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blogging, Community, Mental Health, Motivational

The Center of Attention

Imagine you are a somewhat quiet and academically average high school girl, who had just turned 15. You don’t like Science class much as you haven’t yet made friends in that particular class.

For the science lesson this day, the teacher is talking about heredity and how physical traits such as a cleft chin, might be passed genetically from parent to child. It is just another boring class until the teacher suggests each student look around the class to see if they could spot anyone with a cleft chin.*

A cleft chin is Y shaped chin – a trait that is genetically inherited

*[At this point in the story I am already seeing a ton of red flags, but you might see this differently].

“Yes,” jumps up one girl, who we will call Stella. Stella is confident, sporty and known for being forthright. One might even say she had been known to give some girls a hard time.

Stella stands and turns to the quiet girl of the class, the one who has no real friends in this grouping and points to her saying, “You! You have a cleft chin.”

If you were either the teacher or the girl, how would you respond?

Let me know in a comment below.

110 thoughts on “The Center of Attention”

  1. I didn’t know what a cleft chin is and had to Google it. It doesn’t seem like something bad and definitely nothing one should feel bad about as they are born with it. So if I were the girl, I would have known it myself and would have felt next to nothing when the girl pointed it out. However, it’s a very awkward situation for both the teacher and the student 😅
    I can imagine people being offended but there isn’t any reason to be, or so I feel.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had not heard of a cleft chin before and as I see it, it is like a dimple, not in anyway a defect. I should update the post to add in a link about a cleft chin. Thanks for pointing that out, Sams.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It is interesting to note that although there is surgery to remove or create a cleft chin, the girl wasn’t aware of any defect prior to this class. Do you think the attention of the class made her self-conscious?

          Liked by 1 person

              1. It doesn’t have to be that bad, I guess.
                But that’s just me, not a typical teenage girls. I’m known to be atypical. 😅
                But she would have got depressed, start writing in a journal and may well have started exploring options for the surgery and medications. 😕

                Liked by 2 people

  2. Possibly the teacher was trying to get the quiet girl recognised in a bid to help her settle in. If the teacher pointed out that common beliefs in the past were such that one with a cleft chin was known to have has a good sense of humour, and one that is good at personal connections, as well as pointing out that a cleft chin is otherwise identified as a dimple, and a sign of beauty. I’m sure the quiet girl would have been sought after company by many in the class from then on. (I had to Google it to to find out what a cleft chin was).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I updated the post to include a link, as like you, I had not heard of a cleft chin before. The teacher could have or perhaps should have tackled it that way, but didn’t. As such, it was interpreted as the whole class as a defect!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In my opinion, the onus falls to the teacher. Don’t start something like this until you are ready to manage/anticipate the responses. This sounds like a teacher setting up a student for embarrassment. Not on!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I feel sure that a teacher would not deliberately set up the class to be malicious in their response, but rather it seems that it was a lack of preparedness on the part of the teacher who didn’t fully understand where the heads of teenage girls are at and what the responses might be. Perhaps she thought the class was mature, kind and collegial. It didn’t seem like that when the girl told me about it. It was a painful episode for her and the beginnings of body dysmorphia for her. Teenage girls are so sensitive about their image – especially as a result of instagram and social media. But then again, her reactions to this were her choice to make. Instead of turning the situation around, she only had the skills to turn it in on herself. Embarrassment like this can in vulnerable individuals be deeply damaging, I think Peggy.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Amanda, I think the best response is to say “she is fortunate to have one, as many great people did.” Then she could go on and say, how many folks are left-handed? Superstitious people had it out for left handed people, but many creative people are left handed. My guess is this teacher has handled this issue before and knows how to keep it on a level of interest and out of the gutter.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The teacher did not have the skills to manage the situation, but I do hope she learnt something that day, Keith, otherwise more girls might feel the pains of embarrassment in a mob.
      I do like your analogy of left-handedness. In some schools as late as the 1970’s where religious nuns were teaching classes, children were beaten for being left-handed. This is just horrible to think about by our standards of understanding of child development. The Nuns believed it was the work of the devil and probably believed they were helping the child – as it was harder to be left-handed. Such a shame. My own husband – the Moth experienced this and although he had beautiful handwriting and uses his right hand, it led to his disinterest and some level of anxiety re schooling in general.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, people used to believe there was something wrong with introverts and tried to teach it out of them. I am sorry your husband had that experience with his left handedness. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes you are right. Force the shyness out of them when it has to be the person’s decision to change. In many cases, forcing them just results in the introvert withdrawing further.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. We have come a long way re: discrimination, prejudice, racism etc. Due to the internet and disabilty awareness children are more educated re: differences than they were fifty years ago.
    If the popular girl was being nasty when she directed her comment to the girl with the cleft chin. The teacher would not tolerate this. However I would like to think that the girl’s parents/guardian would have given her the necessary tools: love, encouragement, confidence etc, to enable her to answer the popular girl. Any awkwardness should not arise on the part of the teacher or the quiet girl. If issues arise then its says more about the mindset of the collective/individuals. I would like to think we have developed since the Victorian Era.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have indeed come a long way since the Victorian era, Mickey and yes – perhaps the parents of the child failed to give her the necessary skills for dealing with classroom bullies. Furthermore, it is the quiet girl’s choice on how to react to the situation, and feeling vulnerable in that class without friends to support her, she directed the emotions towards finding fault in herself. I do think the teacher misjudged the situation in a significant way and failed to rescue the girl or the class in that moment. That could have been a teachable moment about differences, over-emphasis on beauty, issues of discrimination and racism. I was pretty horrified when I heard this story, given that teenage girls have to suffer the constant barrage of criticism of their looks and judgement by others in social media. Wisely, this girl deleted her instagram account shortly after this. The Victorian era never had to deal with judgement 24/7 and apps that enhance photos and their associated focus on the mildest of flaws (or perceived flaws), as modern teens do. It is not easy for them to love themselves and feel confident in their appearance. That fact made this classroom situation quite different. It is I feel easier for boys in this respect. Do you?

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      1. On the contrary. The media promotes an idealistic view for both boys and girls. Cleft chins, Obesity, disabilties does not discriminate. If it was a young boy with a cleft chin who was targeted by a “Popular boy” the outcome would have been the same. Bullying, Discrimination, Prejudice etc has no specific gender.
        It is sad that thia girl had to delete her account. There are children/ teenagers (boys&girls) who have used social media to address “NORM” standards, by highlighting cyber bullying based on their outward appearance.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I like that social media has been used to equal the playing field too and I was interested to hear that boys feel such discrimination based on beauty as well. I was wondering if they would interpret the comment differently. In Australia, there is that culture of,”having a ‘go’ at one’s mates,” that is to tease them in a fun sense as a way of bonding. Sometimes it spills over into bullying. There is a fine line.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I believe the “having a go’ at ones mates may be in all cultures. I went to a mixed school and often saw little boys poking fun at each other. I also witnessed bullying too. In my experience ribbing and bullying are worlds apart.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I do not know where friendly banter between boys come from. From my observation from the boys in my class, the ribbing sailed very close to the wind. They made personal comments about their clothes, size, and outward appearance. If anyone got offended they would be teased for being weak or thin skinned. “Boys don’t cry” Friendly banter may have had psychological effects on some. I’m not an expert in this field, but I do think suppressing ones feelings has consequences.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never thought of a cleft chin as a defect, to me they are attractive, so I can’t see what the fuss is about here. Am I missing something? I did look at your link but it dumbfounded me – maybe it’s a US thing to consider surgery to correct such a trait?! The teacher could just have easily said ‘blue eyes’ or ‘black hair’ as far as I’m concerned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was a bit astonished to see that a cleft chin even existed and that it was something that might be fixed by cosmetic surgery, as I never was aware of it prior to hearing about this incident. But then I read that it is possible to have surgery to create a cleft chin, so that proves that the concept of beauty is different to each of us.
      More concerning, Sarah is the fact that people are so ready to approach surgery to gain confidence in their own appearance. Social media greatly exarcerbates this trend, as it provides photo filters that can eliminate blemishes, narrow or widen nose, jaws, eyes etc. In a teen, this can alter their perception and acceptance of waht they consider beauty and then of themselves, as they are just at that age when they are looking for acceptance from peers more than family.
      I did initially think that eye colour might have been a better choice for the teacher to focus on, but that has echoes of the blue eyes, brown eyes class experiment some years ago, which focuses on discrimination. I feel the teacher failed to read the class and even if she had turned a cleft chin into something desirable, it still created an over- emphasis on physical appearance that teenage girls suffer enough with. Perhaps some other inherited trait like male pattern baldness would have been a better choice of topic to discuss with a class of teen girls?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, you’re totally right about the problem of photo filters, although it’s existed for years to some extent with the air-brushing of model photos and magazine covers, for instance. The problem now is that ‘perfect’ images are everywhere. And yes, baldness could have been a better example.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem to be a failing of the teacher, who just didn’t realize how this might play out in a group situation. But there seems to me many ways for the teacher to re-dress the situation, seeing the quiet girl afterwards, discussing the topic of over emphasis of beauty, discrimination, self-acceptance with the class, addressing the issue of bullying in the class situation, but she chose to do nothing at all. I find that quite astounding and annoying! That quiet girl harboured feelings of self-hatred for years leading in some way to her developing body dysmorphia. Her actions are also signs that she did not have the skills to cope with the centering out, but there is another red flag for the school to assist with in consultation with the parents. Or is this asking too much of a busy teacher/school?

