Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Why it's important to teach diversity and inclusion

I recently heard one of the most deplorable things I have ever heard in my educational career and have really felt the need to blog about my response to this event.

I was talking to a colleague about diversity and teaching the isms and she directed me to an article in lifesite magazine that was recently written about a fellow teacher. The headlines read, "Lesbian Teacher: How I convince kids to accept Gay 'Marriage', starting at 4 years old." I was appalled that this was ever written. I would also recommend that you do not read the article as this sleazy type journalism and to be frank appalling comments is not worth the read.  I also don't want to give more power to the writer through amount of views.  The funny thing was that the presentation had nothing to do about this title and all about teaching children about inclusion and love.

I want to first state that I am proud to teach about all the ism's including hetersexism. I also want to say that I am not Gay and am religious but to me it is about the message of "love", about understanding, about being human. I was raised to love people for who they are inside and not by their skin colour, their thoughts or life choices but for who they are as people. This is the message that I as a teacher preach. This is the message that I as an educator tell my students. This is the message as a human that I tell my own children.

What has gotten me so steamed and upset is that people in this world are allowed to write comments like this. That this type of prejudice is still active in today's so called 21st century world. We don't debate slavery, we don't debate racial slurs, we don't debate making fun of someone for being disable but its okay to say these hateful comments about a community. To me that is the very definition of discrimination. 

So why do I teach diversity because I don't want my children growing up in a world of hate. I don't want my children fearing for their life because of war and rumour or war. Because I want my children to love everyone and to be able to work with everyone. 

In my experience as an educator children do not hate. Yes they question and yes they inquire but they never hate. It is us as adults that show kids how to hate. We are the models that our children follow. We are the examples that they see every day of their life. How do you want your children to act? How do you want them to behave? If the expectation is to love one another, then we need to start leading by example. 

These types of articles, comments and ideas are quite frankly archaic and bigotry. The ignorance that follows is even more disturbing. We have always been told, "Don't judge a book by its cover" or "Treat others as you would want to be treated." So how are these comments and ideas helping? They aren't. 

This world is already a dark and disturbing place. I fear for my own children and those that I teach for what they will have to endure in their life time. Because of these fears I try hard every day to change the future generation. Not to rebel against their parents and religion but to think, to love and to understand. Our children our the future but we are who they look up to. 

How will you make a difference in this world? How will you be the change you want to see in your children? It starts with you. Thank you for listening and reading this post.

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