide them with the information stated above.
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Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Justin, I definitely think it is important for the students to be reminded that people of a races have made contribution to our world and should all, like you said, be viewed as equal. They need to hear often that working together is what will really make our world prosper!
  Posted on: June 1, 2014 11:23 pm

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Solution 96
Posted June 1, 2014 3:10 pm

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I think it is good that the students see something in the people that are being studied that they want to emulate. I also think that it is really great that the teacher is focusing on different perspectives in the curriculum and incorporating the contributions of all races. I think when we teach about the contributions of different cultures we should not do it in a singular format. We should focus on the contributions and give various multiple cultural examples that are inclusive to all students. An example would be when you are studying scientists, study Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein but also study George Washington Carver and Marie Curie at the same time. This is to ensure that our students can take pride in their cultural identity while also seeing the contributions of people that different than them.
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Solution 97
Posted June 2, 2014 1:52 am

Cierra` Barksdale
Cierra` Barksdale
Reps: 61
The issue of White students wishing they were black is a situation that must be handled with compassion and sensitivity. The idea of teaching young, impressionable students about the contributions of people from various backgrounds is commendable and worth emulating. Such a practice teaches pupils that the true history of this nation cannot be written without the unsung contributions, ideas, inventions, success, morals, blood and tears of people of color. However, it may be helpful to emphasize the larger point; regardless of race, color, ethnicity, creed or orientation, everyone has an opportunity to make contributions to improve life for future generations. The color of a person does not define one's legacy. The drive and commitment to overcoming obstacles leaves the indelible imprint that boasts our existence even beyond our lifetime.
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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I concur with your statement that the teacher should “emphasize the larger point; regardless of race, color, ethnicity, creed or orientation, everyone has an opportunity to make contributions to improve life for future generations”. The educator’s intentions were to help students learn more about the contributions of minorities to our society; however, the lessons we implement in the classroom do not always reach our planned destination. I applaud her for helping her students learn more about African Americans, but I believe the teacher should incorporate various figures that have cultural differences from each of the people that are being explored in the lessons.
  Posted on: September 14, 2014 8:15 pm

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Solution 98
Posted June 2, 2014 2:14 am

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I would need to know how they said this statement. Were the students being facetious? If they were sincere, then I would asks them why they wanted to be black. It might be that they were experiencing some sort of envy because of the attention that African Americans are receiving in class. I would remind these students that each group of people have made significant contributions and that every culture has people and contributions that they can be proud of.
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Solution 99
Posted June 17, 2014 8:45 pm

Alisha Wesley-Moore
Alisha Wesley-Moore
Reps: 60
An African American may very well feel as though this was a compliment and smile because of the history and feeling a lack of appreciation. I would suggest that you find out which topic actually triggered each to approach you with their current feelings. I would then explain that an individual does not have to be of a specific race, culture or ethnicity in order to recognize for his or her contribution. I would definitely let them know that although how they feel may be flattering to individuals of African American culture, they (the students) should always be equally proud of the contributions made by Americans of other cultures. I would suggest that contributions made my Native, Asian, White, and other Americans be discussed in the weeks to come.
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Solution 100
Posted September 7, 2014 5:10 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
It is important for students to appreciate all ethnicities. Because of this fact, I would simply address all of my students and tell them that they should always remain proud of their race and culture. Explain to them that it is okay to be fascinated with other cultures, and it is okay to want to educate themselves on other cultures, but they should always remember to honor their very own at all times. I also encourage you to continue to include lessons that involve other cultures.
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Solution 101
Posted September 8, 2014 3:01 pm

BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
From my perspective, these students were so impressed by the material shared that they want to be a part of that culture. I would tell them that people of all cultures have made important contributions to this country. Let these students know that the class will be studying various cultures so they can see those contributions. Perhaps they feel their culture has made no positive impacts. It is wise to know about cultures, including your own.
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Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
I like your viewpoint...maybe they were inspired!
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 4:00 am

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Solution 102
Posted September 10, 2014 7:15 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
I would chalk this up to 5th graders acting like 5th graders. This could be a good time to have a meaningful conversation with the students about why they wish they were black and that skin color does not have anything to do with success but rather our efforts and willingness to work hard and overcome obstacles. In addition, this is a good opportunity to discuss being happy with who you are, how you were made, etc. There is nothing wrong with your intentions, lessons, or even the response by your students, but it does allow for an opportunity to have a meaningful discussions.
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Solution 103
Posted September 11, 2014 7:18 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I would take that time to explain to my students why they need to take pride in who they are individually. I may even have my students write an autobiography on their culture so they can dig a little deeper into who they are. I do not want my assignments and topics of instruction to change who my students want to be culturally. I would then use this opportunity to teach my students about even more cultures because this assignment has shown me just how interested in learning about new cultures my students are.
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Solution 104
Posted September 12, 2014 6:52 pm

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
In my opinion, I think that it is wonderful that the students think that another culture is significant. I would tell the students that this is wonderful but they need to embrace their own cultures as well. They need to be honored of who they are. I would also take this opportunity to let my students research other scientists, writers, and political figures of different cultures. This would hopefully allow students to understand that many different types of people of various races have influenced our world.
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GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
I agree, it is wonderful that the students found another culture significant and that is why I would never try to sway them from their statement only let them know every culture is important and that the purpose of the lessons were to allow them to understand the diverse cultures in the U.S.
  Posted on: September 21, 2014 2:10 pm

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
I agree that admiring another culture is certainly not wrong, and I would remind the students of that. I also think it is good to then encourage those students, and maybe the entire class to research other contributors to that field of study. A good idea would be to have each student research someone from a culture different from their own and one from a very similar culture. This would be a good way to show students that many people from many cultures have formed history and have contributed to discoveries, which was a focus of the classroom.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 3:38 am

