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 How about a Jim Crow school? 
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The question on inner city schools got me thinking about what is, I think, one of the underlying assumptions of that question: Would we be willing to teach in a school in which we were part of a white minority? This could be urban or rural. There are plenty of reservation kids I know in South Dakota who need good teachers. I'll admit that the idea is appealing, but big time scary. The implications of a white (especially in my case, male) History (for God's sake) teacher going into a Lakota classroom . . .well, it's pretty mindboggling. I'd be nervous, for sure, but I like to think that I, and the rest of us, would welcome the opportunity. What are people's thoughts? Is it a fundamentally different question than the one about inner cities?

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Neal Rainey


Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:31 pm
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i'm the furthest thing from being a racist, but i'll be completely honest: my first couple years of teaching, i would much rather teach a classroom where the majority of the kids are of my culture.. just because i'm going to be frazzled as it is, and i would be intimidated if i taught a classroom where i couldnt really relate to the students on a personal level.
after a few years of teaching, however, i would welcome the challenge.

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Jon Barth


Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:05 am
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This is a hard one, because it's such an intimidating challenge, but sometimes considering it from the perspective of a student can give you courage. Throughout my 15 years of school, I have never had a non-white teacher. I'd never thought about what a loss that presented me until now! Even though it would be very initimidating to feel alone in your race or culture, I think that when we challenge ourselves is when we find out who we truly are. Being part of the white minority would be a great opportunity for me, because immersing yourself in a new and scary situation can be an incredible catalyst for self-discovery. I think we're hurting our students by not presenting them with a variety of races, cultures and genders, and I plan to do my part in changing it!

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Morgan Gill


Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:06 pm
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Morgan, I was thinking about how shocking it is that you've never had a teacher of color, and then I thought to myself, "Wait a minute. . .neither have I!!" With the exception of a Brazilian spanish teacher in college, I have had white teachers straight through my entire educational career, again, almost 17 years. That's incredible!! On a brighter note, I was extremely happy to hear that you want to challenge yourself by seeking out a position at some point in your career as a minority-white teacher. I think I'd like to see what that's like, too. I really liked what you said about what a loss it is that we don't offer our white majority more teachers of color. I think it's a real shame. Thanks for your comment, Morgan.

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Neal Rainey


Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:46 am
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