Growing up in a small town comes with it’s advantages. People take care of one another, you know your neighbour well enough to walk in the front door and there is a friendly sense of shared history. All towns have their history, good and bad. Clifford is no different.
Last night at the park, as my children played effortlessly on the play structure, I heard some inappropriate language. Now, I know its summer but the teacher in me instantly called out “Language”….”There are little children in the park”. KT and Andie laughed because they have witnessed this behavior from me before but for a moment I thought, have I put my kids in danger? I did not know these young people, nor how the four of the them would react to my comments. Thankfully, one of the girls yelled back, ‘sorry’ and they moved on.
I know that the easiest path would have been to just pretend I did not hear it. My problem is I have taught my three to stand up for what is right, so what kind of example would I have set by saying nothing.
In the funny and related file, I took my Junior Boys Basketball team to the Regional Tourney this year in Orleans. My boys had never been to a tourney in the city before and were a little in awe of the multicultural nature of the participants. One the refs, who towered over me by at least a foot, was running up and down the court and kept having to pull his pants up. A student remarked, Mrs. G…you give us grief when you see our boxers what about him? The challenge had been set. Without hesitation I called a time out and asked to speak to the ref and asked him politely to either put a belt on or change in to appropriate clothing to ref this game. He looked at me in a weird way, and finally said “Yes, Ma’am”. Again this situation could have gone either way, but the respect gained from my boys in that situation was priceless.
I think in both cases I set the example I would hope both my children and students would display.