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  7. I’ve never heard of a dimpled chin referred to as a cleft chin, and we have lots of dimpled chins in our family. The word cleft is also attached to a cleft palate or lip which are indeed serious problems that one does not want to have. The teacher was insensitive and should have stuck to hair or eye color.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hair colour would have been a much safer topic to discuss in the class on genetics, Dorothy, unless it was red hair perhaps as red headed folks are sometimes teased about red hair too – but if there were no redheaded girls in class, it would be a good way to demonstrate heredity. I had not heard of a cleft chin either. When I look at someone, it is not something I would notice or focus on at all. I think you are right about the word cleft, it implies some kind of defect and dimples anywhere on the body can vaccillate between desirable and undesirable depending on fashion trends, don’t they? Shockingly, I note that it is possible to have surgery to create or remove a so called cleft chin – so it is a matter of personal choice as to the interpretation. This is information the teacher should have explained if she was to focus on a physical attribute, particular one on someone’s face. The teacher could also have used it to discuss the topics of accepting oneself, inner beauty, the dangerous trend of aiming for perfection through plastic surgery, body dysmorphia etc. Such a shame that this moment was missed for the girls in that class.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Is not the point that sometimes a neutral thing, such as a cleft chin, can be a source of angst? Teens are notoriously sensitive about how they look. Simply being pointed out can be very difficult for someone who is extremely shy. Tone matters, so the tone of the popular girl would make a big difference to how the situation progressed. A better example for a teacher to use is something like curling your tongue…it has the whole class sticking out their tongues and looking a bit silly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a lovely example to suggest Xingfu Mama. I can just see how much fun the class might have had curling and poking out their tongues instead of focusing on suggested facial defects that are not really defects at all. When thinking about genetics those girls will now focus on cleft chins and be looking for that all over instagram and social media, thinking it is some kind of an undesirable trait.
      You are right, the point is that any facial feature can become a source of angst depending on fashion trends. Big eyes, small eyes, thin lips, jawlines, noses flat and pointy – and teens are so very vulnerable to focusing on this as they begin to form their own identity and their peers rise in importance for them. The tone of the outspoken girl was unfortunately accusatory. To me, she sounded like the bossy animal shunning a runt out of the pack! The girl only divulged this incident years after it occurred but constantly edits photos of herself to change the chin, even though it is not noticeable. Sad ….

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The whole situation sounds like it was handled poorly. A shy 15-year-old certainly wouldn’t want to be singled out like that, especially for a trait that could be considered unusual. It’s not until we are much older and more mature that we (hopefully) start to value our uniqueness.

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    1. Valuing our uniqueness is something that is made more difficult by a highly embarrassing experience such as this, Janis. To some extent, it is a choice how we react and as other commenters said, both the girls and the teacher lacked the skills and emotional intelligence to handle the situation and how it turned for the worse. I guess we all find a way to rationalise these experiences in life, and move on from them. The quiet girl in question did move on but the upsetting feelings about her chin returned a few years later and became problematic for her. Teachers are not perfect but I do hope this teacher won’t repeat the same mistake with another class of teen girls.

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  10. Sounds like the confident pupil has no emotional intelligence at all.
    Not knowing the individuals concerned I would hope the teacher has some emotional intelligence to deal with the situation seeing as she mentioned what could prove to be delicate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately the pupils lacked emotional intelligence but they were in their 15th year so plenty of development yet to happen. Even so, the teacher misread the reaction of the class and that has to be seen as a failure and I see there were many ways to address the situation afterwards. She did not do that and that is disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, that’s sad and perhaps I am too critical but that type of behaviour of 15year olds sounds very immature but seems a pity the teacher wasn’t equipped to deal with that level and maybe I’ll equipped to be teaching genetics.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We can only hope she handles the situation differently if there was a next time. Shy teens are often ridiculed by confident kids, unfortunately which tends to exacerbate the shyness.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Worked as a Health Visitor providing services to children 0-5 years and had training in dealing with family situations involving siblings working with school nurses.

                Liked by 2 people

    1. Being ready with examples of celebrities with this feature – whom teen girls notoriously look up to, would have made for good lesson prep, Kerry! From the comments here it seems that there would be many ways to skin the cat, so to speak but the teacher stayed mum and continued with the lesson. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to Google cleft chin celebrities but I was amazed how many there were (and that I hadn’t noticed)! Jessica Chastain is one beautiful example. Perhaps this teacher should have done a little more prep, as you say, and been more observant of her pupils.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes indeed. In a way, it was better for the teacher and me to make a point of saying there is such a thing but the fact that the teacher raised it means the celebrities with it counters any negatives in a teen girls’s mind – I hope…

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I am sorry that your ?friend said that. Clearly, the kind of comments that are critical of our appearance sting and are not easily forgotten, Kerry. Which is why teachers should be extra careful with those words. I guess parents should too. But then at least most of us have parents who love their children. Teachers are in a position of authority and we value their words, like those of our friends more. We can only choose our reaction when we hear these comments and think they are probably not deliberately malicious.

              Liked by 1 person

  11. My twin girls (10yo) both have cleft chin. I have never ever thought it would be an issue in any way… If it is not that, then they will be unhappy with their nose or their lips when they are teenagers. But I can see that having 2 teenage girls at the same time very soon will be a challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No doubt you will have raised two confident emotionally intelligent girls, NordicDowager who hopefully won’t ever be in the same, less than ideal, teaching situation. The fact that your girls have each other is the best armament for them against any of the pressures and judgement young girls may feel. The label of a cleft chin can be seen as desirable or not desirable, depending on personal preferences. In no way is it any kind of defect, and I think the label cleft is unfortunate. I still can’t really see what they mean. To me, everyone’s chin is individual and different from the next. No two chins are alike. This is just a small facet of a much bigger issue around beauty, classroom judgement, peers and society.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting post, Amanda. The approach the teacher took for this lesson is flawed and inappropriate. I can’t fault the student for answering this loaded question and I feel for the quiet student who was pointed out. The teacher could respond, “And how lucky you are to have such a unique attribute.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a lovely suggestion, Jane and I do agree the teacher could have planned and reacted differently.
      But then perhaps the teacher didn’t see it as a facial flaw at all? She didn’t capitalise on the situation, at any rate. And in later years, the girl was tormented by what she saw was a facial fault. A missed opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Early on Friday, I had a text conversation with a friend who lives in California. He’s a counselor at a clinic and is very familiar with the variety of mental and emotional conditions. He mentioned that a close friend is a high-functioning autistic; somewhere along the Asperger’s spectrum. He declared this because his younger friend has difficulty with social interactions. I asked him if the young man had been formally diagnosed with this condition, and he said no; that it was his own assessment from what he understands about Asperger’s. That’s when I became defensive – almost angry.

