Every February we are reminded that it is a time to reflect, remember and embrace change for Black individuals. February has been named Black History Month since 1976 and we use this month to stand for change, both inside and outside the classroom… but is celebrating the contributions of African Americans just for the month of February?
As a progressive teacher (candidate) who has immersed herself in a progressive program here at Bulldog Kids, I believe it is essential to continue the intentional learning of black history in my classroom after the month of February is over. A learning goal in any classroom, online or in-person, kindergarten or grade eight, is to create literate members of society. In order to create literate members of society, we as educators, are encouraged to continuously promote diversity in classroom and diversity is not bound to one month out of the year.
I believe there is hesitation in exploring such historical moments because teachers, parents, and staff are afraid of touching on such subjects because they themselves are not “experts”. Racism is an emotional and overwhelming topic to understand but teaching it to children adds a layer of uncertainty for many people. When discussing black history with children the goal is to have open communication that is age appropriate. Our goal is to educate our children, not to overwhelm them.
By making discussions about black history a part of our regular routine and not bounding it to one month, our children will recognize that racism and its history is a normal concept to explore. By saving the discussions, the curiosities, and the questions for February, during Black History Month, we are limiting our children’s exposure to reality. In order to create literate members of society we want to continue diving into the conversations, answering the tough questions, and highlighting the contributions that have come from such inspirational individuals.
"seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
-President Gerald R. Ford
OCT Student/Kindergarten Co-Teacher