An exceptional voice: Working as a tesol professional of color

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

During my first semester at the university where I currently teach, one of my White female graduate students (whom I will call Lisa) approached me at the end of the second class and said, in the course of a brief exchange, "You're the first Black teacher I've ever had in my whole life." Somewhat taken aback by the comment, I responded, "Really, tell me about that." Obviously unprepared for my retort, Lisa stumbled through an answer that went something like this: "Well… you know … it's just that… I've lived all my life in New York City and I went to elementary school, high school, did a bachelor's degree, and now I'm doing my master's, and only now I have a Black teacher." To which I shot back, "Well, that's very telling, isn't it?"—a reply that I could see clearly made Lisa uncomfortabl. Lisa promptly tried to exit our conversation as politely as possible. It was an unsettling moment for both of us.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationColor, Race, and English Language Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationShades of Meaning
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages23-36
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781134814947
ISBN (Print)0805856609, 9780805856606
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Nero, S. (2019). An exceptional voice: Working as a tesol professional of color. In Color, Race, and English Language Teaching: Shades of Meaning (pp. 23-36). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203763971-3