SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sarasota teacher dresses up as prominent African-Americans who’ve made history to teach her students Black history lessons.
Teidra Everett is a second grade teacher at Bay Haven Elementary School. She has taught there for two years, making it a point to educate her students about Black history. And in February, she gets really creative!
“They come in excited like who is she? Who are you?” Everett said.
Everett has dressed up as Ida B. Wells, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Rosa Parks, Mae Jemison and many more.
“They’re going to remember she dressed up as this person and this person did that versus just reading it from a book,” she said.
Everett creates PowerPoints and videos for the students about each person she dresses up as. The students keep a journal and are quizzed in March.
“I don’t want them to lack compassion for other people’s situations or their hardships,” Everett said. “I want to be able to connect on that level and I want my students to grow and be able to connect with people and not just dismiss them because they haven’t experienced it.”
Everett is the only African American teacher at Bay Haven. She hopes other teachers, regardless of their race, will put more effort into teaching Black history.
“I would like for this to be a district wide thing where people are not afraid to be expressive because African American history is American history, so it shouldn’t be something you’re afraid to talk about or something you don’t honor because it is who we are as people,” she said.
Even though Everett has been at Bay Haven for two years, she has been dressing up for Black history lessons for five years. She said she is a firm believer of being the change you want to see in the world. She hopes her efforts inspire other educators.