To the Editor: Talent Contradictions

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I would like to express my sympathy and appreciation for the Albemarle County teachers who are having to juggle the contradictions posed by the Talent Development program and the Courageous Conversations curriculum. Teachers are instructed to nurture the diverse talents of each child at the individual child’s developmental stage, something every dedicated teacher is happy to do. But then, apparently, the teacher must lead the children to define themselves according to racial stereotypes. The chart on Racialized Communication (from the February Crozet Gazette) traps children in only one of two personality/learning/communication styles. The chart teaches that ALL people of color are nonverbal, personal, emotional, and process-oriented while ALL white people are verbal, impersonal, intellectual, and task-oriented. Both of these communication/learning styles are valuable and children should be encouraged to develop and use both.  Are teachers being told they must nurture only the learning/communication style that matches the child›s perceived racial profile? I was a teacher for over forty years, so I understand the dilemma faced by our fine Albemarle County teachers. The School Board has made a serious mistake in following the guidance of Glenn Singleton, but good teachers will continue to reach the hearts and minds of children regardless of any imposed impediments.

Mollee Merrill
Afton

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