Preschool of the Arts
A community committed to exploration, creativity and collaboration.
I realize, I have never really taken my race into consideration because being white in Germany was the “norm”. But since living in America and being constantly asked to check boxes of race and ethnicity my awareness grew. My culture, family and being female were always more important to me.
I see children having the means to be in “teams” a lot when they are around 4-6 years (maybe even older but that’s the age group I work with a lot). They are in teams for all kinds of reasons “having a blue water bottle” or “red shoes” and so on. I understand and don’t mind this unless they use it to exclude specific children at all times. We than usually find things we all have alike or that separate all of us from each other (maybe we all have hair but all have different names). I like to use these moments to start talking and understanding what makes us the same and what makes us different. Most times it starts with water bottles, looks, where we live to how fast we run.
I love this! Since we are a German school in America we do celebrate the German holidays in school and leave the American ones for the parents to celebrate. We still take part in it a s teachers but we like that the parents can show us what they did growing up here in America. We also started having international tea parties where parents will tell us about their country and culture while serving something to drink or to eat that is special from there, showing pictures, videos, or stories.
We do have mirrors in the classrooms, where children can see themselves and we offer books and toys that represent (hopefully) all children. we also talk about artists and musicians with the children showing their pictures. We did start the “international tea party” series where each time one parent from one country comes to school and talks about that country and the culture, showing books, stories, music, videos, sharing food and drinks.
Treating all children (and parents) with respect, and acceptance, showing them they can be their true selves when they are with us, without being judged. We are open to all family concepts as well as genders or races. We do educate our children that all of them are valid and accepted.
We always had the children being dressed up however they want not caring or stating “that dresses are for girls”. I believe it is important for children to try out and do what they want to do and we as educators can take stigma away from things that are seen as female or male.
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