Sunday, February 9, 2014

"They listen, but they don't hear"

My mind was opened to things I had never thought of while reading “The Silenced Dialogue” by Delpit. While reading it, there were many good points about black teachers versus white teachers. She mentioned numerous times that the black teachers ways of teaching were not “correct” or “good enough” according to white teachers. Even at the beginning of her piece, she says that

            “When you're talking to white people they still want it to be their way. You can try to talk to them and give them examples, but they're so headstrong, they think they know what's best for everybody, for everybody’s children. They won’t listen; white folks are going to do what they want to do anyway” (21).

When you think of it that way, it seems true. You may not realize it happening but black people probably do have a tough time teaching or sharing their thoughts. I know a few years ago my teacher was talking to us in class, randomly, about how people think black teachers don’t know how to teach (my teacher was not one of those people who thought that) and that they weren't treated fairly. It made us all think a lot and has always impacted me. Regardless, I have never had a teacher that was a person of color, but if I did I would not think of him/her any differently than I would a white teacher. I cannot remember what class, what teacher, or exactly what grade that was brought up in, but it kept reoccurring in my head while reading Delpit’s piece.

Also, while reading “The Silenced Dialogue”, there was one more section that really caught my attention. On page 30, Deplit says “this does not mean separating children according to family background, but instead, ensuring that each classroom incorporate strategies appropriate for all the children it confines”.  I think this is a major problem in today’s world. I started my first internship at Frank D. Spaziano Elementary School this Friday. When the children were doing work from the book, my teacher pulled me over to talk to me. She was telling me about certain students – what they struggled with, who had IEPS, and so forth. She also mentioned something that made me think of the pervious quote above – “there are some really bright students in here, and then there are some students that are really struggling. Of course, you cannot have a class with students all on the same level. That’s the hard part… You cannot meet the requirements for each and every student. Sometimes you go too fast for some students, and sometimes you go too slow and bore the really advanced ones. You’ll find this out when you start teaching, but you just have to do your best”. Although what my teacher said didn’t have to do exactly with what Delpit said, it had generally the same idea. You need to incorporate strategies for all students, not just some.

I also thought that these two pictures were funny. Within Delpit’s piece, she says at one point that black students find the white teacher boring and the black teacher more fun. The white teacher didn’t know what she was doing (which I completely disagree with) and the black teacher was strict and told them what to do. I thought these pictures were very relative to this topic.

Below I have attached an article that I think goes perfectly with this topic! It talks about whether or not having a white teacher or a black teacher has an effect on a black male student. I think it fits perfectly with what we’re talking about! 


  1. First things first Brandy. I love the title of your of your post. It really grabbed my attention and summarizes you post so well. I Agree with your statement about the separation of kids academic abilities in class. It is our job as (soon to be) teachers to make sure every kid gets to learn, no matter what their learning capability or level. Great post, I loved reading it. Keep it up! :)

  2. It's great that you brought up the idea of incorporating different strategies into one classroom to try and accommodate all the students in the class. I thought this part was interesting too, and it is certainly something that the education system needs more of. Most schools and teachers are overtaxed, so they have to make the best of the situation, and trying to teach in a way that will benefit all the students in a classroom is a good place to start. Good work!