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Solution 105
Posted September 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
In effort to help students acquire an appreciation of all cultural people that contribute to our society, the teacher should include a discussion about diverse figures that help others. Students should be able to see differences in culture, gender, and ability when exploring content. The focus on African Americans suggest to students that only this ethnicity can become scientists, writers, and political figures. Children have to learn about Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and Helen Keller to see that anyone that works hard can become successful in life. Success in life is not based on the color of your skin or the language you speak or the category of your gender or the amount of money you earn each year. I would ask the students why they want to be black to determine the root cause of the statement they made and then further the discussion that race does not determine your contribution to the world.
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Solution 106
Posted September 15, 2014 10:32 pm

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I feel that you should do a unit that focuses on White Americans that have made significant contributions to the United States and any other races that are represented in your class. By studying people from different ethnic backgrounds, the students are learning that every race has contributed to the United States. You should stress that every student regardless of skin color has a reason to be proud of their ancestors and the contribution they have made to the United States.
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aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
I am not sure that focusing specifically on a different people group will quite do the trick here. I think the best practice is simply to make sure to include everyone who has made significant contributions to our area of study (depending on the grade level and content you teach). Possibly even allow students to do independent projects on individuals who have made significant contributions to society and allow them to choose their own individuals and discuss their positive contributions. If we could start to focus not on what makes us different but what makes us similar (our humanity) it may not come as such a surprise that people of all cultures and backgrounds have made positive contributions to human society.
  Posted on: September 17, 2014 4:23 pm

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
I agree with the above comment. In order to prevent racism, all arenas of ethnicities would need to be covered.
  Posted on: September 19, 2014 12:11 pm

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Solution 107
Posted September 19, 2014 1:31 am

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
It is wonderful that students are interested in the cultures of others. However, the purpose of teaching and learning about cultural diversity is not to present one cultural group as being more valuable or some how better than another. It is to teach children to understand and value the divers peoples who they will encounter through out their lives. Cultural diversity instruction is a means to enable students to make connections to develop understandings of others so that our country will be more understanding of its peoples thereby reducing discrimination and promoting unified equality. As a means to teach children this valuable lesson the teacher should discuss the students feeling with them. Make inquires as to why the students wished they were Black or a different cultural group. Open discussion could lead to interesting new insights on the students and teachers part. The teacher should also provide lessons focusing on other cultural groups including famous scientists, writers and political figures. This would enable students to make personal connections to leaders in their own cultural group which will help build self awareness. The teacher should then hold a follow up discussion asking students if they have changed their views to understand that all peoples from divers cultures are equally important to the fabric of our society.
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GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
I like that you pointed out that the teacher should ask the students why they wished they were black. Talking about it and holding group or class discussions is a great way to understand the "why" behind many students thoughts.
  Posted on: September 21, 2014 2:06 pm

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
Good idea on pointing out other scientists and political figures of other races. This would allow the students to see that, anyone, regardless of race, can accomplish great things.
  Posted on: October 20, 2014 3:59 am

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Solution 108
Posted September 19, 2014 12:09 pm

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
In this situation, if the comment was not loaded with sarcasm, then I would address the students with probing questions on why? I would then build my lessons to focus on other ethnicities in order to avoid any racial tension from the group of students. For example, the teacher could explore Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. Perhaps the teacher could assign a project where a student picks a famous person of a different ethnicity in order to highlight their qualities and successes. This would help students see that all ethnicities have successful humans within their races.
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Solution 109
Posted September 19, 2014 6:25 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
The first thing that needs to be done is ask why the students feel this way. Then I would suggest that the teacher back tracks a little bit and reiterates the purpose of the lesson. The purpose being to simply highlight one of the cultures that have made significant contributions in the US. I would then go on to explain that there are many contributions made by people from all cultures and follow up with a lesson on one of them. In the future, I do not believe that history should be taught by focusing on one culture or seeing it from one perspective. It needs to be all encompassing so that all cultures are seen as important and ones that have experienced hardships and triumphs.
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Solution 110
Posted September 21, 2014 2:04 pm

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
Explain to the students that every culture is important and has made significant contributions in some way. I would let the students know that the point was to allow them to learn about other cultures and to see how the people in our country have been shaped and influenced. I wouldn't want them to feel like their culture is in anyway less or more.
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Solution 111
Posted October 5, 2014 10:33 pm

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I am not surprised that you had this happen in your class after studying for a couple of weeks about the contributions of African Americans. I have also had this come up in one of my classes, after studying this same "unit". I found, after speaking with my young first and second grade students that they felt as if they wanted to be Black, because they (white) did not have a unit of study for them. This began many different discussions about what these americans accomplished and not what color of skin they had. It was eye opening to me that what they were meaning was that I had not intentionally taught a lesson, much less two weeks of lessons on other culture's contributions to our country and they felt slighted. It was beneficial to me to become aware that in trying to teach and stamp out the discrimination, I was actually adding to it by not acknowledging every culture.
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BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
"what these americans accomplished and not what color of skin they had" What a wonderful idea! Let's focus more on what we, as Americans, have achieved instead of which color American did what. Not to diminish any race or culture, but I think in some cases race is irrelevant.
  Posted on: October 7, 2014 8:03 pm

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Solution 112
Posted October 7, 2014 8:20 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
Do not just limit this study to African American contributions. Have lessons on Latino Americans and their contributions, Italian Americans and their contributions, and many more different cultures. This will show your students that there are many groups who contributed to making America what it is today.
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PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
I also agree with you on this. I said that we should embrace all cultures and the significant contributions that people have made. This allows all children to be proud of who they are and what they can accomplish in their lifetime.
  Posted on: October 8, 2014 10:17 pm

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Solution 113
Posted October 8, 2014 10:16 pm

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101

As a kindergarten teacher I try to embrace us all.. working with younger children we allow them to learn about each other and what we are good at. We do focus on Black History month and all of the challenges and struggles that America went through to get us to where we are now. I would embrace all cultures in my classroom. There is not one better race than the other and it is good to know all of the wonderful things that have came from someone of all ethnicities.
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Solution 114
Posted October 18, 2014 1:15 am

