These seventh graders are helping teachers learn all about microaggressions
When Anjali Adhikari and Niah Ester teamed up for a class project last summer, they had one goal – to teach educators at Northeast Middle School all about microaggressions.
The seventh graders never imagined their work would make it from their Creve Coeur school into classrooms across the St. Louis region. But since then, they’ve created and led training sessions for dozens of teachers, counselors and school administrators.
Their mission is personal. The students are often on the receiving end of microaggressions – comments or questions, usually delivered casually, that insult people and reinforce negative stereotypes.
Because the comments often come from adults, the 12-year-olds developed activities to help their teachers recognize and address microaggressions.
“If a teacher says something kind of derogatory to a student, that’s gonna stay in their mind,” Niah said. “That’s gonna affect them for the rest of their lives.”