Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Social Injustice in School


In this photo there is a student who is eating his lunch alone in the back of the school.

I remember being alone at lunch wandering the halls acting as though I had something important to do. I would end up clear across campus by the parking lot sitting alone wanting for the bell to ring. I felt so scared and unwanted. Iwould wish I could have been invisible, or even dead. Questions I asked myself were: Why didn’t anyone want to be my friend? Why was I so unlikeable?

As a teacher this social injustice is hard to remedy. You can’t force other people to hang out with a student who is alone. You can offer to have that student come in for lunch, but usually that doesn’t work out because they need real peers, not some old teacher trying to relate to them.

3 comments:

  1. Tina,

    I really appreciate this post. It's so hard to fix this form of injustice when the desire to be accepted by one's peers is so prominent. I can understand how you think just asking them to join you for lunch may not work, but I think a teacher's role in this can make a huge difference. Maybe you can do some team building exercises or activities that get the students to get to know each other better and that may help.

    Thank you for sharing,

    Taylor

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  2. Or maybe nobody really realized that there are students that are by themselves during lunch, if you just tell them to observe and to be empathetic with the student that is alone I think you are already doing something.
    This is a very powerful image of social injustice.

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  3. I like Taylor's idea about doing some team building in your classroom. You may not be able to help this student, but at least you can give your students the chance to get to know one another and break down some walls.

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