October 31, 2007

"Gimme Five!"

So, one of my most interesting students in the 3rd grade class I'll be student teaching, brought tears to my eyes today. We sat in a small group trying to finish a math packet they had been assigned. William just sat there, uninvolved and unmotivated for a solid 20 minutes. I asked him what was wrong and he replied with tears rolling down his cheeks, "I just can't get out of my head that I was the laughing stock in the the cafeteria." He proceeded to tell me that the entire cafeteria was making fun of his shoes that some boys in his class had pointed out. They called them girl shoes apparently. I have to admit, I wouldn't buy my son a pair of the black heeled boots William sported, but there's more shame for a child in what others think. I realized for the first time how truely cruel kids can be and how aware children are at this young age, of their image and acceptance by peers. I can understand how at such an early age, kids can start with a memory such as this, and begin to take the wrong path. William and I talked for a little while and I told him that because I think he is so cool, I want a high five from him for every problem he finishes. I said that because he is such a strong boy, I bet he could make my hand beat red by the time he is done with the worksheet. A huge grin covered his chubby cheeks from ear to ear and he began to work through the 5-page packet. By the end of the hour....my hand was beat red!

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