Monday, March 31, 2014

The Teaching Experience

When I take a step back and think about what I'm about to share with you all I HONESTLY can't believe my daughter is only 1 year old and I'm dealing with this... By now, you are sitting at your screen wondering what the heck is Sheena talking about?

Sooooooo here it is...

As I've already told you, Baby O is quite the talkative 1 year old. She loves to hear herself talk and definitely makes sure that any/everyone around can hear her while she's doing so. In other words, she loud y'all, lol.  Seriously, her voice stays on 20! Then, her little self gets her hands going (and everybody knows a good story needs some finger pointing) and starts pacing around the room. When you see it for the first time it actually takes you by surprise because it's so unexpected... yet hilarious lol.

Clearly, her teacher was surprised when she started voicing her opinion around the class one day. So much so that, in our daily chat about what type of day they had together, the teacher said "when Olivia starts talking [she] can see that little black attitude coming out of her".
Did you read it a few times?  I didn't mis-type.  If you are anything like me, you are probably staring at your screen shocked... just as I was when I heard her words.

Now, to be clear, I honestly don't think her words had any malicious intent behind them (thus, the name of this post).   She's been with Olivia since her first day at the school and totally adores her. All that said... her words, in that context, were very negative.  So, in my husbands words, "she needed to be checked".

I know what you're thinking and NO, I didn't go off and continue to perpetuate the angry black women stereotype deep-rooted in her conscious.  To the contrary, I handled myself as I always have around her - didn't even blink.  Doing so actually allowed me to take a step back from the situation and regain some perspective. I slept on it then decided to use this as a teaching opportunity - teach the teacher, if you will. Bring this to light with education because there's no excuse for that type of ignorance in 2014.  

Remembering that...

When I finally spoke with her I was polite yet stern and delivered a concise message; my goal was to make her reflect on the impact her words have on the babies placed in her care on a daily basis.  She immediately apologized and was actually very grateful that I enlightened her.

I share this story with you all NOT to get any of you angry at what was said but rather to let you all know we're never too good, too old or too smart for enrichment. There are so many opportunities to better ourselves and we just have to be willing to do so. I'm grateful in this instance I was willing to teach and she was open to learn.


  1. I am glad you were able to handle this issue directly and in a professional manner. I recall a couple of years ago when my little one was in daycare and the director (a black woman) said something along those lines to me. I really had to pull her to the side and have a nice little chat because in my mind I'm like you're a sister, are you nuts right now....... I refuse to let people speak negativity into my DD's life. We aren’t receiving that over here. No ma'am, no ham, no cornbread!

    1. Exactly MsLici! We don't teach nor tolerate that type of negative behavior at home so I refused to let others impact her in such a manner.

  2. I really liked this post, Sheena. I can recall a few times in college when Ryann had to check me. And now I'm senstive to those things and I do share what she taught me with my friends and family. Sometimes people just don't know, and calm reaction likes yours can create a positive effect and go a long way.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I agree it’s all in how you handle situations and truly hope my response in this case made a life long impression