Microaggressions: Ouch!

FC Hurdle Consulting (FCH) was invited to facilitate a professional development session on microaggressions with a group of educators. We experienced a variety of responses from some participants really leaning into the conversation, some questioning, and others wanting to detour to other topics. We know when discussing cultural awareness it can be uncomfortable for some. However, this is a predictable reaction that is seen as an opportunity to communicate and to keep a group forming around a touchy subject like cultural awareness together. During our interactive engagement, it became more obvious many in the room were very concerned that society is now hypersensitive on how comments can taken out of context. It is important to hear where people are so you can meet them there and provide opportunities to expand ideas towards another prespective.  For example, sharing with the group to be mindful of what is their intent with words, what is the quality of their relationship with students, and how well do you they know your students. If the relationship is healthy you may have a better chance of avoiding a microaggression and if you do say something off-track your the student maybe more likely to forgive you and show you some grace. Remember we are all human and will make mistakes, are you able to recognize the error, talk about it and work to move forward. These are basic steps one should be aware of.  It is with hope they continue their work in recognizing the cultural values students bring to the table some helpful and others harmful of which they are learning from family and society. We left the group with participant generated ideas on ways to counter microagressions and other microaggression resources to move towards a system of cultural awareness. For we reminded them that… “Microaggressions are a threat to communities that value cultural awareness.”

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