Home | How It Works | Stats
Login | Register
  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!)
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.