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The Time I Pretended to Be Homeless to Teach Empathy and Privilege


Some may say, I'm an out-of-the-box educator.

The "homeless person" in the video is me.
I pretended to be homeless to teach my students a lesson about empathy and privilege.
It's human nature to often feel disconnected to things that we feel we cannot relate to unless it occurs to our friends or someone we love. This is what makes inclusion and representation so important. We get to know people, we love them, and we are more compassionate. My students are seven. We were discussing homelessness and I was shocked by their view. "If they are homeless, it is their fault," one said. " My mom says that only happens if you don't study hard," said another. "Yes, I agree! I will never help them." <--- Whaaaaat? I couldn't believe the biases. So, I did, what I usually do. I figured out a way to give them a connective experience.

I took myself to the streets, pretended to be homeless, and allowed them to see how people treated me. It was...very difficult.

I serve humanity by preparing more emotionally and culturally intelligent citizens. What are ways you teach the young people in your life about empathy and/or privilege?


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