Bias is a powerful thing. It can end a relationship before it even starts because of a label. It can keep a parent from trusting their child in certain situations because of a mistake they made or witnessed in the past. It can also prevent a teacher from treating all students fairly.
I have never been in or observed a classroom that didn’t have a disruptive student. While they are intriguing to their peers, they can be a pain in the neck to the teacher. In fact, some teachers give up on the students they deem a “lost cause”. They stop trying to get the student to answer questions, and no longer give a pat on the back when he/she receives an impressive grade. The teachers automatically get defensive whenever the student does something as small as raise their hand. Some teachers even grade them differently simply because of their opinion of the student.
The loud, obnoxious students aren’t the only one who receive bias. The kids who don’t speak up as often as the teacher would hope automatically get treated differently as well. Teachers and students often assume that the student is either not participating in the lesson, or the exact opposite. The students get labeled as lazy, nerdy, shy, and all of the other stereotypes out there. This bias will affect what groups they are put into, and can often affect grades based on teamwork or participation. In fact, bias can even tear apart self-identity and self-worth.
Bias is a factor in schools that affects grades, treatment, consequences and more. It is placed on every student for whatever reason you can think of, whether good or bad. It is not a reason to change our identity, so we shouldn’t let it be. It doesn’t seem like bias will be going away anytime soon, so the best way we can deal with it is confronting it head-on.