Teaching is hard work, and often requires relentless patience and care for not only the student, but also the child. Sean Gleason has this Perspective.
My students know which words are unacceptable in my classroom. Not your usual four-letter words, the words I don’t excuse are those born of violent intolerance.
So when one of my students used a particularly oppressive word, only to repeat it instead of correcting it, he knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, on that day I was out of emotional resilience, and my own traumas were triggered.
As a teacher, I know not to take these behaviors personally. Student outbursts are rarely about us and often about the place they’ve had to inhabit within a system that labels and disregards them.
My relationship with this student see-sawed between affection and tension. He was full of jokes that disregarded the way others felt. Each time we’d butt heads, though, I’d find him for a conversation, we’d apologize, and the cycle would restart.