“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Dr. Seuss
Celebrating the uniqueness of each student is the core of my teaching philosophy. Recognizing what makes each student special and encouraging their self-expression is essential in making our classroom a safe space. Girls can work with blocks and build with Legos. Boys can dress up in the kitchen area and create masterpieces at the art station. Early in the year, we learn that there are no boy or girl colors. All colors are people colors. Each week, we celebrate “Wacky Wednesday.” Since our class mascot is a flamingo, that’s when I wear one of my many flamingo shirts and don a funny hat. When I pick up my class on the playground, they see that I’m comfortable accepting myself as I am. My students join in my celebration of self. Who cares if it makes the fifth graders cringe?
How do you celebrate the uniqueness of your students? How do you let them know they’re accepted in your classroom – just as they are? Share your individuality with your students. Let them demonstrate their own self-expression and celebrate the freedom it gives everyone.
(Access to these photographs does not constitute a transfer of copyright or a license for commercial use. The images are for personal use only. No portion of the images can be used without the expressed written permission of Michael B. Stanley, Jr.)