They were mad. I: But how wonderful for. You know we, we really always underestimate, I think, how much kids know and can learn [N: Oh, yeah.] and perceive. N: Right. Well, so from there it's calm. You know you try to do teachable moments and I thought "Aa!" [Unclear. Both laugh.] So then we went into, okay, say he came in here, how could we tell him in a respectful way that there was a better way that he could say that. And so then we role-played that situation, you know, and they were great at it, you know. I: What did they come up with? What did they say? N: Well, I asked them, I first said. We do different kinds of role plays. But I asked them what the best way to practice would be. Well, they thought it would be best to practice in pairs. And one person would play, pay, play the conductor and say what he said and the other person would [unclear] and then they'd switch. That's what they did. And I gave them about fifteen minutes, you know, and then I told them there's more than one way, one good thing that you could say, a respectful thing you could say and a. So then we came back as a group and we
84 always have sharing time then and whoever wants to do it in front of the class can do it. And that's not something I make them do, but most of them want to do it by this time of the year. But. What they came up with, they thought that they should say to him something about "Well, it's real important to study American history because when you study American history you know that people have used names and said things that have hurt people's feelings, even though they don't mean to." And that somebody. And they thought they should use the "culture by accident" part. They said, "Somebody doesn't just happen to be black. People are bom African American and we learned that that's how, that that's the way to say that, is African American." So that was their decision. But that took like an hour and a half after that concert. I mean they were. And the next step, and another thing we could have done was to write a letter to him, which I didn't carry that far. But that would have been a, you know, a level four kind of activity, which. [Pause] Anyway, that's one little story. But I have another good one. We sing. I play guitar and we sing. We sit on the floor here and we sing at the end of the day for about twenty minutes. Most of what they sing are all Girl Scout camp songs. 'Cause that's where I learned them all and they don't know that. The little boys just belt these songs out. [I. laughs.] They would die if they knew where they came from. But we also sing songs like "We Shall Overcome." And that's one of their favorites, and I admit there are days that I don't want to hear that again, but they love to sing it. [I: Um hm] But one day we sang that through and a little boy raised his hand and said, "You know," he said, "that something's wrong with the words to that." And I didn't know where he was going with that and 1 said-this is a white boy who said
85 this. He said, "It shouldn't say 'We shall overcome some day.' It should say today. Because if we say some day, it means we don't have to do anything now.
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- Fall '15
- Multiculturalism, Multicultural Education