Today I had a meeting with a principal about a student who had applied for a choice program. The principal refused to let the child in, stating to the mother that he was "low" and shouldn't be in the particular program. I pretty much strong armed the principal into allowing the child in the program, but she continued to obsess over the fact that she was worried that he wouldn't be successful.
I asked her, "Don't you think that you should give him a chance before you make these assumptions?"
I'm sorry, what was I thinking--I thought that as educators we are supposed to have open minds about students and teach to their strengths. I didn't know that it was our job to automatically accentuate their "deficits".
I literally get calls from either principals or teachers on a weekly basis as soon as a child winds up in their class, making statements about wanting to retain the student, that the student should be referred to psychological testing, and all such nonsense. I'm always thinking, "Uh, hello...today's the kid's first day with you!"
So I found this great spoken word on the topic and I think it's really a great demonstration of how educators typecast and stereotype students and parents, while knowing little about them: