You know how there are just somethings that people can't say to you or about you without getting upset? I have a few--one is saying I don't care about my students, but the bigger ones are anything about weight and/or food. The weight and food ones come from years of well intentioned comments from family about what I should be or shouldn't be eating and of course the comparisons to my skinny, beautiful, popular cheerleader sister of mine. I love my sister so much but it was hard going through high school and into my early 20s with that competition.(Of course she will tell you of the impossible standards I set for her in school with both our parents and teachers). Last night an innocent jokey comment sent me reeling with feelings of insecurity about my weight and looks. Isn't it amazing how a few words can do that.
Now words have a positive weight too. A student of mine told me yesteday that I teach my subject better than any teacher teaches theirs--quite a compliment coming from an 8th grader. Another student who I had made a big deal about in class about his improvement came to me afterschool and thanked me for saying those things about him. I have to remember more often the impact my words have.