Originally posted on PhD Balance social media platforms on 01/18/2021
When I was in sixth grade I took a computers-Spanish class. Since there was no division of difficulty levels, three of my Hispanic friends and I were usually done with the Rosetta Stone assignments early. We would sit and talk to the teacher when finished, who, by the way, did not speak Spanish and was “teaching” this course by overseeing the completion of assignments.
One day, he told my friends and I that if we cleaned the computers in the morning during homeroom we could listen to music/play games and he would buy us donuts. We did so a few mornings until one morning the four of us were cleaning and he said to us, “you’re doing a great job, it’s good practice for your future”, we paused and were silent, one of the girls became angry and asked him to clarify. He explained that when we were maids/house cleaners we would be good at our jobs. I walked out of the room, none of us reported this, but I sincerely regret not doing so. I guess since this has happened to me before I wasn’t outraged, I was more so saddened that a teacher, someone who was supposed to be educated, could be so close-minded.
This experience exemplifies how prevalent racial microaggressions are as well as how vital it is to have culturally humility and just have basic respect for others. These topics must be incorporated into coursework in training programs. I strive to conduct research to reduce unfortunate situations like this that I have experienced. I now have a PhD, am a licensed marriage and family therapist with 30 research publications. Never let anyone limit you.
A big thank you to Eman Tadros for sharing their personal story.