For those who know me, I'll preface this post by saying I'm not bitter because I have to go to school today.
When I woke up, I was reminded why today is significant as soon as I turned the computer on and saw the Yahoo! banner at the top of the page. It's nice to have a day on which we can take some time to honor not only one man, but also struggles of minorities who have worked to break the chains of inequality. Honestly, if it weren't for people like MLK, I probably wouldn't be married to Rachel today.
Since my district has chosen to have today serve as a make-up day for days lost to inclement weather, I stopped to consider what message it sends to kids — if anything at all. I realize most of the students I have probably wouldn't have done anything today anyway, except sleep in late and not even give a thought about MLK or any of today's significant meanings.
Does taking the day off away from us say, "We don't care about black people" or "We don't respect people from other races or cultures." Both are bold statements, and they are only my ponderings. I don't think anyone said that nor do I think any of my administrators really would think that. I just wonder if there aren't underlying or subconsciousness thinking that would lead people to not think twice about using MLK Day as a snow make-up day.
Maybe I'm making to much of it, but I already struggle with backward thinking when it comes to some sheltered students — as do many foreign language teachers. How can we teach our kids to respect other cultures and other types of peoples? I try in the classroom, but what does the culture around us do to do that? It's something to think about.
I better go for now, but I was just thinking about this. What are your thoughts?
I am currently in my sixth year in education as a Spanish teacher. I have been married since 2003 to Rachel. I have a sister who is 12 years older than me and has two young sons. My parents live in the small town where I and they grew up and have been married over 40 years. I frequently visit them, and I also enjoy visiting (nearly every day on the phone) with my 82-year-old grandma who lives 10 miles east of my parents in the country.