Thursday, June 11, 2009
- What should i do? Who can help me? Is there anyone out there?
- What are other methods for teachers/administators and other students can do to change the racial stereotypes in connection to school achievement?
- Please feel free to share comments/questions on the issues of race and school achievement, and what we as a society can do to change it.
Background Info: I'm a half-white and half-Mexican girl, but I'm often perceived to be completely Mexican.
Situation: It's the beginning of my junior year in high school, and I walk into the career center to see about information on potential universities, scholarships, etc. As I walk in, the counselor looks up at me and says "The tutoring center is across the hall." I mention to her that I'm actually here to pick some information on college, and by the look on her face, she is surprised. So without asking important questions like, What kind of college? Where?, she hands me some pamphlets on nearby community colleges. Looking at the pamphlets, I think to myself, "I'm one of the top students at this school, shouldn't I be getting more options other than Mt. SAC and Chaffey. Where's the colleges like UCLA, CSU-Long Beach, etc.?"
- Would this interaction be different if I was different race?
- Has this ever happened to you?
- Please share your thoughts and questions about the impact teacher/counselor stereotypes have on students' expectations of themselves and their attitudes about school achievement.
- What should I do ?
- Should I ignore all my friends and do what I feel or should I do what everyone expects me to do?
Adolescence is a time of turmoil and change for every young adult, especially for students of color and other minorities. As our world becomes increasingly global, there is a disconnect between our students and academics.
- Do some students do better in Math or English because of race?
- What are your perceptions and experiences around the world? How do you define yourself?
- Does your self-identity change based on your interactions with a particular group or race? How does it impact your sense of self-worth? Did you have multiple personalities (i.e. one for school, one for home, and one for your friends)?
- How did doing well in school, participating in class discussions or participating in school activities and clubs impact your identity?
- As a parent, have you asked "What is going on with my son or daughter? What is behind this sudden change in behavior?" If so, what did you determine? In answering these questions, please let us know how you resolved these conflicts and emotions?
- As an educator or policy planner, what have you done to ensure the success of all students in your classroom? Have you asked your students if it is working?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- Do you remember ever talking about what it's like to be different in class?
- If you are a teacher, what have you done to help students respect each other, even if they are of different races or cultures?
- As a parent, do you want your child to have friends who are of different races or cultures?
- Do you think it is a good idea to think about each other's race, or is it best to ignore it?
- Do you mostly just accept everyone in your class, no matter what their background or race is?
- Do you visit the homes of classmates from other cultures or race?
A number of high school students of color feel that they will be a traitor to their roots, their color, their family background, or their friends, if they do well in school, even if it means that they will be able to go to college and get a well-respected job, like teacher, lawyer, doctor, where they might even be able to come back and serve their community. They might be bullied for "acting white" if they do.
- Can you tell us about times when you have been bullied for "acting white?"
- Or have you bullied someone else for the same?
- If you are a member of the majority, the "white," we'd also like to hear about what you think about your classmates who are afraid of "acting white."
- Is it because they see that there are mostly "white" kids in advanced classes?
- Is it only African/Americans who feel this way?
- Is there something similar where you live that is more class-based, than race-based, like "acting posh?"
- If you are a minority in another country, is there a similar thing going on where you live?
- Do you want to join them and stop being good at school so your friends don't bully you?
- Do you work even harder, to get out of the neighborhood?
- How do your old friends treat you when you come back to the neighborhood?
- Do you even try to go back to the old neighborhood?
- Do you feel you can be a role model for kids like you used to be?
- Do you drop your accent, and "talk white?"
- Do you dress differently?
- Can you still hang out with your old friends?
- Can you influence them in any way?