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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 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.
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: Great answer to a potentially hazardous situation.
Rated On: October 19, 2014 4:10 pm
Rated By: Sanubu