A lesson in Acceptance
This last week was very basic to be completely honest. There wasn’t much to talk about. The class has had a few struggles with basic instructions, things such as how to stand in line and many times keeping from talking at inappropriate times.
The major lesson that the class had the opportunity to learn was the importance of accepting people and respecting them.
Early in the week I had a student approach me claiming that many students were calling her by the wrong name. The student was very upset and uncomfortable with the students’ behavior.
I approached the class and I mentioned it subtly, leaving the student’s name out of the conversation; so that she wouldn’t feel more uncomfortable.
The problem was not resolved, actually in some ways it may have gotten worst. On a few occasions I noticed that when the student would walk around the classroom, a few of the students would whisper the incorrect name under their breaths, making her even more uncomfortable. I felt horrible!
Once again, I approached the class and reminded the students of the last conversation that we had and the agreement that we came up with. The agreement didn’t hold!
I decided that I would approach the class again, but this time I asked the student to share her feelings of what the class was doing. Before I had the student share, I spoke to the class while the student was out of the room. This time I used the student’s name and explained that she feels uncomfortable in the classroom. I also expressed by disappointment in the fact that my classroom has become an uncomfortable place for some students.
I felt the hearts of many students drop to their stomachs. They knew they needed to apologize.
At the next chance that I got, I asked the student to speak to the class. She shared her feelings to the class. She was so brave! I think it made her feel better!
After she shared her feelings, the class apologized. There were even some of the boys that explained that meaning of the name that they were calling her.
In a few words, the boys had noticed that this student had the same name as a celebrity and they explained that by calling her that name I was their way of calling her a superstar because they saw that particular celebrity as a superstar.
This is a lesson many of us need to learn when it comes to dealing with different people. When it comes to our differences, we should accept them and learn to celebrate them instead of putting each other down for the differences.
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.