Delaware Academy for School Leadership
I am not who I was Yesterday….
As I reflect on my 51 year career in education, I know that I am not the person I was when I first started teaching. And these changes in beliefs are a good thing. When I was in seventh grade the first African American student was enrolled in my school. Lorraine sat alphabetically right in from of me. I know I was not mean, but I also know I did not go out of my way to befriend her. I was raised to believe everyone was created equally but that we all had our place. My grandparents stated that even through we were all the same, God did not want us to mix. If he did, he would have made us the same color. They further stated that people of color felt the same way. And since I did not know any people of color I took this as fact. This was also reinforced in the rural Methodist church I attended. While we sang Jesus loves the little children….the message was loud and clear. We are equal but separate. After four years of university, I still had not met any African Americans other than those I worked with in the dining hall. I loved them. They were my support at school. And then I got my first teaching job. The school was fully integrated.