Heather Long
Heather Long
Reps: 103
It sounds like you did a great job shedding a positive light on the figures you studied!! Bravo! Let them know that it is great they admire these figures as much as they do but they are great only because of their contributions, not because of their race.
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Solution 115
Posted October 20, 2014 3:57 am

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
My first response to the students would be to pull them to the side and ask them why? I would explain to them that I wasn't trying to say one race was better than the other, but simply presenting the facts. If they were offended by the material, I would apologize and try to talk them through their thinking, but would reiterate the fact that I was merely presenting facts.
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Solution 116
Posted October 27, 2014 5:09 am

HyraLe
HyraLe
Reps: 73
I can see that while portraying the African American contributors in a positive way and looking at their success, a student may want to be like them. I think the important thing to remember here is that these individuals were not successful BECAUSE they were black but they were successful because of their efforts and hard work. This should be explained to the students and clarified because they focused on the race of the individuals more than their efforts. It also should be cleared up the reason why the focus was on African American contributors also. Maybe that part was not clarified in the beginning so this is why the students only took race out of this lesson. Do a graphic organizer with the class whole group showing what efforts the persons made and some things they might of had in common besides the fact that they are black. This will help students get the BIG picture of this lesson.
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Solution 117
Posted March 2, 2015 3:42 am

Breanna Bunnell
Breanna Bunnell
Reps: 201
I would continue the lessons in the classroom to highlight key things that people have done of a few major cultures.
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Solution 118
Posted March 2, 2015 3:43 am

JuMaPa
JuMaPa
Reps: 100
Ask them, firstly & foremostly, what do they mean by that.
Surely they do not wish to be tracked, stigmatized, & underrepresented.
So do they want darker skin? Box braids? A rich culture different from their own? An unstereotypical "white" name? What they do not have?
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Solution 119
Posted March 2, 2015 3:44 am

Breanna Bunnell
Breanna Bunnell
Reps: 201
I would give the students of your class an assignment: to do a project, weather research paper, or a poster board or something along those lines, of bright people of their culture. Have them pick on person from their culture who has given something big to society.
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Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I like your idea of creating a project for this. However, I would take it one step further and include different races, colors, genders, ages, etc. This way students could research and create a project on their assigned person. At the end of the project, students could share what they had learned with the class. Not only does this work on the project based learning skills, but it would also allow the entire class to see that anyone (no matter what race, gender, class, or age) can make a difference.
  Posted on: May 26, 2015 3:13 pm

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I love the idea of a project! I think that would allow them to explore the cultures on their own and truly give them the power of learning.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 4:38 am

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Solution 120
Posted March 16, 2015 1:18 am

atuTyL
atuTyL
Reps: 120
Wow! I never thought that would happen. However, also, have the class do something called "connections". Connections allows them to speak about their feelings. However, I would have the students tell why they are important as well. African-American culture isn't to make others feel inadequate. It is taught and recognized because African-American people were made to feel inadequate. Teach your students that all people are important.
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Solution 121
Posted May 25, 2015 5:00 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I think that it is very important, in this instance, to talk with the students about why they would like to be black. Most likely, the students wished they were black, because they had been studying about all of the achievements by African Americans, and they have equated race with achievement. Therefore, to address this issue, I would explain that a person's race is not indicative of their potential for success or achievement. To illustrate this, I would expose them to people of different races who accomplished similarly wonderful things. I would ask them what kinds of things they would like to achieve in life, and then talk with them about how their race would have no effect on their ability to achieve those things. We would instead focus on the skills, traits, or characteristics they would need to have to accomplish their goals. We could even work together to create a "game plan" of sorts for their goals. If the students offered a different reason for wanting to be black, then I would have to reconsider my plan. However, the crux of any plan would be disassociating race with any other quality, opening the door for a discussion about how physical appearance does not affect anything a person might enjoy, dislike, or achieve in life.
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Solution 122
Posted May 26, 2015 3:10 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
Considering the age of these students and the discussions that led up to this, these students probably have seen the great leaders of the black community. I would explain to these students that it does not matter what color, gender, or age you are. Everyone has the power to make a difference and everyone has the power to change the world. I would also like to remind the students that they are who they are for a reason. If the were black or any other color, gender, or age, then they would not be themselves and that it was makes them so special!
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Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
You could also have the students research not only powerful black leaders but also different cultures. What a great leading statement into a writing assignment!
  Posted on: May 26, 2015 5:21 pm

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Solution 123
Posted May 26, 2015 5:17 pm

Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I would use their comments as a writing lesson. Allow to express their feelings on paper, like a journal entry. Why do they want to change who they are now to someone else? Reading their assignment will allow you to understand why they made that particular comment. You would also be able to have a follow up lesson to steer them towards your original intent when you planned your lessons.
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Solution 124
Posted May 27, 2015 2:11 am

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I think you could use the student’s statement as a research project. I think it would be interesting to see how many students would want to change their race. You could conduct a research project for the students, as well as yourself. For the students, they could choose to be a different race or remain the same. The next question they would have to answer is “why or why not?” They could then be required to provide several reasons why, some of which are based off of historical evidence. After the students projects are completed, you could make a statistical representation of the students and their choices. The evidence could present further lesson plan topics for you and your class to study.
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Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I too said that this lesson would lead into a great research project. I didn't think about bring into account statistics into it. Great idea!
  Posted on: May 31, 2015 11:28 pm

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Solution 125
Posted May 27, 2015 5:30 pm

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
Clearly you had good intentions of exposing students to African Americans who were successful in our history. I do agree that all too often, teachers expose students to famous historical figures who are white. In order to further make your classroom diverse and allow for students to see that there are many different people and cultures who have contributed to our country, you will need to find a wide range of cultures that have contributed. Do NOT just make it about white and black. There are many other races out there.
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Solution 126
Posted May 27, 2015 11:09 pm

