White Women Getting Real About Race
Their Stories About What They Learned Teaching in Diverse Classrooms

Foreword by Julie Landsman
Paper: 978 1 57922 458 5 / $26.00
Published: February 2013  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 457 8 / $95.00
Published: February 2013  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 909 2 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: October 2013  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 910 8 / $20.99
Published: October 2013  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
208 pp., 6" x 9"
For many White women teachers and teachers in training – who represent the majority of our teaching force today – the issue of race is fraught with discomfort. It may challenge assumptions, evoke a sense of guilt, or give rise to a fear of making mistakes or saying the wrong thing.

This book presents the first-person stories of White women teachers who tell us not only how they have grappled with race in diverse classrooms, but how they continue to this day to be challenged by issues of color and privilege.

These are no stories of heroic feats or achievement of perfection, but stories of self-disclosure that lay bare their authors’ emotions, ideas, curiosity, vulnerability, and reflections as they engaged with race, and challenged practices of color blindness and empathetic distance. Avoiding abstract educational lingo, these teachers come clean about the emotional cost of dealing with racism, White privilege, and fear of being racist in our rapidly diversifying schools. Admitting their cultural mistakes, they hope their readers can find a safe place to use theirs for honest dialogue and positive learning.

In approaching chapter authors for this book, the editors asked the writers to ask themselves, “Will my well-being and sense of self be at risk if I tell this story?” Recognizing what’s at stake, they wanted writers who would be real with themselves.

The women in this book hope that their stories will resonate with readers, help them feel less alone, and give them courage to begin a dialogue with colleagues, friends, staff and administrators around race concerns.

Each chapter concludes with a few questions to prompt self-reflection at home, or for use as exercises to use in small groups or staff development training.

Table of Contents:

Foreword—Julie Landsman


1. Human Error—Bridget Christianson

2. For the Love of Clowns—Judith M. James

3. Look for Connections—They are There Adrift—Kate Tindle

4. Of Privilege, Approval, and a Savior Complex—Kat Griffith

5. My All-American Birthright—Rachel Stephens

6. The Screen Door: Race Around an Ordinary Life—Nancy Peterson

7. “Saber Dos Lenguas es Saber dos Mundos”: Thoughts From a White
Bilingual Educator—Peggy Semingson

8. Piano Lessons: A White Teacher Struggles to Share the Spotlight—Tara L. Affolter

9. Tap Dancing on Tile: Sidestepping Failure at Guilford Elementary School—Kat Richter

10. A Question of Balance: My Journey of Cultural Evolution—Tabitha Dell’Angelo

11. The Myth of the Lone Hero: How a School in Brooklyn Taught Me to Stay With a Broken Heart—Sharon Barnett

12. Paying Attention to Racial Matters: Personal and Professional
Development—Terri Karis



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Reviews & Endorsements:
“The women writing the chapters of this volume are so different, one from the other, so intricate in their knowledge and understanding, and so open in describing their failures and mistakes, that they present us with a panoply of experiences. And from this panoply we take a selection of lessons learned. We extract from each chapter things we can take with us and incorporate into our lives and teaching.
Each of these women is a self-reflective person. Perhaps, more than anything else, the cumulative effect of being in the presence of such willing self-reflection and the innovation that comes from it, is the most important lesson to be learned here. It is through such reflective work that change is made, that progress happens. These White women show us how it can be done."
- Julie Landsman, speaker and consultant, with extensive taeching experience in Minnesota Public School and Universities