Thanks-vember 15: That’s so…

15 Nov

Today, I was thinking about words. Specifically, words that hurt. Words that make people feel like they are less than human. Words that have somehow become a part of “normal” speech. Words like “gay” and “retarded” – when they are used as synonyms for “bad,” “dumb,” “stupid,” etc…

The school culture at my middle school placement is such that these words are not used (at least not in my hearing). Kids are still kids, but these particular kids have been in school together, more or less, since kindergarten. Bullying is not a big problem at our school. All the kids are “different” in one way or another, and no one seems to be singled out.

I know it’s not like that at all schools. I know we are in a nice little bubble of respect, where students and teachers can mostly coexist happily. But I want it to be like that at all schools, no matter what the socioeconomic status of students, no matter what their neighborhood, no matter what their background. It’s not that way now, but maybe it could be. If we treat our students with respect, and expect them to act respectfully towards us and towards each other, isn’t that a huge step in the right direction?

Today, I am thankful for all the people in the world working towards ending hatred, ending bullying, and ending the idea that the word “gay” is a synonym for “stupid” or worse. I’m thankful for people who make things like this:

And for musicians like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who create songs like this one:

 

Macklemore is really popular with my 7th graders, and really popular with my friends. It’s awesome to see someone with a lot of influence with such a positive message.  Words are powerful, and I think we need to make sure we are teaching our students to use the right ones.

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One Response to “Thanks-vember 15: That’s so…”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. End of Quarter Reflection: Fall « Teacher, Becoming. - December 9, 2012

    […] my thankfulness to education, such as this post about “Small Business Friday,” or this one about using words like “gay” in the classroom. ome were more personal, such as this one about my dearest friends, and some were just for fun. For […]

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