assumptions, being a teacher, poverty, students

Don’t Judge that Bus

Those kids that come from that neighborhood, perhaps it is one bus, perhaps most of your school.  Whatever the numbers, there are always those kids.  The poor ones, the ones that wont have a real Christmas because there is no money, the ones we worry about because surely someone has to save them from themselves, from the cycle.  Those kids said with connotations, with meaning, with emphasis.

What shall we ever do for those kids, with those kids, to those kids?

And yet those kids may not be what we think they are.  Yes, they may come from a certain neighborhood, or arrive on a certain bus, walk a certain way, speak differently than me.  And yes, mom may be young or dad non-existent.  There may be holes, tears, too short of pants, missing backpacks, and free and reduced lunch.  But what there isn’t is one story.  There isn’t one thing we can know about those kids.  There is perhaps no need to fret, to worry, to save.  We are always trying to save those kids.  Sometimes what is needed is the lack of connotations, the lack of assumptions about life quality or needs.

Yes, they may come from that bus but that does not mean they need help.  They may come to school with that swagger but that does not mean that life will always be hard or that bad choices will be made.  It is time to stop making those assumptions about those kids.  Stop hiding behind trying to be a better person by “adopting” those kids as your project.  Treat them the same and if there is a need for help, help, but don’t jump to conclusions, don’t guess, ask, discover, and find out.  Those kids are just that; kids.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Judge that Bus”

  1. Great post. I went to school riding that bus. It want easy those early years, but thankfully I had parents who knew the importance of education. I also had teachers who didn't treat me differently because I got off THAT bus. Great lesson for all teachers.Thanks, Sam

  2. Pernille,You are sooooooooo right on! An excellent reminder for all of us in education to take off our assumption glasses and just look at all of the kids as wonderful little people that have valuable lessons to teach us and to share with their peers. Happy Holidays to you and your students.

  3. Wow! You have such a way of conveying important lessons. I bet you are a great teacher 🙂 I loved this post and also hello from a ghost child. I've had many of those transfer kids! Maybe technology will be something that helps them feel connected to someone somewhere.

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