In third period, a student called me over to his group. “Teacher, what does ching chong <insert other random Asian sounds> chong mean?” He had his whole group in stitches. The first time he asked the question, I didn’t realize what he was doing and I said, “I don’t understand what you are trying to say.” (Duh, I’m slow.) He tried to call me over many other times with the same question and I ignored his subsequent attempts. I was busy responding to other students’ mathematical questions.
At the time I didn’t think much of it, but now I realized how bothered I am by the student’s actions and the reactions of his peers (one is an A student). I can’t do anything about my ethnicity (Asian) being different from most of my students so I’m not going to overthink that. I do wish that I was a lot quicker on my feet than I am. I’m usually the last one to get a joke and can never think of the right thing to say in a situation until much later.
This and other incidents at school make me wonder why high schoolers seem to be so fixated about ethnicity. There was another conflict between Hispanic and Armenian students at school this week, apparently.