Evaluating Impacts on Professional Practice

An experience that I have had with racism is from within my own family. Prior to my husband and I getting married our oldest son was having a temper tantrum during a family get together. We had a disagreement about what we were going to do with him whether let him get away with it because we were not at home or make him take a nap and accept the fact that he was going to continue to scream. We were at my grandparent’s house and at some point my grandmother said that “they” were not allowed in her home anymore. She said he was not family and colored people don’t know how to act anyways and she wasn’t going to have it in her house. I was upset and did not handle the situation correctly but instead yelled back that they were my family and if they weren’t welcome than neither was I and she wouldn’t have to worry about any of us ever coming back. This of course hurt my father’s feelings and no one could understand why I was so angry about her deciding that my child and his father were not welcome in her home but I would be. We did not talk or see each other for months until the day I we got married. She came to our wedding and welcomed him to the family and things have been totally different since then. I am still confused about the entire situation and sometimes I wonder if she even remembers what she had said but my husband has told me to let it go for the sake of our children.

As educators we play an important role in the way a child socially interacts with others. It is very important for us to be aware of our own actions because we do not want to have a negative impact on their growth social-emotionally or cognitively. Experiencing a negative interaction with any kind of “ism” can be hurtful and therefore affect the way that we interact with a child or their family. Letting it affect the way we interact with a child can have an impact on the social identity they are developing. It is important to remember that children are just that and that they are a product of their environment and therefore will act or speak like they have heard. We as educators need to recognize the difference and help the children develop a different attitude so that they can adapt and overcome any “ism” that they are surrounded by.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Erica Hines
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 22:45:28

    HI April,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I am sorry that you had to experience that. I know that it had to be hurtful but your husband is right you should put that behind you because every moment that you get to spend with your grandmother is precious so take advantage of it and remember that maybe that was how things were when your grandmother was growing up. Not saying that it is okay but just remember that prejudice is a learned behavior that we have to be willing to overcome as adults. This may be her first actual experience with interracial relationships in her immediate family.

    Thanks for your post.

    Erica Hines

    Reply

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