One thing that makes Mix It Up at Lunch Day so great is that it takes a light-hearted approach to a serious problem. Switching seats and having a chat with someone new is a pretty simple way to reduce the number of painful experiences caused by exclusion, prejudice and bullying.
When preparing for the event, try to keep it light, especially when you get pushback from students. For example, a student might say, “I don’t want to sit with someone else. I want to sit with my friends.” You might have the impulse to tell the student that Mix is mandatory. But, in fact, student pushback can be a perfect teaching opportunity. Explain to the student that Mix It Up was created to reduce the tension he or she is feeling.
Here are some ways you can respond:
- “That’s exactly why we’re doing it. So you can get to know someone you’d otherwise never talk to.”
- “It may feel uncomfortable to break out of your normal social circle, but by doing it once, there’s one more person in the world you never have to feel uncomfortable around in the future.”
There are ways your team can prepare for the possible pushback. Just gather your core organizers and role-play possible situations. You can practice your responses and fine-tune your answers. It’s never too early to start, and then you’ll be prepared as October 27 approaches.
Keep the Mix It Up spirit alive. The big day is just around the corner!
Mix It Up at Lunch Day is October 27!
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