    I don’t know what the exact criteria is for autism, but I’d previously considered it one step above mental retardation in that, it seems, the one common element is the inability to communicate effectively and interact solidly with people. My counselor friend quickly told me that was a stretch to connect the two, but I was already on a rant. He had noted his young friend doesn’t make friends easily. I told him I’m the same way; that I’ve never been able to make friends easily, which I attribute to intense shyness and a gross lack of self-esteem in my youth. They were scourges that carried into my young adult years. My lack of personal confidence always held me back; preventing me from completing my formal higher education; and finding any satisfactory intimate relationships. Ultimately, I overcame all of that, but only through individual perseverance and the final acceptance for who I am and what I am. I used to loathe being a loner and wondered what was wrong with me. People used to call me weird, and it hurt.

    Now people call me weird, and I find it a compliment. I’m a strange little man and I have no problem with it. I didn’t – couldn’t – conform to what other people felt I should be and how I should act because my innate personality wouldn’t allow it. That personality was trying to tell me that for decades before I finally realized it was right – and there was absolutely nothing wrong with me!

    I don’t always conform to what other people want or think I should be. But that’s THEIR problem – not mine. I told my counselor friend I’d spent most of my life listening to what other people said I should be and what I should think. I cite the turn of the century as the point when I said to hell with that! I’d always done what other people felt I should do and still ended up alone and miserable.

    Now I celebrate my uniqueness – weirdness. Thus I told my counselor friend that his younger friend with the alleged Asperger’s has no such thing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him. Like me, he’s merely not a people person. I’ve come to loathe most people anyway. My late dog, the mini schnauzer Wolfgang, made me realize that!

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    1. I am sorry that you feel loathsome towards other people, Alejandro. I can relate to not wanting to live in other people’s hair though. I love to go away at weekends out of the city with friends but it is draining, as an introvert and by the end of the weekend, even though I have had a great time, I can be almost monosyllabic, because I am emotionally exhausted being around others who are not my own family.
      I don’t think you are weird but it sounds like you have come to terms with other people calling you that. I think we are all weird in some way. People who are introverted probably tick many of the boxes of the spectrum. And it is a spectrum from the non-communicative child rocking in the corner to the lawyers or accountants who are kind of nerdy to the Elon Musk’s of the world. We are all individuals and that is something to celebrate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just hate when people put me in a box or a category and say this is where you belong, unless you change. They actually mean change to suit their ideals. If you do, however, there’s no guarantee you’ll still meet their self-righteous needs, so why try?

        Therefore, I don’t put other people into a box – or I try not to do so.

        In the summer of 1995, I attended a 1-day dating seminar hosted by the Dallas Gay/Lesbian Alliance. An even number of men had showed up, and a few times the moderator paired us up for a verbal, role-playing exercises. One was to write a personals ad from the viewpoint of the other person. I had been paired up with an older man who wore a t-shirt indicating he was HIV+. I really hated this exercise – and told everyone afterwards – because I didn’t like to assume how other people felt or what they thought about anything. I noted aloud I despised when people did that to me; therefore, I didn’t do it to them. That struck everyone as odd because none of them seemed to have qualms about assuming what they knew about the other person and write it down. But, once I explained myself, even the moderator was at a loss for words.

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        1. Good on you for being forthright about being uncomfortable with the exercise. It sounds like something I would hate, as well. A personal ad shares private info and whilst we can choose what we share, we don’t want someone else putting words in our mouth. It sounds a bit misguided even though they may have had good intentions.

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  14. Teachers can try to but often miss the mark. I had one try to use our names as examples of how well they fit us. I must have been 12 at the time and she said my name, Marlene fit me. Otherwise I might have been named Marfat. Guess what the kids called me for the rest of the year. She had no clue to what she had unleashed and what I had to contend with for such a long time. Words do make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so annoying! Teachers forget how brutal the playground is and what kids are like, thinking them all innocent little people with kindly hearts. Not all kids and not all people are kind. More’s the pity, Marlene. Words indeed can make a difference. Teachers need to think carefully.