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I would first ask the students why they want to change who they are? After receiving their answer, I would then simply explain that all cultures have famous figures that represent their cultural background. I would even provide a few examples of famous figures in various cultures the next day to ensure they they students have a valid understanding. I would continue your units on various cultures in this country to teach students an understanding of differences and respect of other cultures. I feel that this simple solution would address your issue at hand.
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Solution 127
Posted May 28, 2015 12:04 am

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74

I would explain to them that many white Americans also made many great contributions to in our country. I would then give them a few examples. I would tell them that we have been focusing on African Americans and what they have done for our country. I would tell them they need to be proud for who they are and for what their ancestors may have done. They should not want to be anything that what and who they are and they should be proud.
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Solution 128
Posted May 28, 2015 4:57 pm

Farhat Ahmad
Farhat Ahmad
Reps: 68
I would tell my students I appreciated their sentiment, but then try and dig deeper as to why they made that statement. Is there feelings of guilt? Empathy? Fascination? Depending on their answer, I would plan out my next steps. Perhaps explaining to them by studying other cultures, we can help alleviate any feelings of guilt and bring understanding and acceptance. Or, wanting to coexist peacefully is equally as relevant as wanting to, "be". Clearly this is a statement made by younger kids, and I typically work with 16-19 year olds so I'm afraid I don't have many solutions that are extremely sensitive.
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Solution 129
Posted May 28, 2015 5:48 pm

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
In this situation I would address those students together but away from the rest of the classroom and explain to them that although the African American culture made great contributions to the world, the white culture did some great accomplishments as well. I would also remind them that they should be proud of their skin color and the culture they come from because it is a part of who they are.
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Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I like the idea of talking to the students and letting the know that skin color does not define who we are. I think I would also talk about their culture and the importance it has impacted on the world today.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 1:44 am

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Solution 130
Posted May 28, 2015 9:02 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
I would approach these students each in an individual conference and then in a small group conference to discuss the issue. I would want to know each student's opinion for why they made that comment in order to gain insight into each student's thinking process. Then, I would hold a small group conference with the three students to explain how race or any other one quality determines the success or intelligence of an individual. Each individual possesses qualities that he or she can use to impact the world positively. Finally, I would explain how the class is doing special studies on various groups of people and cultures in the United States in order to become more culturally aware and become informed of the contributions made from different people.
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Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
I think your idea about pulling the students over to you individually is probably a good idea. It is important for us as educators to understand how and why students feel the way they do about their culture, as well as the culture of others. I also think it is important to make time to discuss many other cultures because until the students are informed, they truly don't know. They are little sponges...soaking up every word. Which is another reason why it is imperative to use primary sources as part of our instruction, and not just our own facts that we "know," and not just textbooks either.
  Posted on: May 29, 2015 12:18 am

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Solution 131
Posted May 29, 2015 12:40 am

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
This would be a great opportunity for a writing assignment for all students. I wouldn't go directly to the three students, however, I would talk to the class and have them write about their own culture. This is a very touchy subject in fifth grade, however, I think students are mature and old enough to understand that race doesn't change who we are. In addition, I think students could understand that culture and race shape up our character.
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Solution 132
Posted May 29, 2015 1:41 am

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I believe that I would start out by asking them what they like most about the African American culture. Then I would tell my students that I am glad that they respect the African American culture, but they should be proud of where they came from. I think believe I would set them aside a talk to them about the importance of their culture and the important people that impacted it. I also may compare their culture to the African American culture.
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Solution 133
Posted May 29, 2015 3:56 am

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I really feel that this is simple and maybe I shouldn't feel this way--but I feel like these students simply feel this way because what they are learning is something new and exciting to them! I know this matter may not be this simple or need to be this simplified but from the readings and from what I've learned it seems that African-American (and other minorities) representation (in class, in media, in text, in history, etc.) is minuet. Thus, this might be their first real exposure to how much African-Americans have shaped society, History, Science, and so on.

However, before I jump to this conclusion I would definitely speak with the students alone and see if this what their actual ideas and thoughts were behind saying this. Additionally, I would let them know that however it is that they meant it, them saying 'they wished they were Black' could be viewed in many ways by their classmates, administration, and friends and family. I would inform them that it could be seen as offensive or complimentary to any of the mentioned people.

Yet, with that said, I'll go back to my original theory and likely express that to the students... that however they meant what they said, they are likely feeling new feelings (like wishing they were Black) because their exposure has likely been very little thus far in school (or elsewhere). Then I would help them work through those emotions accordingly.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
I also felt that this was not a huge issue. My solution was to talk to the students and discuss why they "want to be black" and refer back to people of other races that have had similar successes. Let the students know that can be successful no matter what color they are. I agree, that if it comes to a point where it is a big issue the counselor may need to be brought in and the students can work through it with support from teachers and other school members.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 2:46 am

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Solution 134
Posted May 30, 2015 1:03 am

Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I don't think there is anything wrong with them saying that. I would really use this as a learning experience and inquire about WHY they wish they were black. This would lead into some powerful conversation about how color is less about appearance and more about culture. Comments from students aren't bad but it's how we handle the comments that can make ALL the difference.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
Great solution! I said something very similar because I feel that it is not that uncommon for children and young adults to "wish" they are something that they aren't. I do feel that this is a teachable moment and the teacher can connect back to a successful person of a different race and explain to students that they can be successful no matter what color they are.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 2:42 am

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Solution 135
Posted May 30, 2015 2:38 am

Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
I feel that children and young adults "wish" they were something else (race, size, social class) quite often. I would talk to the students about why they want to be black. I would guess it is because of all the successful things you told them about African Americans doing, but would explain to them that people of any race can be successful. If you have talked about a successful person of another race previously in the year, refer back to that person and make them aware of successful people of all races. Let them know the importance of their individuality and that anyone can be successful if they put their mind to it.
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Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I agree that many children wish they were someone they aren't. It is also important to reassure the students that they are accepted and capable exactly how they are and they don't need to change in order to make a significant impact. I also agree that it is important to explain that people of all races can be successful, and the race of a student does not determine his or her success.
  Posted on: May 30, 2015 3:12 am

