I must admit, going back to school to obtain my master's degree was the best decision I could have made! I've learned so much---this week I learned about microaggressions. I have heard them used by individuals, but did not realize they had a name. This week we are supposed to write about microaggressions that were detected by us--either to an individual or to ourselves. I have racked my brain--sadly, during pregnancy, I am not as aware as I normally would be. I tend to ignore any negativity and not hold on to hurtful words. I decided to call a co-worker/friend and explain microagressions. I then asked if she had experience with this this week. She said in fact her daughter did. Her daughter is in middle school and finished her last day of school Friday the 25th. Her daughter is African American and was having lunch with her Caucasian friends. One of her friends, nonchalantly, asked "why do you all style your hair differently". Her daughter was hurt by the "you all", but knew her friend meant nothing by it. My co-worker/friend said it happens all the time--people say things out of curiosity but it sometimes bring pain.
I am working with new preschool parents--families for the 2012-2013 school year. I have been very cautious at what I say while working with these families. I do not want to stereotype the families based on their responses to my questions or when they misspell words or when they do not understand the questions. Before this week I did not know about microaggressions and did not realize my one (seemingly small) comment could really hurt someone else. I am happy I have learned this and can now focus on what I will say before I say it. Everyone in the early childhood field should have to take this course--it has taught me so much!!!