Sometimes the clothes do not make the man...

I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning and George Michael's Freedom 90 came on.  One line really stuck out in my head...

"Sometimes the clothes do not make the man."

I started thinking about my upcoming day and all of the personalities and personal backgrounds I would come into contact with.  Some of my teachers are battling illness.  Others are working through family problems.  Some have financial struggles.  Still others are working themselves to the bone to make a better life for themselves and their children.  Every time I come into contact with a staff member, I try to take into account all of these things and, in general, cut people some slack.

I hope every teacher does this for his or her students, as well.  Did the student get breakfast this morning?  Did they sleep last night?  Did someone hug them today?  Do they feel worthy?  I remember my first day of school when I was in about 3rd or 4th grade.  I spilled milk all over my brand new first-day-of-school outfit.  It ruined my day.  It really did.  I still remember that.  I wonder if my teachers took that into account on that day if I was cranky or upset or sad?

I challenge you to look past the clothes, the attitude, the shoes, the arrogance, the insecurity, the backtalk and all of the other little things that can cloud our interactions with students and with each other.  I challenge you to take a breath, count to 10 and cut people (adults AND ESPECIALLY children!) some slack.  Wouldn't you want someone to do the same for you?