Race is powerful, and it's even more powerful when you look at yourself and you realize that there's something you just won't ever be or get, because you're not black/Latino/Asian/American Indian, whichever. It makes me sad that I can't ever connect to my African American kids like the other African American teachers can...I don't have the language, the attitude, or the understanding.
Today, the guidance counselor helped dispel a kid's anger about getting rid of his carrots (which I knew he was going to eat in class and/or throw) by just taking him by the arm, guiding him along the hall and covering his face. She moved in this ridiculously fluid motion, saying, "Nah, nah," making him laugh. She moved toward him, puffing her chest out like she was going to hit him--a fake, if you know what I'm talking about--which was more than obviously a joke. He calmed down instantly. I would never have handled that that well, at least not now, and it made me extremely sad. I don't know if I'm describing this so well, but there was this air of it that really said to me, "You won't be able to do this; you can't relate like that; you're not black."