In my daughter’s class there are 13 children, 7 girls and 6 boys. Every single one of them has at least one parent who was born in a different country. When we chose the school she’s attending this year, we looked at the school’s values and teaching philosophy, we looked at the facilities and the staff, we even checked out the playground. We never considered looking at the student body, assuming that if they were choosing the place, it would be for similar reasons to us and we’d undoubtedly like them.
The diversity in the class was a pure unexpected bonus. I noticed it first when the class created place mats featuring each child at the start of the year — 13 little faces, each a different shade and a different shape looked up at me. I was thrilled that she’d be exposed to so many cultures all at once.
This week that diversity has come into play in their education. In preparation for Martin Luther King Day the teacher had the kids observe themselves and compare what they found with what their classmates discovered. She knew what they now know — each of them looks different in amazing ways, and at the same time, each of them is exactly the same in others.
Everyone has two hands, two feet, two eyes, one nose and all the same body parts. They eat the same way and walk the same way and yet, they’re all so very unique. I love that she’s already seen Martin Luther Kings words in action.
How do you help the children in your life understand his important lesson?