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Solution 136
Posted May 30, 2015 3:10 am

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I would start by discuss the comments the students made and asking them why they would want to change who they were. Next, I would go into a lesson about the contributions other famous Americans have made and how every culture has people that have made significant achievements. I believe that this would help the students maintain respect for all races and gain the understanding that they are capable of such achievements regardless of their race.
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Solution 137
Posted May 31, 2015 2:20 pm

RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I believe the first thing to do is to talk to the students privately who made that comment to find out why they made that comment. It is possible that your lesson is not the source of these feelings. Perhaps their other teachers have emphasized the contributions of African Americans and have neglected other cultures so that the students feel the way they do. It is also possible they have been taught to feel white guilt because of all of the "bad" things white people have done to other groups. Then I would begin to explore the work of various people from different social, cultural, and race backgrounds. I think it might also be beneficial to discuss that biologically there is no difference between people of different skin tones and that what matters is what a person does with their life.
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Solution 138
Posted May 31, 2015 9:59 pm

ezyXyh
ezyXyh
Reps: 57
I think the best solutions would consist of talking to the class about how ALL races have made important contributions to the world. Also, I would talk about how one doesn't need to wish they were a different race because each race bring something special to the table.
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RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I agree that this would be good to do in order to address any other students who may feel the same way, but I also think it would be important to talk to the three students who said that they wished they were black also. Students will often say things to a teacher that they wish to talk about with someone.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 3:07 am

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Solution 139
Posted May 31, 2015 10:58 pm

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I think that it is important to celebrate African American Culture and other cultures as well. What you described doing sounds like one of the many Black History Month tributes that I have experienced in school. Many other cultures have their own months as well, but "white culture" does not. Maybe in the following weeks of class you could do segments on important people from other cultures including white culture. In school, I remember one of the most important things that they taught us about white people in history was about slavery. That is not something that your white students can be proud of so find things to teach and emphasize that will make them proud to be who they are just like you did for you African American students.
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Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I think that is a good idea, to do a segment on all cultures and races including for those that are white.
  Posted on: May 31, 2015 11:26 pm

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Solution 140
Posted May 31, 2015 11:17 pm

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I would first ask the students why they felt that way. Then I would explain to them that you aren't promoting one race over the other. I would allow my class to analyze their own culture/race, and the positive contributions made by others that are within their own race. I would make this an in class project. Then I would have them present their project to the class. As their teacher I would tell my students that they should be proud of who they are and where they came from. Color is not the only thing that makes a person who they are, it is what is in the inside that really counts.
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ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
self reflecting on your own race and comparing those to others is a great idea. It will really give the class some insight into other cultures
  Posted on: June 5, 2015 5:42 pm

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Solution 141
Posted June 1, 2015 12:12 am

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
First, I would ask the students what made them feel that way. Then, I think I would thoughtfully plan a few lessons with contributions from several other individuals of various ethnic backgrounds. I think it is important to not only teach contributions of black and white individuals but all ethnic backgrounds.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
It would also be cool if you did a lesson on different social classes and what MAKES them in those social classes (SES).
  Posted on: June 2, 2015 3:19 am

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Solution 142
Posted June 1, 2015 2:31 am

Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I would take this comment made by these three students and address the entire class about it without drawing attention specifically to the three students. In my opinion, one of the points of lessons like this is to highlight contributions made by minorities to help engage students that are also minorities. In a broader sense, it is also to show that anyone can accomplish something great. I think a good capstone for lessons such as these is to remind students that people are great and do great things regardless of what culture they come from or what race they are. People do bad things regardless of what race or culture they come from. These students can't change their race, but they should respect all races, because people of all races can make the planet better, just as people of all races can make the planet worse. They can be proud of what they are, and also proud of what others have done. One does not and should not exclude the other.
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zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
An interesting solution, but clearly well laid out and reflective. I think that you make a good point to use their statements as a discussion starter, concealing their identities of course. Sometimes situations such as the this are teachable moments waiting to be used. You make some very solid points that I think all people need to realize.
  Posted on: June 1, 2015 3:52 am

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Solution 143
Posted June 1, 2015 3:28 am

zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
First, I would ask the three students as a group why they said that. Ideally, this group discussion would be conducted while the rest of the students are engaged in directed individual work. Depending on the students answers, I would possibly schedule a more formal meeting with the school counselor and the students' parents. This meeting would be individual in that the three students and their parents would have separate meetings with me. Regardless of how the students respond to my initial question, I would communicate my actions with the students to the students' parents immediately following the informal question in the initial group meeting with the three students. I imagine that the students made the comment due to all of the interesting facts and events they had been studying.
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Solution 144
Posted June 1, 2015 4:24 am

uqeXun
uqeXun
Reps: 69
I would agree with the students that, "Yes, it is cool to be black." I would also add that it is cool be _____ or ___, or whatever race(s) they were. In my conversation with these students, I would suggest that there are great people everywhere and race is not a contributing factor. I would point out that people become great because they are passionate about something, they set goals, they work hard to achieve them, and they make sacrifices that ordinary people are not willing to do. I would encourage these students' to focus on being the best person they can be and continue teaching them about other cultures.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I like how you would get the teacher to just address it head on! You didn't seem to let the comment bother you which I think makes you a very natural teacher who can 'roll with the punches'.
  Posted on: June 2, 2015 3:19 am

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
Emphasizing what successful people do is a good idea. Success has nothing to do with race or culture. It comes from people who make goals and do what it takes to reach their goal. They never give up. To help show this idea you could show successful people from different cultures and all walks of life and explain how they became successful. You could also explain how these people did not let their race, culture, or circumstances hold them back from they wanted.
  Posted on: September 7, 2015 4:30 pm