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      1. The number of times when I had to work up enough courage to answer a question the teacher asked, only to have the opportunity a second later.

        When did your Quiet Girl find her voice? Mine finally got her voice in college.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. She is still developing it I think, but after reading Keith’s comment, I think she will get there. What was it about college that got you speaking up?

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          1. I just read your conversation with Keith – the trauma of being bullied to change something inherent & precious to selfhood. Goodness.

            I have always been an introvert who could shout pretty loudly in the playground – for some reason, I had no trouble with my voice in play. It was always just in classrooms, and when the attention was turned onto me in a group. So I think most folks didn’t realise that I had issue with shyness or difficulty speaking up in class, and I wasn’t really teased or bothered for it.

            I still remember the occasion when I spoke up in class – it was in my English class when I whispered an answer to a question about a poem we read together, which was quite different from the responses being shared. The Prof turned to me and asked me to elaborate because he was interested in this different point of view. My initial response was to shrink as small as possible, but because he patiently & kindly helped me along, I was able to finally give a cogent answer. And from that day on, my classmates gave me the courtesy of time & space to speak my mind. I still had trouble in larger classes, but that English class gave me the confidence to begin my journey to speak when I had things to say.

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            1. Hi Ju-Lyn! Thanks so much for sharing that memory of the English Class. How fortunate you were to have a kind and compassionate English teacher who was really listening to the class. Divergent opinions are gold in a classroom situation and I would love more teachers to react as your English professor did. And your courage was rewarded! Large groups of people are daunting for us. I say us because I am assuming you are more inclined towards introversion in those situations? Many bloggers are….

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  15. I don’t really knew about the cleft chin, but i don’t think it should be something to be embarrassed of,you should own your body beauty and flaws. If i was the teacher, maybe i could have deal that matter more with sensitivity thinking about it could affect somebody to a level and if was that girl with chin, i would have own it and should have proudly said it out loud on my own. Because that is who i am.

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  16. Thank you for making me/us think about this. If I was the girl being singled out, I would say “this is what makes me unique!” And if I was the teacher I would hope I’d say the same thing. But this concept also made me upset, so I hope I wouldn’t shut down and not say anything at all. All of our genetic traits are what make us special, unique and ourselves. But it’s easy to lose sight of that when someone feels different than their immediate peers.

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    1. Well said, Colette. The world is interesting because of its diversity. Each perceived imperfect or perfect feature make us an individual and unique. I like the way you turned the response into something joyful, something to be celebrated! Negative peer pressure triggers emotions that can take years to process, as our identities are still forming. Another thing that makes us all unique. Our reactions and how we deal with situations.

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    1. It does border on bullying – however bullying would require repeated incidents, and there was only one. I think it was a big mistake on the part of the teacher who clearly was struggling to know and teach the class.

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    1. I like that response, Michelle. It turns the issue on its head and calls out the confident girl ‘s blunt statement. It would have been interesting to see what the teacher would do/say in that instance.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. If I was the girl I would have been happy because cleft chin according to me is a good quality. But if I was in the place of the teacher I would have asked her to talk a bit more nicely

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  18. I would respond in a body positive way.
    I would say something powerful behind the beauty of her genes and how it contributes to diversity in beauty traits passed on to her. I would try to make her feel proud. As far as the other girl pointing to her, I’d ask her to remain in her seat after the bell rings to remind her of how unthoughtful her manners were.

    Period.

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  19. Any exercise in which students are asked by a teacher to look around the room and point at a classmate makes me cringe. A cleft chin surely isn’t shameful, but this lesson has the potential to make that student feel otherwise. Seems like a big teaching error to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sara, Thanks ever so much for your comment and I agree with you. I have hopes that the teacher intended it to be a positive highlight for one or two students, but a lack of preparedness on her part means that the situation turned to a negative one. I think some commenters have mentioned emotional intelligence which seemed to be lacking from a few folks in his class, so I do think this could have been a useful learning experience for all. It would have been hard for the quiet girl to see it this way, given the circumstances.

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