Talking to Kids about Race

Dear Families,

My head is swirling trying to find the right words to type to you and mentally process the last week. I have typed, deleted, and rewritten many sentences. Ultimately, it is uncomfortable to talk about race and get vulnerable, but that is what we must do to make progress.

With the recent traumatic killing of George Floyd and the protesting, riots, and looting taking place this week, along with curfews in place in Oak Park and Chicago, I am sure there are many feelings and thoughts swirling in your head… and likely, in your child’s head too. One thing is for sure; we have work to do as Americans and a large part of that falls on us as parents and teachers. To raise our children up to be the best version of themselves and to help fight the battles of systemic and internal racism, and to model how to fight racism ourselves.

I recognize teachers’ important role in the classroom and the responsibility that comes in the words we choose, conversations we facilitate, books we read and put in our classroom, and how we work to develop our teaching style. On a personal level, I am committed to doing better as a white person and a white teacher to be more of an ally to black children, families, and people to make a real change in our world.

I believe it is up to parents how they want to talk to their children about current events and race at home. I also know these conversations come up in our classrooms, organically and planned. It is part of our role as their teachers and parents to facilitate this important dialogue and help our children understand the world and how they can be change agents.

Please reach out if you would like any further resources or wish to have a conversation about how to talk to your child about race/ racism and current events.

We value you as people and parents and allies in your child’s education.
~Jessica and Katie

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