Beware of White Teachers and Black Children!

Discussion in 'Black Parenting' started by Destee, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Hello Family,

    I've just had a haunting experience, which triggered my desire to post this thread, encouraging young Black parents to be in control of their children's educational experience ... especially as it relates to White teachers.

    This is not to suggest that there are no good White teachers. I must say this upfront, because it is not my intent to suggest this. There are some good ones. I've had a few myself. One in particular, Ms. Maureen Lavin, who was my 6th grade teacher. She loves me, and i love her. She took me under her wing, showed me how much confidence she had in me, brought me into her home, introduced me to her husband and child, and is my friend to this day. Oh my gosh, i wonder if she'll ever google her name and find this here! Will she be upset with me?! I surely hope not. I love you Ms. Lavin! :love:

    While i, and many others i'm sure, have had wonderful, positive experiences with White teachers, many fall short of delivering that to our children.

    As Black parents, you must be in complete control of your child's welfare. It is not the White teacher's responsibility to insure that your child has a wonderful, positive learning experience. It is your responsibility, the Black parent.

    The only way you can know that your child is receiving all that he or she can, you must be vigilant. You must stay on top of it. You must ask questions. You must be involved every single day with their homework and school experiences. You must encourage them to talk to you about this. You must be there for them. You must be the "Go To" person. You must be in control. Our children are so precious, and they can't do this for themselves.

    Many teachers expect for you not to care, for school to be a "babysitter" for you. This makes their already difficult job, easier. Children with parents that don't care, will not be up in that teacher's face, demanding results. School is so much more than someone watching our babies all day. You must recognize this. You give your children to these people all day, to mold their mind, character, integrity, and Spirit. This is no small matter parents!

    As i said, i just had a haunting experience, that triggered all of these thoughts in me. I'm 44 years old, the Mother of 2 grown children. My son is 27, and my daughter is 20. I raised them as a young single Mother. I missed a lot of things, that i might shooda had seen. Things that could have better helped prepare my son and daughter for adulthood. In spite of this, in spite of me ... they are both wonderful children ... responsible, independent, and respectful.

    I have been given the opportunity to share what i've learned as a parent, by helping my Sister to parent her two young children. She has a daughter that is 11, and a son that is 6. We all live together.

    Every evening i help the children with their homework. Her youngest child, Michael, is in 1st grade. He has the usual spelling and reading words he must memorize each week, tested on Fridays. In addition to all of his normal homework, i have him write these words twice. Remembering back in the day, when i was raising my own children, this was something that i did. So, i did it with Michael too. I would send this "extra homework" back to school each day with his assigned homework. The teacher sent it back with a smiley face on it. Okay, she and i are together, on the same page.

    Then on Wednesday, 09/14/05, as we were doing homework, Michael tells me that his teacher said i was making him do too much homework. I said, "Huh? The teacher said what?" and he repeated himself. I sent a note to school with him on Thursday, sharing what he said to me. The teacher wrote back on Friday, and actually said the following:


    Of course Michael comes in quite happy to share this with me! In his little mind, he wins, less homework!

    But i'm so very puzzled by this. I cannot believe a teacher is saying, you're giving your child too much homework! Michael has earned an "A" on every spelling and reading test she's given! It takes all of 15 minutes for him to do this extra work i give him! He's not struggling through it, and it certainly doesn't require me to do a whole lot. He's accustomed to it being a part of his normal homework process, but now it's been put into his mind that it is "too much."

    I'm almost angry with her. How dare she suggest that i limit him, that i lessen the input into the foundation of his desire and pattern of learning! I really don't know if i should be angry or what ... she put a smiley face on the note (noted above) that she sent!

    Anyway, Michael will continue to write those words each night! It helps him with his penmanship, the reinforcement of those words to memory, as well as building in him the understanding that learning requires time and effort ... and it only takes him a few minutes!

    My mind could not help but go back to my son's early years. I wasn't as viligant then, as i am now. So many things i didn't know to do. I'd never been the parent of a young Black man-child before. It was hard seeing past the struggle of simply surviving every day, to see the bigger picture. There were many of these instances in his life as well, i just couldn't see them all.

    This thread is to encourage young Black parents, not to make the same mistakes as i made. Stay forever focused on your child's education, and keep them focused on it too! It is so important. You are shaping their desire to learn, and more importantly, to love learning!

    I realize that there are Black teachers too, that we must beware of, but there is some basic, fundamental, underlying void that can be present with a White teacher, keeping them from understanding the brilliance in our children. I don't know if they are afraid of our babies or what, but i have too many personal instances, and have heard tell of others, that confirm this.

    The 5 year old little girl that was handcuffed and arrested at school. The way all of the White teachers, educators, administration, dealt with that child. My soul cried. While this is more obscene, blatant, and unquestionable, as it relates to their understanding our babies, the experience i shared above is much more subtle, happens every day ... and is equally, if not more, damaging to the child.

    Stay on top of your children's education! They cannot do this themselves. They are dependent on you to look out for them. To watch for all of the little signs, attempts, and efforts to derail their future. There are many! You must put and get the most out of this time in their lives, that you can.

