Tag Archives: school

Looking Both Ways

MC40_RoadLine_RedOrangeAs a secondary school administrator in Burnaby, BC, I’ve had extensive experience with students and their families from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Some experiences have been humorous, some uplifting, and some disappointing.

On the positive side, I’ve been able to help steer families to needed community resources and have been the recipient of expressed gratitude by people who are thankful to be here in Canada, undertaking a new life as individuals or families. On the negative side, I have inappropriately been called a ‘racist’ for helping people navigate the established guidelines and regulations of public education in British Columbia. Continue reading

Chanukah Song, Who?

PatternSquare08When my son was in grade 1, the teacher asked if the Jewish children in the class would like to sing a Chanukah song at the upcoming seasonal party. They enthusiastically agreed, including my son. When my son reported this to me, I asked him who in the class was Jewish. He mentioned his good buddy: blue-eyed, blonde Mark with-the-very-Scottish-surname. I thought that was very cute – Mark pretending to be Jewish, likely in order to hang with his buddy, my son.

When I bumped into Mark’s mother I told her that we had a good laugh at home at the thought of Mark singing a Chanukah song. She looked at me blankly and then started to laugh. She explained that they’d had the same conversation at their house when Mark came home and reported that my blue-eyed, blonde son with-the-very-WASP-surname had volunteered to sing the Chanukah song. As it happens, both boys are Jewish by virtue of their Jewish moms. Oy!

- Deborah in Toronto

Now that I’m interested, what’s my name?

MC40_spring_festival_coupletsMy daughter and I moved to Canada in July 2011, and since then, I have been flat out working on my MA in Intercultural Communications, looking for work and starting a consulting business. My 8-year-old daughter is happily enrolled in a great public school a few blocks away that has a wonderful ‘learn through the arts’ program. Unfortunately, I have not had enough time to volunteer or get to know her class mates that much.

However, during Chinese New Year of 2013, I was able to take a few hours one morning to volunteer my time and share with my daughter’s classmates and teacher. Continue reading