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Solution 145
Posted June 2, 2015 3:25 pm

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I would have to first hear the responses from the 3 individuals on why the want to be black before I decided how to address the issue. I am curious if they responded because they want to be different from the rest of the class or if they are fascinated with their contributions to U.S. History.
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ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
Seeing if the students wished to be black based on wanting to be different or on the historical background would be a interesting conversation. If it were just to be different a class discussion could be help on how we are all different not just based on our race and if the students wanted to be black based on the cultural background, discussions could be held on other cultures. Good solution!
  Posted on: June 5, 2015 5:37 pm

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Solution 146
Posted June 3, 2015 12:22 am

Tina Joiner
Tina Joiner
Reps: 63
First I would ask the three particular students in whole group or aside individually why they said that they wished they were Black? I would have to examine the reasons behind their perspective and viewpoint. I have taught 5th grade and after our study of the Civil Rights Movement, etc. that has never happened in my own personal experience of this age group. I would have to make an analogy to the students what would happen if I talked about significant contributions of Hispanics in the U.S. or Asians would they then say that they would rather be Hispanic or Asian? Then I would have to remind students that each person is unique and contribute in their own special way no matter what the ethnicity/race they are. We would have to open up the discussion more in detail of how other groups of people are significant as well. Maybe showing a video or pictures of different groups of people who have contributed to the United States would help as well being a visual for students to better understand.
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Solution 147
Posted June 3, 2015 6:33 pm

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I think you should pull these students to the side, and first explain to them that every culture has something to offer. No one is unequal. Every culture has good and bad to offer. I would explain to them that some people may also want to be White for the very same reasons. They need to fully understand that everyone has something great to offer to world, and it really shouldn't matter about the race of a person.
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Solution 148
Posted June 5, 2015 5:34 pm

ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64

I think it is great that students are being introduced into different cultures and that they are accepting of those cultures, so much so that they wish to be like them. However it is important to remind students the beauty of diversity and just because you admire a certain culture does not mean you need to change who you are. They can spread their new knowledge about African American people in hopes that they may open the eyes of others. It would be interesting to know why these students may have wanted to be black. This would continue the lesson and it would be a great classroom discussion. I think a good lesson closer would be to explain what other different cultures that will be discussed through the year and students could even keep a running graphic organizer to compare other cultures.
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Solution 149
Posted June 6, 2015 1:20 am

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
I would ask the student why they felt unhappy with their life as it is. I would then explain that "Being Black" is just a description of a person's race. It has nothing to do with who they are or what they could accomplish during their lives. I would explain that the reason why we study people who are black and accomplished great things is because black people have not always had the opportunities white people have so their accomplishments are recognized. I would explain that race has no effect on how much someone can accomplish now. I would then let it go and move on.
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Solution 150
Posted June 10, 2015 5:26 pm

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
I think that I would find the root of their desire. Is it because the focus was all the good things that these historic figures had accomplished? If so, then explaining that they did not accomplish those things because they were Black, they accomplished those things because of who they were on the inside. Anyone can accomplish great things. Perhaps lessening the focus on a specific group (i.e. African Americans, Latinos, Asians etc.) and creating a unit on the great things people accomplished because they worked hard might be a good way to approach the issue.
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Solution 151
Posted September 7, 2015 4:14 pm

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
You said that you wanted for all of your students to "have a good sense of all the people and cultures that make up this country." I think to address the three students who came up to you, you have to make sure that you address their culture as well and the contributions that white people have made to this country. Sometimes I feel like this idea is implied too much. Many teachers, me included, believe that since this is America that everybody already knows what white people did. Since you are teaching 5th graders they might not know exactly what contributions their ancestors made to this country. It is just assumed that they know but they were never told exactly what Americans did what. Just make sure that you really do highlight all the different cultures that helped make up the US and not assume that they already know.
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Solution 152
Posted September 7, 2015 6:01 pm

Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109
The first question I would ask my students is why they would want to change who they are. After hearing their responses, I would ask them to find out some Caucasian people who made significant contributions as well. This would help students see that their race is just as interesting.
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uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
The students are interested in accomplishments from the race being taught, why limit it to black and white?
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 12:04 am

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Solution 153
Posted September 9, 2015 7:07 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
From your planning, your intent was for the students to gain insight of how African Americans have huge accomplishments. I would approach the students and ask them why they are feeling they way that they are. After talking to them, I would explain that all races have certain accomplishments. I would show the rest of the class accomplishments from other races and check back to the students to see how they feel. Everyone should love the skin that they are in.
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Solution 154
Posted September 12, 2015 9:02 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
I believe this would be a perfect time to begin addressing the topic of culture. To me, this is a teachable moment, and one in which it might be a good idea to take a look at other cultures in the classroom, as well. I think we need to encourage students to be proud of their own cultures. Since the European cultures is often focused in American Classrooms, I don't think it would be necessary to do lessons and further highlight this culture, but maybe introduce students to other cultures around the world with the "I'm proud of my culture theme." This would give all the students in your classes a chance to examine their own cultures and help them make decisions on their beliefs, values, and cultures.
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Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
Teachable moment! Exactly! I, too, think it is an excellent opportunity for the students to research their own race and/or culture and take pride in who they are.
  Posted on: September 13, 2015 2:45 am

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Solution 155
Posted September 13, 2015 2:42 am

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
This is a difficult situation. I think the only way to handle it would be to allow the students the opportunity to research contributions made by their own race and/or culture. Essentially, it's important that students (and really anyone) recognize the contributions of other cultures to the central culture of the world, but it's also important that students (and really anyone) have an understanding of their own culture's contributions to the central culture of the world and have pride in their own culture.
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Solution 156
Posted September 14, 2015 12:54 am

Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
If would first ask the students why they wanted to change who they were and what exactly they became engaged and/or interested in that made them want to make this change? Hopefully, these two questions would shed some light as to their thinking process. From there, you could have the students research more about other famous African Americans or more about (or how to become) a scientist, writer, or a political figure depending on their interest.
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Solution 157
Posted September 14, 2015 11:56 am

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I would first ask the students why they want to change who they are. I would also discuss with them that African American is just a race and race does not determine what you do and how successful you are. I would also show the students how Caucasians have many contributions to the United States. By doing this it will show the students that their history is important as well.
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Solution 158
Posted September 14, 2015 4:27 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I would ask the students why they wished they were black. They would most likely say they made the comment because the people they had read about made major contributions to society and were very inspiring. This is true, but I would explain to the students that it doesn't matter what race you are you can still make a difference. Many blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asian, ect. have all made major contributions to society and they didn't do these things because of the color of their skin. It is important to be proud of who you are and to accept yourself no matter your color or ethnicity.
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Solution 159
Posted September 16, 2015 1:44 am

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I would first ask the children why they wished they were Black. By questioning their thought process, I would then be able to address their reasoning. I would also explain that race does not make who a person is. Race is a quality that people have, but it does not make you who you are. I would also explain that people are defined by their character and how they react in situations, and that has nothing to do with their race or ethnicity. I think it is important to also explain that every race is similar and different, and we should celebrate those differences. Differences, however, do not make someone better or worse; differences make them unique. I think it's important that students try to empathize with people of other races, but it is also important that they value who they are.
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Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
Yes, I totally agree! I loved that you mentioned that our differences are what should be celebrated. This is something that I know many fifth graders have a hard time with, so showing them historical examples should help. Maybe there was a student in this classroom who just happened to be feeling self conscious about being an African American. Just hearing these other students appreciate his or her race might help that student to appreciate his or her differences.
  Posted on: September 18, 2015 1:16 am

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Solution 160
Posted September 18, 2015 1:04 am

Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
I think fifth graders are very easy to get caught up in the moment. Currently, you're studying famous African Americans and all of their amazing accomplishments. Next week, you could study famous people from another cultural group and students are very likely to have the same sentiments. I think as a teacher, I would try to redirect my students to the important things that these people did, regardless of their culture or skin color. I want my students to aspire to be successful like these people were and look up to them for that reason. I think the lesson that students should carry with them is that all people have it within them to accomplish greatness, regardless of their background or culture.
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Solution 161
Posted September 19, 2015 11:59 pm

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I would speak to my class about the contributions that all races, cultures and genders have made in America and explain that they are all important and have shaped the country. After explaining these things I would then have students pick a scientist, writer or political figure that is not white or African American. By doing this, students will be forced to fine someone that is probably not like them and they can hopefully see what contributions overs have made for our country. I think it would also be beneficial to find out when the multi cultural "months" are and present people that are of those cultures during that time. All of the students would hopefully then have a better appreciation of all races and culture.
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Solution 162
Posted September 20, 2015 2:40 pm

Tetygy
Tetygy
Reps: 90
Well this is interesting! I think you achieved more than you had originally intended! I assume you were trying to incorporate cultural diversity and for people to understand that all cultures are special and have value. You did this so well some of your students want to change their culture! I think before you can address this you must explain if culture is something that can be changed or remains stagnant. Can someone change their culture? After that you will have your answer. I think opening the discussion up to exactly what makes the students want to change their culture. They will probably say something along the lines that "they are super cool!". If they do then ask them who in their culture is super cool? Then explain people from other cultures who are super cool and explain that all cultures have people like this.
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Solution 163
Posted September 20, 2015 8:47 pm

yWasyD
yWasyD
Reps: 107
I will explain to the students that we all wish we were somebody else at one point in our life or the other and that skin color does not change who we are within or who we want to be. People can be heroes irrespective of their skin color and that they have a lot to contribute to the society as they are.
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Solution 164
Posted September 20, 2015 11:22 pm

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I would first ask them why they would want to change who they were. I would explain the them that not only African American's have made significant contributions but people of many different races. I would explain to them that at the moment this is what we are studying and we will explore many more cultures and races. I would also contact the parents just to let them know that the subject came up and that it may not be anything serious. The children may just be going through an identity crisis.
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Solution 165
Posted September 21, 2015 12:13 am

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
My first approach would be to ask the students why they wished they were black. Upon recieving that response, I would tell my students that each of them were unique in their own way. Each culture has played an important role in history. I believe none more important than the other. I would tell my students that although cannot change their race or culture, they can change who they become. They can become important people in history.
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Solution 166
Posted September 21, 2015 2:05 am

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I would suggest that the teacher sit down with the student and figure out exactly why they feel that way. Is it because of the success of the African Americans that we discussed or is it a character issue. If it is a character issue, I would have the students write down a list of what makes them who they are and how great each aspect of who they are is. If it is because of the success of the African American culture that was discussed, I would then go on to teach not just this student but all of the students about the success of many different cultures. I would make sure that I included this student's culture as well so that they can see there are people in their own culture that have been successful and made contributions to society.
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Solution 167
Posted October 4, 2015 5:43 pm

eDuMez
eDuMez
Reps: 100
You always have really interesting occurrences in your class! I enjoy reading the issues as well as the comments people have for them! Definitely good to have a perspective from all fronts! Thanks for posting
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Solution 168
Posted October 13, 2015 6:26 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
This is a big problem, but I think sometimes the students say something they don't really feel. You should ask them what they really mean and explain to them its important to love who you are.
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Solution 169
Posted October 18, 2015 5:05 pm

qyQaGy
qyQaGy
Reps: 78
I have found that my intentions for a lesson and the outcome are rarely an exact match. In this situation I would use their comments as a start to a conversation about what they mean by "I wish I was black." It would be interesting for them to share their feelings as well as receive feedback from other students. Race is a touchy subject, but it shouldn't be shied away from. In fact, their comments may mean that they admire the people you had studied and want to be like them.
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Solution 170
Posted February 24, 2016 1:11 am

