Shoes - Unisa - Similar
Scarf - ?? - Similar
The most amazing thing happened on the day I chose to wear this. I'm pretty sure it was either last Monday or Tuesday. Probably Monday, my first day back after winter break at work. One of the administrators at my school has asked for all teachers to go over the district's sexual harassment policy with our students at least once per quarter. I've decided to also include a brief discussion on what it means to bully and harass people in general. This particular time I included a brief discussion of LGBTQ+ issues. Things like the high rate of suicide, that most people will not say anything due to deep seated fears, and how we probably have 1 to 2 students in our own class who identify that way and have yet to let anybody know even though they know.
It was a fairly usual speech for me. Nothing all that out of the ordinary. However this time I did have a few new students in my classes. A student that I have only had for a month or two waited around after class while everyone else left. She came up to me and said something along the lines of "Mrs. Denithorne, I just wanted to say thank you for having that talk with us today. Especially the part about the LGBT community. So thank you very much because now I feel a little safer at this school. Can I give you a hug?" To which I said yes while choking back the tears.
Oh my god! Really?? Some part of me thought that just by seeing me, students would get the message that they can be safe, but that is not really true now is it? It needs to be explicitly explained to them before they really understand the issue. For both sides. The kids who are being harassed don't think anyone will care. And often the kids harassing really do not understand what they are doing.
So, I thanked her for speaking to me, and wished her a good day. She smiled and went about her school day. I took several deep breaths, savored the moment, and went outside with a huge grin and tears in my eyes to welcome in my next class and repeat the whole speech.
Damn teaching middle schoolers can really blow your socks off sometimes.