Tuesday, October 11, 2011

cultural awareness

Today I attended a workshop for master teachers on cultural awareness.  The point is for me to take the information and turnkey and also present professional development for the teachers in my district.  My now-retired co-worker who attended this training last year had very positive things to say about it and whatever she brought back always made me think.

To really think about cultural awareness we must first address our own prejudices and ideas about different cultures, stereotypes, etc.  I hear people say all the time that they do not have any prejudices.  I am sure I have said that at one time or another.  The reality is that it is just not true.  It is impossible for anyone to not have some kind of prejudice about a culture, religion, ethnicity, something.  It may even be something like thinking that Asian kids are so smart  which may seem positive.

Once we are aware of our own prejudices, then what?  I am not sure!  What would (will) I do?  Educate myself.  Talk to people who are of that culture.  Challenge myself to be open minded.  It might be a little uncomfortable.  And that is okay.  Growth and change is uncomfortable.

I'm not really sure why I decided to write about this today except that it really reminded me to examine my own thoughts and beliefs about other cultures.  During the summer I wrote a lot about SAHM stuff since that I was doing.  But during the school year I am a working momma and so work stuff is going to sneak in here sometimes.

I want to challenge you all to think about this.  Be honest with yourself.   Be uncomfortable.
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