Chelsea
Chelsea
Reps: 103
I think that you should encourage the students to be proud of who they are, rather than focusing on what they are not. Explain to them that every person is unique and they should work to utilize the skills and talents they possess.
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Solution 171
Posted October 14, 2016 8:02 pm

Husava
Husava
Reps: 180
I would let the students know that they should em brass there own race and encourage others of there accomplishments as well.
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Solution 172
Posted July 3, 2017 3:53 pm

ynaHah
ynaHah
Reps: 100
Yasar with another gem. Ask them questions to see why they wished they were Black. Upon hearing them out I would explain to them that they can do whatever they want to do in the skin they are in. I would speak to the work ethic to achieve the goals of the idols of the three students. Also I would mention the strength to overcome barriers Black people have overcome and hurtles that continue to exist of course word it in a 5th grade level.
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Solution 173
Posted July 8, 2017 5:46 pm

eLaGag
eLaGag
Reps: 101
They probably just feel that through what they've been learning, being African American seems to be a lot better than being their own race. You could explain to them that while this lesson was focused on African American history, there is also a fair share of White history. Tell them that we are all human beings and that race does not determine how great you are as a person, that everyone no matter of what their race should be proud of whoever they are. You may even need to explain this to the class, since some may feel the same way but be more silent about it. You don't want to downplay the importance of African American history and contributions to the US, but you need to ensure that all students feel equal, respectful, and proud of one another no matter race, culture, ethnicity, sex, etc.
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Solution 174
Posted July 9, 2017 3:31 pm

NaPeqe
NaPeqe
Reps: 104
Explain to the students that they should be proud of who they are. Everyone has something to contribute to the world, regardless of race or color. Make sure your lessons include people of all races and colors. Sometimes though, feeding into these comments could make it worse. A comment like that might be forgotten in a day. Don't make the issue any bigger than it needs to be.
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Solution 175
Posted October 7, 2017 3:05 pm

napyze
napyze
Reps: 100
I think it is a good idea to acknowledge their feelings and just have a conversation. See the reasons why they are saying this.
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Solution 176
Posted October 11, 2017 8:47 pm

uryden
uryden
Reps: 100
I love that the students said this. Explain that it is not a negative thing to say, but they should love who they are.
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Solution 177
Posted June 16, 2015 1:11 pm

Shirley carter
Shirley carter
Reps: 17
I would say that you should be happy and proud of who you are and there are lot of white people that are very important also and have made great contributions to this country. I will do a lesson on those individuals.
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nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
I don't feel like the issue should strictly be focused on black and white. It's need to be opened up to a wider spectrum of understanding.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:27 am

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Solution 178
Posted May 27, 2013 10:16 am

Jessica Heilman
Jessica Heilman
Reps: 58
I would remind them of all of the contributions that White people have made to the world. They may be feeling jealousy of seeing all of these wonderful contributions African Americans have made to the world but they may be forgetting all that White people have done for the world as well. It is easy to do. Being a White woman myself, while everyone is out celebrating Black History and Asian Pride and Hispanic Heritage month, we are left with nothing. And if we dare to say that, we are racist. I am going to be brave and stand up and say that this is a problem with our students, especially the white ones. Their race is SEVERELY overlooked. It is time to be fair and give every race, even Whites, a fair amount of time in each class.
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Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I agree with your comment. I also think that these white students might feel guilty over the treatment of African Americans throughout U.S. history because they are often taught to view their ancestors as evil when in reality they were merely products of their time. I think that all races should be considered, and I think that the achievements of all citizens of the U.S. should be taught regardless of their race. I do think there should be some kind of dedication to white history in a positive light as well instead of viewing whites as a tyrannical group of people who have dominated the world as is often the case.
  Posted on: May 28, 2013 9:02 pm

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I agree Jessica! I think that the "white" race is also very overlooked! We hold black history months and discuss how several black americans changed to world; however, we are almost scared to step on toes by creating a white history month! This month could be used to talk about all the wonderful things white americans have done! I do not think that one culture/ skin color should be idolized. Many cultures and nationalities derserve recognition!
  Posted on: May 29, 2013 1:38 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
Looking objectively at how race has been treated over the generations, history books and textbooks often overlooked the contributions of those of other races and women as well. That is the reason that months celebrating those of other races and backgrounds came into existence. Before, every month was white, man month. So I would say whites are not severely overlooked but rather we are now seeing a more balanced approach to the contributions of many groups rather than just one narrow group.
  Posted on: May 30, 2013 7:58 pm

udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
I would not say that White people's race is severely overlooked. As Spring points out in his text, when you are a member of the dominant culture, the power and privilege you have is easily overlooked because there is nothing for you to compare and contrast it to. In other words, it is how it always was in this country. For instance, most US presidents, state governors, senators, congress people, justices, Fortune 500 CEO's, economic policy makers, etc. have all been White and primarily White men. Turn on the television and most shows have a primary White cast. The same with movies on the big screen.

So, given the context of race in larger society, I would not say that White people's race is being overlooked.
  Posted on: September 18, 2013 8:51 am

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I agree that students should have equal learning time for all races and both genders. The classroom should be a place that represents the cultural diversity of this country and that includes men and women of all races. I do not feel that a month has to be set aside to observe each race but should take place on a daily basis in the classrooms.
  Posted on: September 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I do not think that students should be reminded of the value of their race. I feel as if this would create a problem within the classroom and make students assume the teacher is defending a particular race. Instead, why not pose the students statement as a question to the class. He could ask the students if they would want to change their race and why. This would lead the students to researching different cultures themselves.
  Posted on: May 27, 2015 2:14 am

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
Very interesting and bold statement. I do agree to some degree that if we focus too much on the white race, we get our hands slapped because it appears we are being r