Burning Through Your Equality Lessons

| Learning | September 4, 2016

(I am doing an internship in a local kindergarten. This kindergarten is taking equality and multicultural learning very seriously. The children come from all across the world, so of course some feature darker skin as well. One afternoon, I am dressing all the naked dolls with the help of a Caucasian four-year-old. One of the dolls has dark skin, too.)

Girl: “Okay, now we’ll take the brown sunburnt baby.”

(I was in shock for a few seconds, not knowing how to react. I tried hard not to burst into laughter.)

Me: “Is this what you children always call this doll?”

Girl: “Yes.” *smiles and hums as she chooses the clothes with the doll in her arms*

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Judged By The Content Of Their Character

| Learning | August 30, 2016

(I have an appointment in a school in a rural area and am waiting in the teachers’ lounge when I overhear the following conversation. Due to the rural area, people are not used seeing other than Caucasians.)

Teacher #1: “How is the new pupil doing?”

Teacher #2: “Well, you know how we have now two kids named David? The kids refer to them as ‘tall David’ and ‘short David’ or ‘curly-haired David’ and ‘short-haired David.’”

Teacher #3: “Really?”

Teacher #2: “Yes. Nobody ever mentions the colour of his skin.”

(Sometimes I think there is still hope for humanity.)

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Giving Up On This Student

| Learning | August 28, 2016

(This takes place in kindergarten in a Catholic school. Our teacher is going around the room, asking what we’re going to give up for Lent. Most of us give the usual answers: cookies, candy, etc. Then she comes to one student who obviously hasn’t thought of something.)

Teacher: “And what are you going to give up?”

Student: “Uh… my refrigerator!”

Teacher: “How can you give up your refrigerator?”

Student: *tries to think of another answer* “Uh… my house?”

Teacher: “I don’t think you understand what ‘giving something up’ means.”

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A Household Name

| Related | August 26, 2016

(My niece is five and about a month away from becoming a big sister. Due to both her parents having very common first names, they gave her an uncommon one and have picked out another uncommon name for my soon to be nephew as well. In the fall she will begin kindergarten, so her school sets up a two-week long summer program for the students to attend to get to know their classmates and teachers. This happens when her very pregnant mother goes to pick her up on the first day.)

Teacher: “[Niece] seems to be very outgoing. She just wanted to play with everyone. She went up to every student and introduced herself the moment she got here.”

Mom: “Yea, she does that everywhere.”

Teacher: “There was a slight incident, though… Were you planning on naming your new baby [Nephew]?”

Mom: *laughing* “Did she tell you that?”

Teacher: “Well, we have another student here with that name and when he told her that was his name they got into a little argument. I tried to explain to her that there are a lot of people in this world who share the same name but she refuses to call the other boy by his name stating that he’s not her brother.”

(Back at home, mom and dad are discussing what happened and they realise that Niece has never met two people with the same name before. They are trying to convince her that the boy’s name is actually Nephew’s Name.)

Niece: “No!” *points to mom’s belly* “That’s baby [Nephew]. He can’t be [Nephew] because he’s not baby [Nephew]!”

Mom: “They just have the same name. It doesn’t mean they’re the same person. When I was in kindergarten I had three other girls in my class named [Mom] like me. We never knew who the teacher was talking to.”

Dad: “You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve met named [Dad]. In fact, you have a cousin named [Dad], just like me.”

Niece: “You’re not [Dad]. You’re [Nickname] and [Dad] is [Dad]!”

Mom: “You can’t argue with that logic. You know, she does always correct people when they call you [Dad].”

Dad: “Does that mean when someone calls me that she thinks they are talking to her cousin and not me?”

(They did finally get her to understand (although reluctantly) and a month later they welcomed in a healthy baby boy whom she can’t wait to introduce to her new, same named friend.)

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Doll-ing Out Some Interesting Lessons

| Learning | August 26, 2016

(Overheard while picking up my little brother from nursery:)

Boy: *snatches doll away from girl* “No! Girls can’t play with dolls! That’s sexist!”

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