Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life. Read more slices or add you own here.
It has been awhile since I have written a slice. Actually about a month and a half. July marked my one year anniversary as a "slicer," and I missed celebrating that milestone. But, I needed some time away, and I am back and ready to begin writing again.
Picture this scene from a typical playground, possibly even yours.
Children playing on the swings and slides. A student who is a known bully pushes another student and makes him fall. The bully continues to play, but the student who was pushed comes after him shaking his fist and yelling, "You can't do that to me!"
The bully continues to play for a few minutes, and as the student approaches him, the bully takes a swing and injures the student.
The teacher comes out, and the injured student is so badly hurt, he can't tell his side of the story. Only the bully can talk, and he says he didn't mean to hurt him. But, the bully has a past full of anger.
Have you seen this situation?
As a teacher, what do you believe?
Most importantly, how do you react?
Last weekend a similar incident occurred on the race track with Tony Stewart and a 20 year old young man. The young man died of injuries caused by the accident. Tony Stewart has a reputation for being a "bully" on the track. He is known to show much emotion and yes, many times, anger.
As the reports started rolling in, some said it was simply an accident. Others brought up his reputation and automatically assumed he intentionally tried to hit the driver.
The only person who really knows what happened is Tony, and he will have to live with this for the rest of his life.
My thoughts were how people automatically assumed guilt because of his prior behavior before the accident was investigated.
How many times do we, as teachers, do that? How many times is there a situation where we assume guilt before we investigate because of a student's prior behavior? I know I have. Is this fair? Is this how I should have reacted?
This tragedy has given people some important things to think about. This teacher included.