Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prized Teacher Instills Pride in Students

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prized Teacher Instills Pride in Students

Article excerpt

English teacher Anna Jackson has always made it her mission to mix cultural pride with acceptance of differences.

This week, Jackson's mission won her the 1993 National Educator Award from the National Association of Teacher Educators, a professional group devoted to teacher education.

"If attitudes are going to change, and if there's a difference that's going to be made in the world, I really do believe it has to come through education," Jackson said. "And I believe teachers are the ones to do it."

In her speech after accepting the award, Jackson said she plans to emphasize the need for teachers to increase their awareness of personal assumptions and attitudes toward diversity.

"Teachers need to increase (their) awareness of social values and how they show up in education," she said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. She said teachers need to display materials from various cultures that do not show stereotypes, and "interact with children's families in respectful ways."

"They need to respond to children's biased remarks and actions."

Jackson, who began her teaching career in Cleveland and has taught at Carbondale Community High School for 14 years, also planned to talk about how she weaves literature from other cultures into her daily lesson plan.

Recently she took her freshman class to see the movie "The Joy Luck Club," then read excerpts from the novel by Amy Tan. She said the class discussed how the story, taken out of its setting in China, had an almost universal quality.

On the Chinese New Year, Jackson invited a native of China to her class to talk about Chinese customs. …

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