In my last post, “Sit Your A** Down…” I used the expression, “Excuse My French“. A reader took me to task for the use of this expression because she took offense to it. After reading her comment, and looking up the origin of the term, I realized that it could be considered offensive and changed the word “French” to “Language.”. I also posted a reply to her comment. I am aware that I am the author of this post, and can write what I like, but I also realize that I have a global audience, so I should be careful of the terms I use.
In the classroom, we also have to be aware of what we say, or allow to be said, to, and around, our students. Our classrooms are populated with children from different backgrounds, religion, cultures, etc… What may be harmless or funny to us, may not be to a student or a colleague. How many students are willing to let a teacher know they have crossed the line? I don’t know about middle school or high school students, but I don’t know many elementary students who will let a teacher know when they are offended. It didn’t happen very often with my own children. As a matter of fact, my youngest only told me of one instance, and then he didn’t want me to contact the teacher! (I did).
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words….”, you know the rest. Words do hurt and although people believe that we live in a world where political correctness has gone crazy, I believe as professionals, especially professionals dealing with children, we should be conscious of what we say, and how we say it.I had a Muslim girl in my class, and with the U.S at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am sure current event topics involving Muslims were difficult for her. However, it was my job to make sure she wasn’t uncomfortable, especially when students brought in opinions from home.
I’ve always been a person who has chosen my words carefully, especially around my students. I just have to, need to, be a little more careful when I write.