A Principal’s Perspective

Facing History And Ourselves (FHAO) recognizes the diversity within our schools and communities as they exist today. As a former principal I taught with many caring, giving teachers. Occasionally, and thankfully not too often, I encountered a teacher unaware of the differences within his classroom as he turned a “blind eye” to the injustices in and out of the classroom. Such a teacher did not have the opportunity to learn from FHAO which would have raised his sensitivity to the struggles and injustices experienced by selected students.

As a current faculty member in the College of Education at DePaul University, I was thrilled to be one of the first to integrate the FHAO materials and methods into my courses. I hope that my students, our future educators, can implement this training to play a more active role in preventing bullying; or implement a program of conflict resolution utilizing peaceful, logical means.

FHAO raises our awareness helping both teachers and future teachers respect and champion differences for themselves and their students and creates a school environment whereby all—students, parents, fellow teachers, staff, and community—are treated with respect and dignity. As one of my students shared with me,

By understanding who I am, I can better understand my students.

Frank L. Tavano, Ed.D.
DePaul University
College of Education
Teacher Education