As I’m riding back from Chicago using public transit, surrounded by a huge amount of people who’d just been to a gay pride parade. After hearing at least 8 different languages spoke on our way to Willis Tower (which will always be Sears Tower to me), and watching many of the participants in this parade both to and from downtown, it just makes me think about a few things.
First and foremost, these kids (and wow, they made me feel all of my 42 years) were so passionate about this topic, it made me smile. Whether you agree with the subject or not, we can all see the feeling and emotion they have for the topic! My question. How do we has educators tap into this?? This kids are those either in school yet or just enter college. How can we use that passion in our classrooms and our communities? By not shunning them! By not looking at the way they dress or talk and think, “ugg, damn kids!” Each time we push that generation away, we alienate the very source of energy that CAN change the world!
Secondly, my school is white, lily white, how can this be possible white! One of the reasons for this trip is to show my daughters just how diverse our country is! For my students, who will be in this diverse world, but yet have no way of seeing it up close and personal, how do I educate them? This is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately because many of my students don’t have those opportunities. Going to plays have been cut, so that source of culture is gone. All they have now are stereotypes: media created personas who act, dress, and speak a certain way. One thing I may do is try to bring in minority business people, those who’ve got businesses off the ground to talk with the students. If they can see people are just that, people, parents just trying to so their best for their own kids, maybe minds can start to be opened!
And finally, I love visiting major metropolitan areas, but it just makes me realize how much work I have to do with my own students. Culturally, if they aren’t given some of those experiences at home, how can I bring them into the classroom? Whether Mystery Skype or pen-pals or something else, as our world continues to shrink, I need to keep finding those ways to make my classroom do the same!