Diversity – From Two Perspectives

Ms. Nicole and Ms. SamCurriculum, Teachers

Ms. Nicole:

As a mother I strive to teach my children how fortunate we are to live in such a diverse location. I want them to learn that beauty comes in so many different forms and amazing people come from all “walks of life”. My mom is originally from Portugal and my partner is of Native American descent so as far as my own kids go, they are 50% Portuguese 25% Native American and we’re not sure about the other 25%! I guess that’s where 23andMe can assist if you are interested in learning more about your own genetic heritage. This company and others offer the equivalent of a modern-day family tree.

Although we may not always agree with everyone (remember the adage “you can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”), it’s important to be respectful of their choices and beliefs...as long as it isn’t harmful to anyone of course. When you take the time to understand someone’s differences, whether that be perspective, ethnic background, tradition, family situation, etc., you will begin to open your mind and see things in a different way. This can be done merely by using respectful words when referring to or about people anywhere, any time: for example Native American, not Indian. African American or person of color, not Black. Words do have meaning. Respectful terms reflecting genuine respect for and interest in the person is a life-long guarantee to open doors.

“In the end

We will conserve

Only what we love.

We will love

Only what we understand.

We will understand

Only what we have been taught.”

Baba Dioum

This is one of my favorite quotes because it inspires me not only as a mother but as a teacher to encourage my students to embrace diversity. By teaching our young children about the differences within the world they live in, they will grow up with an open mind, a better understanding and curiosity to learn more. They will acquire the ability to comprehend different perspectives and diverse views which will lead to better decision-making for themselves and their community.

Learning to respectfully work and learn together regardless of our background is to everyone's benefit and creates such a strong sense of community that should be celebrated! So naturally in our classroom, we celebrate diversity! Yes, we even include our owners who are from Australia and the UK!


Ms. Sam:

Ok, I’ll lob in my two cents here as it is a topic dear to my heart and heritage. I’m so proud of the family community that is ScuttleBugs. We have about 10 languages on staff and numerous more spoken amongst the children and families. This is in keeping with the hundred languages often referenced in Reggio Emilia practices.

While Australia is guilty of racist policies and practices in the past (e.g. White Australia policy, the Stolen Generation), it is one of the few nations globally to have apologized to our indigenous people. The country I grew up in is very multi-cultural, in fact almost to the point where physical and cultural differences didn’t even register. I always just accepted we’re a melting pot and so do most Aussie’s I believe. Here is a long, Annual Special advertisement from Australia that is a particular favorite of mine. The ad mocks stereotyping and I especially like the quote near the end “….aren’t we all boat people?” . These lamb ads have become iconic viewing on Australia Day over the years and reflect how we embrace diversity having been born from it!