Las Vegas Sun

May 24, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Diversity is more than skin deep

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As a teacher, I have been told I am nice, I am mean, and I have even been told I was too boring. However, it came a surprise to me to read in the Sun that I am now too white to teach for the Clark County School District (“ ‘Teacher diversity gap’ cause for concern in CCSD schools”).

The CCSD has decided that students from culturally diverse backgrounds will better benefit from being taught by teachers of the same ethnicity. Really? I guess it no longer matters to the CCSD that, as a 40-something who is new to the teaching field, I bring a lifetime of experiences to my classroom, many of which I have in common with my diverse group of students even though we are not of the same color.

I have a student who hails from the same part of New York as I do, and we reminisced over being able to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in person.

I have cried with students who are having family drama.

I brought in a craft project I had finished to show my class, and now a student wants me to teach her that art form.

I have had Hispanic students approach me to compare my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah to the Quinceañeras of their culture. One of these students being a boy who I had butted heads with for over a year, but we finally bonded looking at pictures of my daughter’s and his cousin’s events.

For students who are embarrassed by being raised by grandparents or living in multigenerational households, I share with them that I lived in a multigenerational household as a child and loved having my extended family under one roof.

While I can share all of these rich experiences with my students, I do not share the same color as many of them. I do not see how that makes me any less of a teacher.

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