Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 52 - I'm not exempt

Today seemed fairly normal; full of activity, teaching, quieting students, exciting students, administrative paperwork, up stairs, downstairs, across campus, library visit, lunch with colleagues, working on essays, after school shenanigans,etc. But upon driving home in reflection I started wondering about an interaction I had today with a parent and my students reactions.  So here's the scenario:
I had just started going over a decision the yearbook class and I had to make when we were interrupted by a parent visiting who had questions about the yearbook.  I invited her in, (she spoke only Spanish) and asked her to please have a seat and I would be with her in a moment after we finished this "vote"/discussion.  I noticed the students didn't want to finish the discussion and were hinting I was being rude by making the parent wait.  The parent seemed fine waiting to me and after a few minutes I sat with her, invited her to my desk and she made a deposit on the yearbook once she was clear on the price.  My students thoughts were that it was unprofessional to make her wait and I tried to explain to them that any parent who interrupts a class would probably know they might have to wait for the teacher to finish something.
But on my way home, I wondered if I would have treated that parent differently if she was English speaking and/ or white.  In my perfect view of myself I would say, "of course I wouldn't have".  But to be honest, its possible that I would have.  This is so important for me to write about, especially coming from a place of sometimes tricking myself into thinking I am above white privilege and that I do not contribute to the covert racism that keeps most oppression alive and breeding.  
Teaching where I teach, I need to be even more real with myself rather than assuming I'm in the clear.

A-ha: see above


Share this with my colleagues, beyond this blog.  My students too.

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