Romany Gypsy teenager creates free online education resource for use in KS3/4 classrooms

3 December 2018
Being Me

Check out this fantastic educational resource that can be used in KS3/4 classrooms to explore discrimination and prejudice directed towards Romany Gypsies and the impact it has on young peoples emotional well-being. 

The resource was created by Danniel Bennett over 10 years ago, who as a 12 year old at the time was experiencing the feeling of being isolated simply because of his ethnicity.

The resource may raise some sensitive issues about teacher-learner relationships, and is intended to be useful and powerful in discussions around who are we? and what groups do we belong too?

A full detailed lesson plan can be found online here. Nathalie Bennett, CEO of Gypsy Life said: "Being me, was written 10 years ago,  what’s changed how many other Gypsy and Traveller children could be writing this poem today?". 

We agree and think that this teaching resource is as relevant as ever for use by educational professionals who want  to diversify and enrich their students learning experience.

Being Me

For a Gypsy boy like me
I know it’s hard for
all to see
I live not in a trailer
nor travel around
I live in a house
and not on a ground
I go to school
I try and follow their rule
I do my best in all that I do
I sit so quiet when asked to
I open my mouth to talk
when everyone’s told to
but all that I get is the teachers
having a chew

Get out of this class
away from the mass
I don’t want to see your face
and that’s not said in haste
Sent to isolation
for trying my best
go away and shoo
you’re not like the rest

Please don’t judge me
just use your eyes
and you will see
that school life
doesn’t have to be different for me
I have the right to come to school
I don’t want to have to stand and fight

So put your prejudice aside
and keep me in mind
my culture I will not hide
my education is precious
so accept
me for me
stop your preconceptions
and allow me to be me

I just want an education
as good as the rest
I want a chance to do my best

So please don’t judge me for all that I am
I am just a boy
my emotions are real
I am not a toy
I have a heart
and it’s not made of stone
Just like you
I am skin and bone

So please accept me for all that I am
I am just a Gypsy boy
who’s not yet a man.

Danniel Bennett, Yr 7