We were discussing gender stereotypes in my wellness class today, and one of my female students said, “Women are taught to only speak when spoken to. We are basically taught to not exist unless invited in,” and a chorus of male students responded, “That’s not true.”
Sometimes the teachable moments just fall into your lap.
One way we can bring mindfulness into our teaching is simply to make observations out loud, without judgement.
I offered, “I’d like to just take a moment to notice that a female-identifying student is sharing her experience (here, a number of students knowingly started to chuckle), and a number of male voices just interrupted and shut her down.”
We were able to laugh about the irony together, but more importantly, we were able to look at a problematic tendency, that often happens without consciousness. I didn’t have to preach. I didn’t have to yell. I just noticed aloud so we could see it together.