Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday SOL: What if we talk about race?

I am participating in the
Tuesday Slice of Life.
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day.
A big thank you to Two Writing Teachers for providing this unique opportunity
for teacher-writers to share and reflect.

What happens when teachers talk about race with one another?

tension and uncertainty
a feeling of being ill-equipped
time and space

An outpouring of so many feelings,
all at once.

Finding yourself in a mixed-up intersection of
what you know,
what you think you know,
what your gut says,
what you are ignorant about,
what your family taught you,
what you want to believe,
what you are surprised by,
what you need to learn,
what you hope for,
what you imagine.

Talking about race with my colleagues reminds me of the children's song "Going on a Bear Hunt" -

You can't go over it
You can't go under it
You can't go around it
Oh no
You have to go through it.

Looks like we have to go through it.


  1. Yes! This. Is. So. True. And so raw and all that life is. I would love to know more. I am going on a bear hunt this semester with my students and sometimes I just want to avoid the whole thing. It is easier in the moment but over the long haul avoiding it has put us where we are. This slice reads like the beginning of an article. You should write about this in a published journal... any of NCTE's would work. <3 Thank you for sharing! That metaphor is so perfect.

    1. "It is easier in the moment but over the long haul avoiding it has put us where we are." I totally agree. We must talk about it...and I am proud of my school for daring. But, it is imperfect and challenging, rightly so.

  2. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the conversations about race happening among colleagues and with students. Lots of hard work going on in your building!

    1. Yes, lots of hard work...and challenging to write about. Doing my best to reflect on paper! Thanks for commenting.

  3. I wish I could come visit your school and sit in on these conversations. Our staff is lily white, and I've only had a couple African American colleagues. We need diversity among out staff. In terms of race, we need Native American teachers, too. We have none, and we're a feeder school for a reservation. In contrast to race, religion is the taboo subject in my school. We are divided into Mormon and not Mormon.

    1. The conversations are really intense. I am grateful for them, however. I have never had/taken this opportunity before; we have a gift, to try to delve into this together, as a diverse staff.

  4. I've had the conversations through the years with staff, found that words are words, some show up later as actions which is good. but there's a lot of talking still needed.