celebrating holidays in the schools

Read Critical Incidents

Critical Incidents in Teaching

Celebrating Ethnic Holidays

Esther Greenberg is a teacher in an alternative education class. Ms. Greenberg’s college roommate was Chinese American, and she remembers fondly her visit to her roommate’s home during the Lunar New Year. During that holiday, the parents and other Chinese adults gave all the children, including her, money wrapped in red paper, which was to bring all the recipients good luck in the new year. Ms. Greenberg thought it would be a nice gesture to give the students in her class the red paper envelopes as an observance of the upcoming Lunar New Year. Since she was unable to give the students money, she wrapped gold-foil-covered chocolate coins (given to Jewish children) in red paper to give to her students. Unfortunately, on the day of Lunar New Year, a number of students were pulled out of class for a special event-planning session. Most of the remaining students were Asian American students. When she passed out the red envelopes, the students were surprised and touched by her sensitivity to a cherished custom. When her principal heard what Ms. Greenberg had done, he accused her of favoritism to the Asian American students and of deliberately leaving out the African American and white students. When she tried to convince him otherwise, he responded that she had no right to impose Asian customs on her students. She responded that this was an important Asian custom of which students should be aware. However, he continued his attack, saying that this was Asian superstition bordering on a religious observance, and students should not be participating in such activities.

Reflect on the issue of celebrating holidays in the schools, address the given questions in your essay.

At least 2 pages. APA style

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