1) It looks like the teacher responded to the homework with a positive note that the girl, Yasmin, gave a good answer. However, why write in nurse next to response? Yes, I can understand that the teacher wanted to point out that nurse also fits the prompt and has /ur/ in the word. In this day and age, hospital ladies hold many positions, and with the homework focusing on ur, surgeon is definitely an answer. Let's recognize that as a fact instead of calling attention to the response that it's something unusual. By writing nurse next to Yasmin's response, it feels like it's a sign of how the teacher (male or female) still holds onto the perception of women in health care instead of just recognizing surgeon as the response.
2) As I read various reports of the homework assignment, some shared that the worksheet was from 1997 - twenty years ago. Why are we still using things from twenty years ago? I know there are some tried and true resources, lessons, and activities, but is it really acceptable to use worksheets from twenty years ago, ten years ago? Should we as educators evaluate our craft, lessons, activities, and materials on a yearly basis. Many teachers do this on a daily basis. Constant reflection and refinement is one the hallmarks of education. It's what makes our profession so incredible. We are always called to adjust, accommodate, modify, ... based on our students' needs. So, in that process of evaluating our craft, why are there worksheets from 1997 still being used? [As more and more educators try to go paperless, worksheets should definitely reevaluated.]
3) Lastly, and ultimately, this homework assignment shows the incredible need for everyone to shift their mindset. In my district there's a series of workshop that focuses on uncovering one's unconscious biases. What an essential thing for everyone to go through. I remember a psychology class in college where the professor said stereotypes are helpful because they help us evaluate and determine situations. For example, the stereotype of dark alleys and our heightened level of concern over safety that leads to fight or flight. Yes, from that class, I learned that stereotypes are helpful. However, stereotypes that hold people back from any potential, position, respect for and of others, ... needs to uncovered and extinguished. Everyone can be anything they want. And let's get to the point where we don't act surprised. It's often our perceptions that limit the potential of others. I'm reminded of the positivity of #K2CanToo and how educators who tweet using that hashtag are really highlighting the concrete ways students in Kindergarten through Second Grade are definitely engaging in rich, deep activities, discoveries, and lessons.
#K2CanToo. Everyone can. Let's get to the place where everyone can and will. And that's a norm and not an anomaly.