What She Wore: knee-length black shorts with a cuff; black and grey striped tee with a scoop neck and tight sleeves that went all the way to the elbow; black slides with a striped button and a kitten heel.

I recently read a blog done is question format on Kelly’s space.  I’ve got a lot of questions swirling around in my head since the start of school, so I thought I’d steal her idea.  As a warning—I’m pretty frank about race in this blog.  I NEVER want to offend anyone, but it could happen.  My apologies in advance.

  1. Why are there so many boys who can’t read in the seventh grade?
  2. Are we failing the boys, or do girls just develop faster in ALL areas?
  3. Why do these kids like math?  I sure didn’t like it much at their age.
  4. When does school stop being interesting?  Why does it have stop?
  5. Do the kids see me as more than a white lady?  And if they do, how long does it take?
  6. Do African-American parents like that their children are taught by a predominantly white staff?  
  7. If given a choice, would they rather someone the same race as their children or do they care?
  8. Is it right if schools are segregated if it’s completely by choice?
  9. What would make a parent send their child to a school that is predominantly another race?  Are children in this situation uncomfortable?
  10. Why does my lunch hour have to be so late this year?  I’m STARVING by twelve-thirty and I still have twenty minutes to go.





About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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23 Responses to Questions

  1. Becca says:

    Definitely thought provoking. I can\’t wait to see if anyone has any input to your questions.

  2. Laura says:

    My brain is fried right now.. long day…
    but, I think they don\’t look at you as a white lady: a teacher, then female, then white… but not just some white lady
    Segregation, even by choice isn\’t the best. You need some diversity in your life to help you deal with what it will be like in society. You can\’t be sheltered your whole life… well, I guess, actually you could in some places in America and the world, but that is no fun!

  3. Charlotte says:

    Well, my grandkids have a white mom, so why shouldn\’t their school teacher be white? Lots of questions… probably no real answers!!  hugs, lottiemae

  4. Sheryl-Ann says:

    Forgive me, KM, but I really don\’t understand why race is still such a big issue in this country.  A child goes to school to learn, to receive a good education.  It shouldn\’t matter that they teacher is black, white, blue, yellow or purple.  What should matter is that the teacher does a good job and that the child (whatever race) is willing to learn.  I walked into a predominantly white class at the university tonight and the thought never crossed my mind that the students would prefer a white professor. In fact, because my class usually fills up first, they have taken to not putting my name online until quite late in the registration process. Segregation is never a good thing because it is based on ignorance – why anyone would advocate segregation is beyond me.  I have always said that racism is something that is taught, whether directly or indirectly.  Why would children in a school of mixed races feel uncomfortable if they were never told negative things about another race?  If we raise our children to accept people of all races, and to not judge one another based on something as superficial as the color of one\’s skin, then the world would be a much better place.
    Could you have a snack mid-morning so that you won\’t be starving by 12:30?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away:)

  5. Sue says:

    I think it all depends on the mindset of the each parent regarding you.  Why girls read and boys don\’t I have no clue.  With regard to the segregation issue, I don\’t know about race, but regarding economic class, I made sure my girls were in school with a mixture of all kids.  Not predominantly poor or rich.  Good mix and it worked well for us.  Good questions.  Let us know if you have any revelations!: ) Sue

  6. CJ says:

    I had to read the comments first and agree with Sherry…she hit it right on the head.  Children live what they learn and learning starts at home.  Segregation is not a good thing in that it doesn\’t prepare children for outside social situations. Growing up, the color of a persons skin was the last thing I noticed.  It was more in how they presented themselves….outgoing, introverted, etc., etc.  It\’s only when negative behaviours started to emerge that I looked more closely at the overall person.  School stops being interesting when the information presented isn\’t interesting.  I used to absolutely hate history until I found someone with an enthusiasm for it and their enthusiasm and presentation spiked my interest.  Now I\’m a history buff!

