What’s the Big Deal?

There’s a television in my classroom but I rarely use it. I will occasionally show videos to enhance the curriculum, but most of the time, the television stays off to the corner of my room collecting dust. I didn’t even know that I could use it to tune in any stations until today.

I wanted to put the inauguration on so my class could hear what was going on. When I turned on the TV for the news this morning, none of my students knew why I was doing it. They couldn’t see what the big deal was. That’s a good thing.

I don’t tend to think in terms of race or colour. My best friend’s family is originally from Jamaica but I would never introduce him as “my black friend” or my “Jamaican-Canadian friend.” There just isn’t any need for such adjectives. He’s my best friend. Period.

I had to explain why this was such an historic occasion to my class. I’m sure they are familiar with racism to some extent but they’ve never really had to live it. I’m glad for that. I’m glad we’ve had leaders that have stepped up to show us that people are all the same no matter their race, colour, creed, or gender. This message has gotten through to the kids.

Most of my students thought it was great to take a break from their learning to watch TV. I noticed, however, that most of them failed to see why this was such a big deal. The didn’t watch it with rapt attention, they didn’t really want to discuss the significance of it, and they didn’t ask me tonnes of questions about it.

Once again, I think this is a good thing. I hope that we will all truly be colour blind soon.

Perhaps this is just the latest stepping stone to making this happen. The shore is in reach.