Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's cooler than being cool?

Pin It I saw a student at my school who was sitting up against the wall, crying.

“What’s the matter, Joey?” I asked.

“Some kids made fun of me on the playground.”

“Now why would they do that?”

The tears started to flow. “They told me I shouldn’t be wearing sunglasses. They said, ‘Why are you wearing sunglasses? Are you trying to be cool? Because you’re not!’”

Face was buried in hands once more, and crying commenced. “I told them that everybody in the world is trying to be something they’re not, so it’s okay for me too…they just laughed at me and said I’d never be cool.”

I sat down next to Joey.

“So what gives these three other kids the power to decide who is and who isn’t cool?” I asked. “Why do you believe that they can choose who or what you are?

“I don’t know…”

“Well, I think you’re pretty cool…and whose opinion is more important to you? Mine, or theirs?”

“Well, yours, Mr. Z.”

“You know what it is that really makes a person ‘uncool’, Joey?”


“Somebody who makes fun of others, hoping that their fellow loser friends will think they’re cool…now that is waaaayyyy uncool in my eyes.”


“Yep.” I smiled.

“These glasses are pretty cool, you know.”

“Yep, but not as cool as the kid wearing them.”


♥Concerned♥ said...

You're so cool.

Farscaper said...

I tell ya... sometimes life really stinks when you're a kid. When I was a kid (being picked on) I wish someone had come along and told me what you said to that boy. What a great perspective you just put into his head.

Emily said...

No, YOU'RE cool!
Boy, I remember those times. Did I have to be Asian growing up in white suburbia? hah. I guess I turned out OK though, you think? You really handled that well. I admire your skills in the kid department. I have a few lessons yet to learn...

Cari said...

And that is one of the reasons why you are so good at what you do!

Unknown said...

You need to be a Principal!

Gerb said...

I had a teacher like you in 6th grade - Mr. Sylvester. He told me some semi-awesome things like you told Joey, but the bullying persisted and I am still bothered by terms like "Helicopter Head" due to my own lack of self confidence at the time.

Thanks for giving Joey the power to believe in himself.

Julie said...

This is something he will never forget. Sometimes something little makes the biggest difference. Thank goodness you were there to help him.

Teachinfourth said...

J&J - You'd have said the same thing.

Farscaper - I wish someone would have done the same for me when I was a kid too...

Emmy - I think you turned out pretty good!

Cari - I do for a few hours what you do all the time.

Kris - I'd rather gargle glass.

Gerb - I sure hope it sticks with him. As for the "HH" name, you rose above it, didn't you?

Jewels - I have seen another teacher do similar things...I just wonder who that might be. Hmmmm?

smalltoes said...

Now that was a good blog. At work I don't anything like that happening. I sit at a desk all day hoping the phone will ring. I also think you're pretty cool too. It was so good to see you last weekend!

K.J. said...

I love this story. It is touching...along with a lot of your other stories.
If I had someone like you around when I was growing up, I think I would have turned out a lot better...I think that is why I try so hard with Shai, Trev, Shan, their friends, and all of the students I have come across. I want them to see things from a different perspective. You are a wonderful example and friend.
Love the story!

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