Helena Handbasket (iguanasdefuego) wrote in thequestionclub,
Helena Handbasket


I teach in a town with no diversity. The kids are almost exclusively white and for many of them, I was the first Jewish person they've met. I have two Black students in my reading classes. There is little to no opportunity to learn via exposure. So we frequently talk about and combat stereotypes in my room.

Many of my students have beliefs about Black people that I didn't even realize still existed. One student told me that Black people tend to be better at sports because they have extra bones in their legs to help them run and jump. o.0

Another student told me that if Black people really wanted to get out of the ghetto, they would. They just aren't trying hard enough.

Ladies and gents, how do I remove this brainwashing?

I do my best to explain why the stereotypes are wrong and all that, but I often find myself using too sophisticated terms for them to understand. I am teaching 7th graders and I don't realize I'm telling them that their actions perpetuate hegemony.

How can I explain all these stereotypes and hegemony and gentrification and all that stuff in middle school friendly terms? And in a way that sounds more appealing than the garbage they are being fed at home?
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