Submitted by Rob Ackerman, Principal, Lane School
As many of you know, one of the goals of the Bedford School District is to develop ways to embrace and celebrate the diversity in our schools. Over the past month, Mrs Smith, our guidance counselor, has been leading a Friday activity with six classrooms from different grades. The activity has our students forming a large circle and stepping into the circle when the answer is “yes” to Mrs Smith’s statement. This is a great way to have our students think about differences in a quiet and non-threatening environment.
Students are asked:
You have a brother.
You have a sister.
You love pancakes.
People often mispronounce your first or last name.
Mrs Smith then asks the students to self-reflect on what they are seeing and feeling.
More questions are then posed:
You live with both of your parents.
You live with one of your parents.
Some of your family members live in another country.
You speak a different language at home.
Students are again asked to stop and reflect on what they observe and feel.
Mrs Smith then asks the students to listen to another set of questions, including…
You have seen someone be mean to another.
You or someone you know have been teased because of your accent, color of skin, or religious background.
At the end of the activity, the students are asked to think about how we are different? how are we alike? what did it feel like stepping into the circle? was there anything that surprised you?
Mrs Smith wrapped up the lesson with a poignant message about the importance of diversity and how it strengthens our schoo