Racial And Cultural Identity : I Am A White American

1370 WordsNov 3, 20166 Pages
As a teacher, it is important to know and understand the racial and cultural identities of both yourself, and your students. Knowing about your students’ backgrounds is a great way to make the classroom a safe and welcoming environment. Not all educational settings emit a feeling of safety to its students, and that needs to be changed. In this paper, I will discuss how my racial and cultural identity may be the same and may differ from my students, as well as some ways in which the institution of education can be changed to be more racially and culturally inclusive. Before I can delve into my students’ racial and cultural backgrounds, I must first look at my own. I am a white American, born and raised in Minnesota. My ancestors moved to America from France and Norway; however, in my family, our traditions are more Norwegian than French. For example, every Christmas we make lefse and krumkake, two traditional Norwegian foods, as a family. Growing up in Minnesota I have seen many fellow students and teachers who come from similar backgrounds, meaning of European decent. It was not until college that I met people from various locations around the world who have very different cultural backgrounds. It is my belief, that in order for me to be the best teacher I can be, that I need to be open to difference and willing to expand my horizons. If I was to start teaching in the public schools of my hometown tomorrow, the majority of my students would be white. When a
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