When Sekani Moyenda, an African American elementary school teacher, accepted an invitation to speak at a graduate education class, neither the students nor Ann Berlak, their professor, could guess that her presentation would spark an outpouring of emotion and a reexamination of race from everyone involved. The \u0022encounter\u0022 -- as it was called -- was an expression of Moyenda's anger at the institutionalized racism of our educational system, a system whose foundations are reinforced and whose assumptions about race are reproduced in the graduate school classroom. Forcing everyone involved to rethink their own race consciousness, Taking it Personally is a chronicle of two teachers and their own educational progress. In processing their own responses to the encounter, along with their students', Berlak and Moyenda meditate not only on their own ideas on teaching and learning, but also redefine the obligation a teacher has to his or her students. Personal in its approach, yet grounded in significant currents of educational thought, Taking it Personally will be a must-read for any educator or educator-to-be who is committed to teaching in our diverse classrooms.
Ann Berlak is Associate Professor in the Department of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. Sekani Moyenda teaches reading and is the administrator for computer and network technology at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco.
CONTENTS Series Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction Part I. Our Racial Autobiographies 1. Sekani: How I Got My "Black Attitude" Problem 2. Ann: How I Developed an "Obduracy of Tone" Part II. All Right, Who Started It? The Classroom Encounter and Its Aftermath 3. Sekani: The Bootcamp Presentation: Classrooms in Crisis 4. Ann: Picking Up the Pieces: Processing Is Everything Part III. What's Going on Here? Analysis 5. Ann: What Makes You Think She's Not an Expert? 6. Ann: Fantasy and Feeling in the Classroom 7. Sekani: The Love Letter 8. Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index