Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Twilight Tuesday--Prejudice and Stereotypes

Well, I got a chance to teach today, and I really enjoyed it.  The students were studying the Poem "For My People" by Margaret Walker.  You'll find the video presentation of this below.

I really liked the video--it made the poem come alive.

Now, why would I feature this on twilight Tuesday?  The students were asked to prepare to write a poem about a group of people they belong to.  We discussed stereotypes, and I am here to tell you that stereotypes are still alive and well in the youth of this country.  And you might remember that the youth are our future.  These were ninth graders.  They had the typical stereotypes that surround African Americans and Hispanics.  They really bought into the stereotype that if a man wants to be involved in the arts that he is effeminate.  Isn't it sad?  Supposedly, the old way of thinking is gone.  Yet we still teach our young men to be  unemotional and macho.  We teach our girls that they can do anything they want, but then they grow up and fall in love with a macho guy that they let boss them around and treat as less than the strong woman they are.

How is it going to change?  What can be done?  I know that so many kids today are growing up without strong male and female role models.  Most of these kids probably go home and fend for themselves.  How sad that is.  Why is it that so many people give birth to children when they are not mature enough to have them?  It does sadden me.  I can only hope and pray that God can use me in the lives of these students.

I suppose I see my role a little differently than most subs do.  I go into each classroom every day accepting that for today, these students are my responsibility.  I do my best to show them respect, and I make it a point to not yell at them if I possibly can.  So many students tell me that I am much nicer than their other subs.  So often students even unload their life stories on me.  I know I may never see them again, but I can hope and pray that I make an impression on them.,  It's nice when the kids remember them.

But what can I do?  All I can do is come and show them love for that day.  I wish I could do more.  I certainly must have made an impression on my students from last year that I had for several months.  I subbed at their junior high last week, and most of them were so excited to see me.  They actually remember me fondly in spite of all the trouble we went through.

So there is a bright spot.  I never know how God may use me to change the lives of these students.  I may never see what God does in these student's lives.  I will make a commitment to do my best to involve myself in the life of every student I can.  And I praise God for what He has done and will continue to do through me.

1 comment:

  1. What a well written post, I've been blessed to work from home to be there in the AM & PM but I remember growing up with parents that worked & I had to fend for myself after school.

    We may not see his effect on a person but we know it will come and be amazing. :)