Soft Bigotry of Which Expectations?

It’s early December. I am reading final papers from fall semester and planning new courses for spring. I have been moved by both experiences.

I am moved by the reflections of teachers who love their students. Elementary teachers love their little ones — the imagination, the questions, the sincerity, the innocence. Middle grade teachers love their pre-teens — the struggles, the needs, the cooperative moments and the challenging days. High school teachers love their teenagers — the enthusiasm, the energy, the blossoming potential.

I teach adults. I love my students (who are teachers) for their dedication, strength, and generosity. Many of them have written beautifully about their classroom and school struggles, and I have been deeply moved this week.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Debra on 01.14.12 at 5:16 pm

Wow. I was going to say that: I respectfully disagree that “we (Americans) practice a soft bigotry of low expectations of all children.” Upon further thought, we do. My objection has to do with Americans not being aware, of not thinking and reflecting. Friends from Holland stayed with me for a couple weeks. Nearly once a day one would extoll: “Everything is bigger in America.”
At what expense do we have to have a reputation of being the best? Of course, this exterior is only that. We don’t want to look deep within. We don’t. America, the land of the free, is free. We are free to be want we want to be. We are entitled.
I think that it is time for Americans to be more cognizant about what we are putting out there. Who are we really?My first impression of Colombia, or most other countries, is an inferior one. Inferior to the mighty USA. Ughhh! Even I am guilty.
It is time for us to look at a building a firmer foundation. One built on what really will hold up. A country formed, not only by show. Bigger doe not translate to better. Pop stars, expensive houses, name brand merchandise including sneakers, cars, being the first, and beautiful looking schools should not be our trademarks.
We ARE guilty of low expectations.
Let’s take the wisdom coming from South America and be the best we can be, inside AND out.

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