Today I am THAT parent

Dear (Teachers),

Thank you for the hard work you do teaching our child…

An issue arose when she was working on the heritage assignment due Friday. I wanted to let you know about this issue so (child) is not penalized from coming from such a quirky a family.

Our family does not uphold our historical family heritage (e.g. celebrating Christmas, practicing Christianity/Catholicism, or even expressing identities tied to our historical ethnic backgrounds). Of course, should the children be interested in learning more about their ancestors, we would support that. However, we believe that we have the power to choose how we live in a way that reflects our values and our place in the world as it is now, so we do not seek to instill in our children the idea that their lineage is necessarily an important element of their identity or self-understanding.

For this reason, as soon as the wording of the interview questions you sent home allowed, I emphasized the global experiences and intentionally chosen traditions we have in our immediate/nuclear family. For your information (daughter) is fluent in Swedish because we lived there on and off over the last 2 years. She could talk a lot about living there and how that influenced our family holidays, food, etc. In the U.S. we have lived and still maintain our home in Vermont where we live a life very different from NYC. I am sure (daughter) would be happy to talk about what it is like to live in Vermont. (Daughter) also lived in China from ages 4 to 5. During that time she attended Chinese kindergarten and learned to speak Mandarin (although she has forgotten much of it). We reman very attached to Asia and our many friends there. I am sure (daughter) could speak about this, too.

I appreciate your efforts to research and celebrate the diversity of your class. I also appreciate any efforts you can make to insure that the identities and experiences of each student are allowed to come through.

Sincerely, Andrea

FYI – interview questions were (wording retained): country and language family name comes from; meaning of the name; family motto; family crest (print); countries ancestors came from; languages spoken in family; food we cook that is connected to heritage; holidays that are part of heritage; have we visited the country of our heritage, where did we go and what did we see.

This entry was posted in Culture Shock, Ex-Pat Parenting, Interculturalism, Multiculturalism, Musings, New York City, Parenting, Race, Schooling. Bookmark the permalink.

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