White savior mentality” is the perception of some white pre-service teachers, that they are going to be able to come into a classroom and save the “helpless” students of color from dropping out of school. Several pre-service teachers believe that they can help a child of color succeed in school because they, as a white teacher, are helping that student learn. As we all know, all children learn in different ways and sometimes it takes some extra help from a tutor or a teacher for the student to reach their full potential or understanding of the concept or lesson, but the pre- service teachers that Sherry Marx interviewed seemed to think otherwise. They believed that because they were tutoring Latino students, the students needed to be saved.
Some pre-service teachers like the tutors Sherry Marx interviewed in her book, Revealing the Invisible, “have a strong desire to ‘help’ children who are less fortunate than themselves” (Marx, pg. 40). This sent a red flag to me; they seem to have the belief that children of color are not as smart as children who are white, meaning that the children of color need more help. No student should ever be treated differently because of their background. I am a strong believer in the idea that what is on the inside is what counts! As pre-service teachers we need to put our thought of helping the “helpless” to the side and focus on education our future generation. They are not “helpless”, everyone has the ability to achieve anything they want and their teachers need to help mold them into great learners so they can achieve those dreams and goals without worrying about being perceived differently because of the color of their skin.
These tutors believe that once they help these students, they will be seen as the saviors of these students. They are taking the student’s race and making it out to be that because the student is Black or Latino, they need help. With the tutors treating the students with a lower standard based on their race, the students feel like they do not matter to them because the tutors are not treating them with equity and equality like the white students. The tutors are treating the Latino students differently than they would treat white students, because the tutors are basing the Latino students’ abilities based off their race.
The second concept discussed was deficit thinking. Deficit thinking is the practice of holding lower expectations to those students whose backgrounds do not fit into the traditional context of the school. This means teachers who judge students’ intelligence by the color of their skin, their class, or even their cultural background.
Like previously mentioned, the tutors Sherry Marx interviewed, viewed themselves as “saviors” and “have a strong desire to ‘help’ children who are less fortunate than themselves” (Marx, pg. 40). This is deficit thinking on these tutors part, because they have the mindset that since these are Latino students, they automatically do not understand...