Recently Bustle.com, featured an article by Crystal Paul “10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read.”
Paul describes why as a Black student, it would have been valuable to have had teachers who understood students whose experiences were different than their own. Paul’s article is linked above and excerpted below. All the books she recommends are here at the library
I can only remember having two nonwhite teachers during my time in school. ..my experience as a Black student learning from white teachers has ranged from incredibly inspiring to incredibly damaging.
Being a teacher is tough. Being a white teacher of students whose experiences are mostly foreign to yours is probably even harder. But I’ve had amazing white teachers, too. I’ve had white teachers who came to my birthday parties, even though I lived in “the hood.” White teachers who encouraged me to explore topics about my culture within the curriculum. White teachers who didn’t treat me like a unicorn for solving a math problem…
Unfortunately, the whole U.S. education system is broken, especially for students of color. But what one teacher does in her own classroom can make a world of difference. Teachers have a responsibility to examine their own prejudices, and to learn about the experiences of (and oppressive forces working against) the students they are teaching. Because when we walk into a classroom, both as teachers and as students, we don’t magically leave our struggles and life experiences at the door.
Maybe you can’t change the whole system… But, as some of my teachers showed me, reading a book can go a long way. These are some of the books that I wish my white teachers had read.