…what do you do when a student thinks something is funny when it clearly is not? Not only is it not funny, but racist, threatening, and aggressive?
…when a student holds a misconception so deep, so off, that you know it came from someone’s comment/belief, growing unchecked?
…when a student believes you have no idea what drives them, what motivates them because they are dangerously un-self-aware that nothing an outside influence could say mends that trauma?
Do personal stories help? Not without context. Someone watching this, without context or background knowledge, and lack of maturity, might walk away thinking Jewish people are evil, and not see it has nothing to do with faith/religion, but everything to do with the cruelty we inflict on one another? On girls and women? On laughter and joy?
Many of my colleagues, when a student tests the fence and says, “You’re treating me this way because I’m (fill in the blank: Mexican, Black, Asian). Some of my colleagues can then snap back and say, “Well, my wife/spouse is (fill in the blank). Although that is a handy short-cut, there is something about it that doesn’t solve the deeper issue. The answer needs to shift–get at the heart of the accusation. The student is really saying, “I don’t have power in this space. I don’t have a voice. I have seen teachers with your kind of face, and I don’t trust you.”
Okay–I think I know where to go next.
Thanks for listening.