Written by WRDSB Equity and Inclusion Officer Deepa Ahluwalia
Mother’s day and Father’s day are special days on which we take the time to thank and appreciate our parents for the benevolent acts and sacrifices they have made for us.To show our gratitude,we sometimes encourage students to produce a creative piece of art,or the like,for their mothers on Mother’s day and their fathers on Father’s day.
Though the intention may be to reflect on and appreciate all that our mothers and fathers do for us, the process may be exclusive to some individuals.When these days are celebrated without acknowledging the many different kinds of families that exist,we may unintentionally isolate and exclude students who may live with same sex parents,in single parent homes,in foster homes,or are being raised by other family members and so on.
As we strive to foster safe and inclusive working and learning environments,we need to understand and accommodate the growing differences of familial structures.When engaging in activities that require students to share and talk about their families,or create a special card to commemorate a special day, students should be encouraged and supported in reflecting their family experience as they are. Reducing the emphasis on “mother” and “father” and focussing on a “parent”, or “caregiver”, or “special person” to celebrate through activities will create a more safe and inclusive space for everyone.
Please find here a link to a blog that was written by one of our awesome educators, Kimiko Shibata. She shares very honestly and personally about an experience that she had which I have received permission to share, as I know that it will help to raise our collective equity consciousness about these situations.