The following article comes from class teacher Toria Bono, who shares a powerful and thought-provoking message.

Recently, I have been walking around my school with new glasses on – well metaphorically speaking and I have been considering the importance of representation. I have been incredibly lucky because all through my life, in every book that I have opened, every picture on the wall and every topic I have covered in school I have been able to see myself. Why? Because I am a white woman. Up until recently, I didn’t realise that others did not have this lived experience.

So, I looked around my classroom to find books that represented people of all colours and from a variety of backgrounds and what I discovered was that I needed to acquire some. Thankfully there are so many wonderful books on the market at the moment including Richard O’Neill’s stories about the Traveller Communities, Vashti Harrison’s books celebrating people of colour around the world and oh so many more. Do the children you teach see themselves represented in the books that they read.

I then considered teaching resources that I had created with images on – had I subliminally chosen pictures of people who represented me or had I chosen pictures of people who represented all colours and cultures? I hate to admit that the former was true and so I had to go through and change them. The children I teach deserve to see themselves represented in the teaching resources I provide them with.

I could go on, but I really want to prompt you, the reader, to consider your children. Do they see themselves in the books they read, the lessons they learn and the corridors they walk through everyday?

Take a moment to consider this and if the answer is no, I challenge you to be the change!

Authors Mentioned

The Lost Homework

by Richard O’Neill

Dream Big, Little One

by Vashti Harrison

Visionary Women Around the World

by Vashti Harrison

Polonius the Pit Pony

by Richard O’Neill

Primary teacher Toria Bono

Author

Toria Bono

Toria has had many roles in the primary sector – from class teacher to school leader, but is happiest when she is teaching children. She currently teaches at Thomas A Becket Junior School and wants all children to have the best possible learning opportunities.

She is committed to using research to inform her decisions about how best to teach and is keen to support other educators to do so too.

Through her blog Teaching Others & Learning All The Time, she shares her experiences, opinions and lessons learned in the classroom. She also empowers other eduleaders on Twitter via the #TinyVoiceTuesday and #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites hashtags.

Follow Toria on Twitter – @ToriaClaire

Visit Toria’s website here.