    Once this time in their lives has passed, it is gone forever.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I've often said that in general white teachers don't do well with black children because they either fear them or stereotype them: White teachers often don't require much of black students, because they feel black children are not capable of doing the work. In addition white teachers and white schools often withhold information from black children such as SAT prep courses & scholarship opportunities. The solution to this is that Parents need to be involved with their children's schools. That is the only way to ensure that one's child/children aren't being neglected or mistreated!
     
  3. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    Nobody has the right to tell a parent they are giving their kids too much homework. That is the most insane thing I've ever heard.

    At the elementary school that I went to as a child there was an opposite situation... the parents wanted to get the teacher fired because they felt he was giving them too much homework. And that's exactly what happened... he got fired.
     
  4. PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    Oooh Sister! I feel your frustration and the plea to parents to be involved in there learning process. I too spend time when my daughter, teaching her and preparing her for the many lessons presented in school.

    Long before she attended school I have been teaching her. I often hear parents venting about the quality/quantity of work presented to their children. I share with them that they cannot depend on a teacher to teach their children properly. They have to assume the role of teacher and use the school as a tool of reinforcement of what they have taught their young.

    Home schooling is the best way to go for an enriching education for our children, but if one is not able to do so because of other circumstances, it is so important that we make time for teaching our young, ourselves.

    Thank you Sister Destee, for getting the word out to us. We really need to know what we're up against. KEEP SPREADING THE WORD! I will pass it on as well, with every opportunity I get.
     
  5. mominga

    mominga Active Member MEMBER

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    I totally agree with you. My daughter isn't in school yet, but I have heard horror stories. My own 12 year old nephew was just diagnosed with ADD, and so was a friend's 4 year old son.

    I have to wonder if some of these teachers are so unfamiliar with the spirit of our children that they are quick to label them. Especially young black boys. I'm not a teacher, so I can't judge them for doing the best they can, but I know that we as parents can't rely on them to teach and nurture our children. It has to start at home. Especially black history. Don't get me started on that!
     
  6. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    I had an online friend that was telling me how many normal black children get labeled retarded because they were acting up and get forced into 'special classes.'
     
  7. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I've worked for Child Study Teams, and can confirm that. When our youth are acting out the 1st response of many schools is to label them "classified" and place them on drugs.
     
  8. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ya know how excited folks get when they finally catch on to that thing that somebody has been trying, very patiently, to teach them? well, when our children reach that point, it becomes a "behavioral" issue, and the new learning bit goes right out the window. two birds with one stone: turn them into "problem children" that they can then label any way they want to. and turn them off of the idea of learning!!!

    and it works the other way, too; when our children pick everything up faster than the other kids, they never consider piling more work on us, or kicking us up a grade!! we must learn to work with other! stay with our group. don't read ahead. you couldn't have possibly finished that test already! don't fidget! stop working ahead! work on that in that class or study hall! yes, that is the right answer, but you didn't show your work!! (does any of this sound like it might be a bit personal?!)

    i just "stopped" learning when i was around them ... but mom and dad were forever after me to get my nose out of that book and go outside and play! (i snuck a book out with me!) (after ten years in the mental health industry; i ain't gonna say a thing about them chemical restraints!! ... add/adhd indeed! heck, back in the day; the street junkies used to fight like mad dogs over them ritalins!!)
     
  9. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Insofar as childrens’ behavior at school, I think I fell for the whole notion that Black boys have a natural verve and shouldn’t be expected to sit still the way other children do in the classroom. That is what 2 of my girlfriends, a social worker and a teacher had convinced me. So, I literally didn’t believe it was possible for the boys to sit still. Anyway -, that is, until I went to Nigeria. One school scene there still stands out starkly in my mind of 40 or so boys and girls, probably around 8 or 9, on a hot, hot day sitting on wooden chairs that sat on a concrete slab under a sheet of corrugated tin propped up by poles. The children were all quiet, still, and paying very close attention to a teacher and they remained this way for the approx. 20 minutes or so that I observed. When I asked some of the Africans there how this was possible, they laughed at me, but went on to explain that the children knew they would be caned (whipped with a small stick) by the teacher if they didn’t behave well. And when they got home, they would be caned again.

    As for my nephews’ behavior in the classroom here where they go to school, we just told them, “The school had better not EVER call this house about your behavior ‘cause we will come up there and beat some butt right in front of all your friends and we don’t care if we get arrested!” They knew we were serious. We also explained that this was a negative reflection on our family for them to act like they didn’t have good home-training. We discuss this at intervals with them. We have never been called by the school.
     
  10. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    This is interesting, but really do most kids act up when they are expected by adults to act good? Most kids do tend to run around and act 'crazy' during recess or other times when they have 'freedom', but when it comes time to doing work they will do as they are told... at least this is how it was for me when I was in elementary school, and most of the kids were African Americans.

    Even misbehaving on some level is normal. When it comes to white teachers and black kids, however, instead of them just disciplining the kid they take extreme measures because they possess 'black fear.'
     
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