Don’t express shock or “compliment” students for breaking stereotypes associated with their race or gender; these statements are microaggressions, they discriminate against these students, often unintentionally.

  • These kinds of "compliments" are anything but complimentary. Microaggressions hold a model minority in contrast with other people of their race/gender.

    • This means that this comment comes at the expense of other people who share a student's race/gender.

  • It is important to not be condescending and patronizing when complimenting students of color, white women/girls, students with disabilities, or other students who are marginalized by society for breaking stereotypes.

    • Students of color and white women/girls tend to have a good understanding of the stereotypes teachers and others hold about them.

    • As a result, these "compliments" are typically condescending.

  • These are incredibly harmful and damaging statements.

    • It’s especially dangerous because they are small statements that are easier to go unnoticed or unchecked.

    • Students are likely to be distrusting of the intentions of teachers and others who give out these kinds of compliments.

    • These kinds of compliments can also seriously impair student-teacher relationships, even if they come from good intentions.

      • Good intentions do not prevent statements from being harmful.

More about this tip

External Source

Neftali Dominguez