Misa and I also battled yesterday and when we finished our talk she hung out by the bookshelf that houses parenting and education books and pulled How to Parent So Kids Will Learn off the shelf. She reminded me that she'd spent a lot of time looking at the pictures in that book, cause the time-out space as a toddler and pre-schooler happened to be in front of that shelf. She asked, "Do you really believe this stuff?" Cracked me up cause I really don't - I mean, I get why there are a host of parenting books out there, but if she were to reframe the question as,
"Do you really value this stuff, Mommy?"
Then that's a whole different conversation cause deep down, I don't value structural parenting based on prescriptive advice most especially because so many of those books fail to acknowledge culture and the narratives of cultural roots - the stuff my ethnic family and generations of cultural traditions were built on. So many of those books teach discipline and parenting in ways that are not relevant - in ways that turn people (like me) off because they make me feel like I should be able to relate and do parenting and teaching like they say, but deep down it's discomforting and sometimes I don't know why.
#unabletoescape #whitepeoplevalues #complexities
Those two conflicts with John-Pio and Misa alone were enough to take me back to the basics. The notion that I am responsible for everything I do, and everything I don't do and that my teaching and parenting must be rooted in my values and the historical traditions and narratives that shaped me, not the values of systems or privilege or entitled attitudes that outnumber me. So in the spirit of school which starts in a few days - both for me as teacher and parent, no matter the pressures of Common Core State Standards or the upcoming standardized tests or lesson planning, or the stressors related to Brad traveling and having to problem solve child care, anticipate family food prep, listen to the kids' ordinary pains and joys that come from newness, I have to always - always
Remember where I am from, and
Remember where you are from.
On a side note, here's a video and story of an administrator makin' it relevant for his students!