There are very few textbooks that we actually kept from college, but this book, "Starting Small: Teaching Tolerance in Preschool and the Early Grades" was one that we've hung onto tightly from our teaching credential class days. It's stayed on our nightstands for bedtime reading. It's journeyed to soccer practices while we watch our kids and from home to school and back again.
It moved us before we became teachers and has stuck with us over the years. It's not a program or a Teacher's Guide with dictated lessons. It's a philosophy, an approach to children if you will.
With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up, this seemed the perfect time to share and raise some awareness on how we can help today's young learner develop a tolerance for others that will hopefully lead to a more peaceful and empathetic way of life...Yes, yes sort of like wishing for World Peace, but like the title of the book states...We're "Starting Small". One child at at time...One classroom at a time...One school at a time. We can keep going, but we're pretty sure you can infer where we're headed.
It's food for thought...
And, guess what?
It's free food.
Who doesn't love a free meal?
You can visit teachingtolerance.org and explore the many resources they have to offer. Sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance has an entire website devoted to educators who care about diversity and respecting differences in our schools. These are lessons that most likely won't be found in the Common Core, but they are lessons that will last a lifetime and as teachers, we feel we are obligated to teach them.
Educators can order free materials by clicking on the "Film Kits" page from the top, then following the link on the left sidebar.
We ordered ourselves and received a free DVD, which has much of the same information as the book.
It's a great resource and one that may get you thinking about teaching tolerance in your own classroom.