All things Jewish ECE, all in one place

Educator Spotlight: Chantal Furaha

Tell us about your background. 

I am originally from Rwanda where I escaped the genocide regime in 1994 and lived in a refugee camp in Mozambique before moving to the U.S. with my husband in 2004. We now have 4 children together.

As a person of color, how do you navigate working in a Jewish school with mostly white children?

I was the first person of color to work as an educator at the preschool and often found myself the first person of color my students had met. Now, this is a role I’ve embraced as I like to show children the ways in which we are all the same, no matter our difference in skin color.

What are ways you have brought anti-bias education to your school? 

I talked with our leadership to help diversify the school by encouraging the purchase of dolls of color and multicultural books with more diverse illustrations. I am very passionate about teaching and love my students’ curiosity. I am inspired by simple conversations I get to have with my students and love encouraging them to explore the world.

What did you take away from the Efshar annual conference focused on Anti-Bias Education in Action? 

I learned about creating ways for children to learn about growth and aging by bringing in photos of their parents and grandparents when they were younger. In the future, I hope to work with children with behavioral challenges.

What advice do you have for new educators? 

Make sure they speak to children on their level, don’t be afraid to get down on the floor with them to help them feel heard and welcomed.