In his Inaugural Address, Obama called on us to get involved in civic discussions about the challenging and often divisive issues facing our nation. Considering that while hearing the news stories about these very issues (for example, how to address violence after the recent school shooting), I've been thinking about how many times as teachers we have the opportunity to facilitate deep and meaningful conversations. Opportunity? Some times it may seem hugely intimidating. We may even take that deep breath when it comes up organically in a classroom and think, "Am I really going to go THERE, NOW?"
How necessary, or unnecessary, is it to talk about "race" with your students? Do you have the proper resources and approaches to discuss "issues of race" in your classroom? When in your curriculum do you feel the issue of "race" should be broached? And what are the biggest challenges you face as a classroom teacher when talking with your students about "race"?