Education psychologist, Dr. Derald Wing Sue, describes how microaggressions that take place in schools deeply impact minoritized students’ sense of selves and, therefore, their effort, investment, and performance. He provides a concise analysis and helpful set of steps for educators as they ready themselves to spot and address prejudicial treatment.
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As an individual: Prepare yourself for microaggressions by familiarizing yourself with the beliefs behind them, what they consist of, and how to make them teachable moments. Consider your own experiences either being impacted by them or making them. Avoid feeling guilty; feel, instead, responsible and committed to expanding a sense of inclusion and belongingness for your students.
As a staff: Read Dr. Sue’s “The Way Forward” on page 250 and discuss the individual and collective values reflected by the staff. Determine how those values act in service of or opposed to creating a sense of belongingness. Commit to learning about and seeing microaggressions as teachable moments.
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Sue, Derald Wing. (2010). Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation.Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley. (235-254)