Honoring a student’s personality quirks and all

Since I began my teaching career I have had on several occasions and at a parent’s request the rather disconcerting experience to visit with said parent about a student’s perceived lack of social skills or quirkiness. I am often incredulous at the varying expectations as to what is or is not acceptable in regard to what really amounts to a student’s innate personality traits.

I am not saying as teachers we can’t help our students develop good manners or even help them improve those ever-important social skills. After all, success at anything is as much about interpersonal relationships and getting along with others as it about one’s ability to do a good job. Regardless, oftentimes, what I hear are adults complaining about exhibited personality traits of the student, which translate, in my opinion, to nothing short of an inherent dislike of the person the adult should love more than anything in the world.

As a result, this teacher has made the decision to advocate on behalf of the child and his or her quirkiness by gently reminding adults the importance of honoring a student’s personality.

What a boring place it would be if we were all gregarious and outgoing or if we were all subdued and contemplative. What the world will always need is a good mix of both and everything in between.

As a teacher, I believe now more than ever in the importance of honoring our students’ personalities by helping each become the best he or she was meant to be quirks and all!


About barbarawmadden

I began teaching in 1981, but after a few years decided staying home with my children was what was best for my family. After almost 20 years raising four children, I returned to the classroom in 2005.

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