In the letter A Message from a Black Mom to her Son, I was really struck by the fact that she only felt happiness for ten minutes a day. Ten minutes of “roaming the halls-happy, free and normal and once the white kids arrived, we became black and invisible” (Watson 15). This just made me realize how big of an issue this still is for many kids in the school. For the mother to write this is a huge statement to the curriculum. She did not feel like her culture was represented. It is important to teach the curriculum but also bend it to meet the needs of as many students as possible. The curriculum is still a European based system. I want to move towards an inclusive system.
I also was impacted again by the letter when the mother discusses the important role of teachers especially with the students who are not the same race. I always knew how important the role of the teacher is in the classroom but something clicked when I read “I hope you will have teachers who realize they are gatekeepers. I hope they understand the power they hold and work to discover your talents, seek out your dreams, and fan them” (Watson 16). This statement does not just apply to students of multiple races. This applies to all children. Teachers have so much influence over their students. I want to be the teacher who fosters dreams and goals and pushes students to be the best they can be, to never give up and to fight for what they believe in.
In the story 12 Suggestions for Teachers I liked how Miller said that even after 17 years of teaching he still continued to be humbled. Teachers have to have a desire for knowledge and always be willing to learn and grow with their students. It takes an effort from both the teacher and the students. Teachers learn from their students as much as they learn from us.