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  Case: 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?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
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!
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: It is important that you brought up the changes students are going through at this time in their life. It is true that some of them want to be different than what they are.
Rated On: June 1, 2015 12:21 am
Rated By: Melissa Aspinwall