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.*
*[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”
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.
A thoughtful response, Aveee. It is a shame the teacher didn’t think like you.
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.
LikeLiked by 1 person
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.