I was talking with a fellow student affairs professional earlier today & she shared something with me that she had learned a diversity session she had attended last year. The concept was pretty basic – but amazing. We are all insiders & outsiders.
Example: I’m an insider when it comes to talking about my current institution’s Graduate Hall director position. I’m an insider because I know a lot about the position. (I should, I currently hold the position).
I’m an outsider when it comes to understanding how a PC works. I’ve never owned a working Windows machine. I have asked more than twice how to turn one on or off. (no joke, I’m 100% windows incompetent)
So, getting away from silly examples for a moment. I think this is key when I work to relate with my students. I do not identify as Latino, but I work with an awesome population of Latino students. With these students, they are the insiders & I am an outsider. However, I can still connect with these students- so long as I acknowledge that I am indeed an outsider (sometimes internally to myself- other times out loud to the students).
Do you identify as an insider and an outsider too? How does this change your approach to student interactions?