  7. Unknown says:

    KM…This is very thought provoking and reminds me of the questions that so often swirled through my mind when I was teaching for the past 5 years. I agree with Sherry\’s comments (and so many people here), but I must admit that the questions still swirl through my brain…even now when I am not in the classroom.  I think one of the biggest problems is that parents are not teaching their children to be "color-blind" (I know that sounds trite)–and I mean parents of all races. I also realize that this is not a question I can fully understand in order to answer…I was talking with a friend of mine…she is white and her husband is African-American…and they live in a predominantly white small town.  The conversation was extremely interesting to me…mostly because she has a perspective I do not have…her children have a different perspective than mine will have. Hmm…I think this just brings me to more and more and more questions!

  8. Cheryl says:

    Good questions…when you find the answers let me know….

  9. Andrea says:

    I wish I knew the answers to these ????  But sadly I do not.  I have boys.  I can\’t decide if they are not wanting to get the education or if the teachers are not giving the right motivation.  I say this because they never do much work.  The teachers here I have gone down so many times.  They say the boys are all fine.  But their skills suck.  The grades are not great but they pass.  When I make them read aloud it is sad.  Common sense is not there.  I think the biggie for me is.  They get extra credit for supplies??!!  I just do not understand why the sports programs get the money yet we can\’t afford books?  The kids do not even have a book they can bring home to study.  They can stay after for 30 min.  I can\’t go and work with them then.  I feel for you so.  You have the hardest job in the world.  I hope you always care this much.  You will change a few lives………

  10. Unknown says:

    I don\’t know the answers to these question but would like to.  As you know I work for a juvenile detention center…..we have teacher come in during the school year so these kids can have a chance to change thier lives and go back to school should they choose. 90% of the kids in detention are black males, the majority (by majority I mean 80% of the 90%) of these kids are at a 4th grade level in reading, math, science, and english. They have told me that the system has failed them, that the white kids in schools live in better environment and have more opportunities to escape the "streets". I don\’t know if this is true or if these kids just made the wrong choices in life.
    I know that around here that  we have all black schools, these schools are in the bad part of town and white parents would not live there therefore our children would not attend the schools. They tried to bus kids from this district to other schools and then bus white kids into the black schools…..this was met with great resistance around here and the majority of white children that were affected ended up going to private school were there is 1 black student for every 100 white. I am not saying this is right, it is just the facts.
    I wish I had the answers…

  11. Nora says:

    I don\’t have any answers, to my view it seems like parental involvment makes the difference with most kids. My husband is a band director so he usually has a higher level of involvement than other teachers, but it seems to be the factor that makes the most difference.  As far as race, from my observations it doesn\’t matter, the parents either take part and push the kids or they don\’t. 
    Hope your school year is going great so far!

  12. Jaysey says:

    My head hurts…I can\’t form a thoughtful response just now, but I wanted you to know I was here…maybe later I\’ll have a thought???

  13. barnyardmama says:

      Why is race such an issue in this country?  I have no idea.  Why is it of interest to me personally?  Many reasons.  My primary interest these days is based on my current work place.  Never have I worked with so many people of another race, and never have I lived in an area so integrated.  Little Rock was a site of major integration issues in its past, and I\’d say it\’s doing a better job than a lot of other southern cities that I have lived in. 
    My school also makes me wonder in more specific ways.  My district has open enrollment, so my kids could go to any school, but they choose the one at which I teach.  Why?  Some will say because they don\’t want to go to a "white school."  But does that mean that they would prefer not to have white teachers?  Do they care about that kind of stuff?  And what about their parents?
    To deny that race is an issue is unlike me.  I find race fascinating and wonderful–it makes everyone different and full of surprises.  But this issue I tackle like most others–head on.  I will not ignore that race exists, but rather I will attempt to learn as much as I can about others in all aspects.  Make sense?

  14. Sheryl-Ann says:

    Thanks for the further explanation, KM. I do appreciate it.  I have one question, though.  Does race in and of itself make us different?  Does the color of our skin really make us different, or is it the other factors such as upbringing, parents ideology, where we were born, etc. that make us different?  Okay, that is more than one question (smile).

