This morning, I was browsing the Op-ep portion of the New York Times online, to see if any titles caught my eye, and found an article titled, “Are We Raising Racists?” Intrigued, I read it. The article describes a parent’s need to teach their children about race, especially white children. It explains how simply teaching children “we’re all equal” is not enough because “When we don’t talk honestly with white children about racism, they become more likely to disbelieve or discount their peers when they report experiencing racism.”
In total agreement, post reading the article, I began to think about my future, not necessarily as a parent, but as someone who may potentially become a teacher or work in education policy. In addition, I began to think about the internship I will be doing this summer at a preschool in Tribeca, NY. After touring the preschool over spring break, I learned that almost all of the over 200 students, ages 2-5, are white. Although 2 may seem to be too young of an age to begin talking about race, from an even younger age, children are aware of racial differences and begin to form racial biases.
These facts made me begin to consider what a teacher’s role is in teaching young children about race. Considering some children may have parents who talk heavily about race at home, and some parents who follow the “colorblind” approach and refuse to talk about race, what is a teacher’s role in helping to raise children who are, to put it plainly, not racist? I do not believe that I will be outright in teaching children about race during my internship this summer, but I do believe that, in the future, I will remember that I believe is the responsible of a teacher to teach children about our history, and when that history is painful it is even more important that they know it, so that the future may never repeat the mistakes of the past.
Are We Raising Racists? : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/opinion/are-we-raising-racists.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FRace%20and%20Ethnicity&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection