I believe we as a society are consistently trying to push the ‘norm’ and the ‘norms’ are stereotypical and thus we see this push of ‘norms’ in books, movies, stores, schools and early childhood centres. These ideas of ‘norms’ pushed by media and schools are that girls wear dresses and boys climb trees, which depict stereotypes, girls play with dolls, but boys do not, which is a form of heterosexism. Furthermore, families are only made up of a mommy, a daddy and children, which depicts homophobia and many teachers and schools accept these ‘norms’ and do not challenge them. However, I am constantly asking myself is there a definition of the word ‘normal’, when we live in such a diverse world?
As a result, I do not believe that early childhood teachers and centres have a right to advocate and encourage stereotypes and biased education, as this does not display equality and diversity for all families and children. Therefore, I believe that teachers and early childhood centres should and need to embrace equality and diversity to ensure that no child or family is left behind. If teachers and schools avoid or do not include books that depict diversity amongst race, types of families, such as gay or lesbian which appose the ‘norm’, they are in turn sending visible and invisible messages to children and families that they are not accepted, wanted, valued and acknowledged, which in my view is unacceptable, cruel and inhumane.
As result, if a parent or family member informed me that they did not want a teacher in the school who did not fit the ‘norm’, I would sit down with them and tell them that I value their input, find out why they hold this biased view, challenge their thinking and inform them that this school which there child is attending, believes in and advocates for anti-bias education. Furthermore, I would explain what anti-bias education is and that any biased opinions of any kind with regards, to children, families and teachers who are apart of the school are not welcomed, as we all deserve to be treated equally and fairly regardless of what we represent.