  15. Nooner™ says:

    Great food for thought, KM. All those questions would make for a great study for a doctorial thesis. Here\’s a question with a slight twist. I have often wondered why females mature faster than males. If I had had a choice .. and know what I know today .. I think I may have preferred going to a segregated school of a sort: an all male boys academy. I think I may have advanced faster and further without the feeling I had of being a second fiddle.
    I\’m an early lunch eater too.  I feel for you on that one.

  16. K says:

    It is sad that we have to worry about race when we go to school… or send our kids to school.  At the end of the day, we are all the same and yet, race is the most amazing thing ever… providing such a diverse wealth of knowledge, pushing for acceptance and tolerance.  It is still something that many many areas around the world struggle with, including my wonderful Canada.  Sherry said it right – racism is taught.  It is a learned trait, characteristic and can be untaught.  So it starts with the parents and teachers = their mentality towards diversity will dictate a child\’s perception of others – there is no denying that.  Environment is another – upbringing and social inequalities can jade a persons view of race.  There are many factors but it takes a bold and honest discussion to get past such issues… not just pretending that race doesn\’t exist.  The fact of the matter is – my skin is white.  When I walk into a predominantly African American or Asian community – I stand out like a sore thumb.  The difference is that I am comfortable with myself and therefore, very accpeting and generous of others cultures.  I think that if more people took that attitude that you can learn and grow from others… there is beauty in all cultures and ethnicities… there would be less issues with racism.
    Until then – let\’s discuss this as adults in the hopes of making positive changes for those who read this and who are in and around our lives.  Good questions to ask… the question however is:  if the answers mean changes – are you prepared to make those changes in order to grow and evolve as a woman, teacher, wife and member of society?  (That question is really meant for everyone to ponder)
    See… now that\’s why I love back to school… great blog.  Have a great day & safe long weekend – Mine starts tomorrow… now if only I can start to feel better healthwise… might make my mini getaway much better!
    Ciao bella,

  17. . says:

    Lots of good questions. Too bad we live in a world where those type of questions are asked.
    I sometimes wonder if people only see me as a white chick here.

  18. Unknown says:

    Good questions – you make me think! 
    God bless : )

  19. Stacy says:

    Why do you have to take a nap in pre-school and kindergarten, but if you fall asleep in any other class you get detention?

  20. Dawn says:

    as has already been stated several times….great questions….I don\’t think the answers are out there or that they\’ll ever be clear cut.

  21. Antonella says:

    Let\’s see, about qeustion #5, my kids never believed that I was white. They just wouldn\’t believe it, they were almost disappointed when they found out. I think some of them had this picture in their head that white people are racist jerks, and they don\’t necessarily see the color of the person, but more like, this person "acts white". Don\’t know if it makes much sense, it does in my head.
    For question #9, I went to a school where most of the kids were black or hipanic. There was no reason for it, just because I was zoned there. As a kid, I never realized that I was different, I made friends and never felt left out. As we got into junior high though, that\’s when things started changing, the kids kind of separate themselves from each other.
    Well, I could probably go no some more, but I think I\’ll stop here!
    Have a great weekend,

  22. Wahzat says:

    I have been thinking of this alot and I think Sherry Sherry\’s comments covers it best. The US puts race in places that it should never belong.
    Honestly living in the Caribbean this is not something that was ever top of mind. I have had teachers who are of many differnt races and it honestly didn\’t matter what as long as they were good. I felt the same way about my professors in college. (I went to FIU in Miami) However, I do think that people send there children to the school that gives their children the best education, so if that means sending your child to a foreign land then that is what you do. It is pretty much why some people  chose private school over public.
    I think that segregration is wrong no matter the motivation. We all need the exposure of different people that is what makes us grow.
    Well that is my two cents.
    hope you are having a great weekend.

  23. Wahzat says:

    Forgot to say that it is good though that you have brought these questions to the forefront! Race a scary topic

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