Tuning into Self
As an educator, it is usually expected of us to naturally love all children. Yes, even those ones who drive you crazy, it is still your job to nurture that child and provide for him or her a foundation of acceptance. In the real world however, we know that things can get in the way. I have been spending a lot of time studying cultures and ethnicities, and it has me thinking, maybe it is not assumed by all educators that all children are not the same. While this might seem obvious, sometimes the obvious needs to be stated. And I guess that is what I am here to do!
During an undergrad course, I learned about a concept called, “Tuning into Self,” in which we as humans, need to be consciously aware of our personal thoughts, expressions, beliefs, feelings, attitudes, and biases towards people of cultures different from ours. I spent 8 years as a home visiting social worker. This allowed me to walk right into a family’s home and have a first-hand look at the family’s “normal” daily life.
Growing up in urban Philadelphia, I had many friends of different cultures and nationalities. I was not “shell-shocked” when I worked with people of different races. I was however, in need of an education on how others live their “normal” life. The concept of “Tune into Self” made me realize that I had natural biases and assumptions on how certain people lived, and even worse, how they should live.
Who am I to decide that? Nobody. So this is just a reminder to take a few minutes to learn and understand the children you care for. Get to know what is important to them. If the families you work with are from a different country and lack the basic English skills to communicate, find another way. Learn what is “normal” for them what seems “weird” to them regarding things we do here in America. Not all schools are the same, and education is not perceived the same in all cultures. Be patient, tune into yourself, and have an open mind.
I will leave you with a link to another blog, which I found interesting in terms of educators needing cultural sensitivity. I hope you enjoy!