When my eldest discovered that this month is Black History Month her first question was “Is there a Brown History Month?”
My initial response was a mental, “Ummm.”
I then said, “I don’t know. I’m sure there are months set
aside to recognize the histories of other racial populations, but I’m not sure
when they are.”
“Is there a Chinese History Month or Mexican History Month, because I am Chinese and Mexican and I think there should be a month for us?” She proclaimed.
Recently, I’ve been discovering that my techniques and strategies to talk with my soon to be eight-year-old are insufficient. For the past couple of years when I have been asked a question about this confusing complex world we live in I pulled ideas form books, television shows, and movies she was familiar with. She was engaged and the conversations never had a conclusion. It was open for ongoing follow-up questions from either of us. While I continue to use the past books, television shows and movies her questions are requiring me to go beyond the immediate content and extend it to abstract concepts that go beyond the storylines. In short, Daniel Tiger, Zootopia and Have you Filled a Bucket Today are a bit too simple for my daughter…but that doesn’t mean they don’t continue to be the foundation of our conversations. It is the idea of creating a foundation early on that is central to discussing (in)justice and (in)equity with young children.
The most recent challenge occurred when she asked me, “Why don’t we adopt a child who is in foster care. They need families.” As usual, I had to pause and consider a formulated response that made sense to my experiences. Continue reading
This article was originally published at https://kristiepf.com/the-elephant-we-fail-to-see-guest-blog/
It was mid-April. The speech pathologist, occupational therapist, school psychologist, family and I, the early childhood special educator, were gathered around a large round table two feet off the ground, all sitting in child-sized chairs for Jose’s kindergarten transition meeting. It was our fifth of seven kindergarten transition meetings that spring.
Twenty-minutes after the meeting had begun, it was over. Jose’s mother had walked out of the room crying. His father followed behind her. The transition team was silent for a few moments. Then, Edgar, the school psychologist, looked at the team and said, “It’s hard to complete a transition meeting if the family doesn’t see the reality of their child’s disability?”