Monday, September 26, 2011

Students remember how I make them feel

I just read feedback from middle school students in Worcester where I delivered "Fowl Behavior and What it Teaches us  about Empathy" and some of them made me cry.

From an eighth grade girl:
"I really liked that it taught us about how a victim of a bully could become a bully. It also taught me how to try to talk to the special ed kids because some of them may not even have friends.  It also taught me that if I am a bystander, I should help and to empathy for others."
"I felt sorry for you when you were in school, but I think you're really smart on how you used this to teach us something. And I think this would improve lots of kids so don't stop doing this because you're a great person."

Wow. Coming from an eighth grader that means a lot to me.

This one got me, too, from a seventh grade girl.
"I like how the program talked about being bullied and I knew how it felt. I really like it but it did make me tear (up)."

I share with them how it felt to be on the receiving end of different types of bullying. It's really hard for me to revisit that feeling and time in my life. However, the better I am able to go back in time, the more effectively I connect with the students. The more I do it, the easier it gets.

The worst part of being bullied was feeling alone and being socially ostracized because I was different  I empathize with children, tweens and teens who have been a victim of bullying, and anyone who is treated differently because they look different or are differently-abled.

If sharing my story and Mooey's story makes a difference in the intense world of school, then I feel good because being bullied is lonesome and full of dread.

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