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Truro woman to speak about being the first African Nova Scotian teacher at Willow Street School

As part of the ‘Women of History Month’ Glenda Talbot Richards will be talking about her years as a teacher in Truro. Everyone is invited to view a short documentary and join in conversation at the Truro library on Oct. 17.
As part of the ‘Women of History Month’ Glenda Talbot Richards will be talking about her years as a teacher in Truro. Everyone is invited to view a short documentary and join in conversation at the Truro library on Oct. 17.

TRURO, N.S. – Becoming a teacher wasn’t something Glenda Talbot Richards had considered while growing up, but her love of children led her into a 32-year career in education that included becoming the first black teacher at Willow Street School.

“I didn’t like school but I knew I needed education,” she recalled. “I planned to be a social worker but I worked at a day care one summer and fell in love with the kids.”

She began her teaching career working with junior high students at an alternative school.

She had expressed an interest in teaching at Willow Street, where she had gone as a child, but wasn’t offered a position until the community came out in support of her. Being the first African Nova Scotian teacher at the school, she experienced some racism but she also had many positive experiences.

“Building relationships with kids and helping them understand others and see their differences in a positive way is wonderful,” she said. “Young children are so open. Overall, the experience was wonderful because I love kids.”

She feels it’s beneficial for children’s self-esteem to have teachers who understand their life experiences.

Talbot Richards also spent seven years working in the board office, and is now the African Nova Scotian school board representative.

“I enjoy being a board member and as the African Nova Scotian representative I want to bring more understanding,” she said. “I want to shine a light on things that could make improvements. I want to see children succeed, regardless of race.”

In 1994 Vision TV created a short documentary called ‘Glenda Talbot Richards, the First Black Teacher in Truro.’ (It should have said first black teacher at Willow Street.) As part of ‘Women of History Month’ the documentary will be shown in the J. Harris Read Program Room at the Truro library on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by conversation with Talbot Richards.

 

 lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

 

Related: Meet Brian H. Fells, Digby’s first African Nova Scotian elementary teacher

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