Elementary School : The Best I Learned About Race, Gender, Class, And Sexual Orientation

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I was told to write about the experiences in elementary school when I learned about race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. When I think of my childhood it is not clear, there is a lot of things I have forgotten with time. Although I do not remember much I believe that Rolling Terrace Elementary is the best school I have attended because of the good times I do recall. During these years I thought that I went to a school where all of the students were the same and everyone got along great. However, when I think of everything I have learned since elementary school, I realized that there were instances that were not fair or right. I suppose the differences in race is what I noticed most. My elementary school was in Montgomery County, a county I consider to be one of the most racially diverse counties in Maryland. No matter where I looked I saw kids that were completely different from me and one another. Third grade seemed to be the era that girls liked to play with each other’s hair and make different hairstyles. There came a time when my friend Rachel, a white girl, wanted to play with my hair. I had to tell Rachel she could not because my mother said that my hair would get tangled and it takes too long to do in the mornings. Not too long afterwards I saw Rachel playing with Laura’s hair. I remember feeling jealous because I was not able to participate in the same activity. This incident influenced me in such a way that I started trying to straighten hair so that it would look like Rachel. Little did I know that by doing this I was damaging my hair and creating an unrealistic version of myself because I could not accept what I was born with. When I become a teacher I will teach and praise the differences among my students. I ... ... middle of paper ... ... time I was convinced it was because of how her body had changed. I felt like something was wrong with me. Often I’d ask myself, what is wrong with you? Why do I still look like a little girl? In the classroom as a teacher I plan to teach my kids that like race our bodies are all different. Everyone’s body progresses at different rates. The point I am trying to make is that no one is the same. I want my students to know how to respect each other and their cultures, to not criticize others about something they may not understand and to overall keep the slogan “treat others the way you would like to be treated” alive. No wants to feel belittled because of aspects about themselves or their family. Being able to get along with others is one of the things that made my elementary school life so enjoyable although there were experiences that taught me valuable teachings.

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