A quick note today, but I couldn't let this conversation with a student today go by. We're in the middle of Freedom Writer's Diary and of course one of the major themes is how these students grapple with racism and stereotypes. One Middle Eastern female student of mine raised her hand and said she'd just earlier that day been stereotyped by another teacher here. Apparently the teacher had asked her if she ate couscous! The student--quite rightly in my view--felt demeaned. I asked her if she'd shared how that comment by one of my colleagues had made her feel, and she said yes, but apparently the teacher didn't really respond. This left the student with the impression that the teacher "just didn't want to own up" to what she'd said.
It also left me thinking, as I sometimes do, of the invisibility of my own ethnicity as a white woman. My race is the standard. No one will ever look at my skin color and ask me if I, say, eat burgers or hot dogs. I am therefore expanding my call for peace education in every classroom; let's be sure it is a part of every teacher education program too!