I, as you can guess, have a ton of pictures of my son on my desk at work. I mean.. look at him.. why wouldn’t I?
My students from last year are now in 3rd grade, and most of them still visit me on a daily basis.
Today, one of my girls visited me and saw his picture and said:
“Aww he’s so cute! He doesn’t even look like he has Down syndrome!”
This is one of those awkward moments that I know will repeat themselves over an over unless I do something about it in second grade. I know our world Down syndrome day event really helped the students in the building understand what Down syndrome is, but I want them to also be learning what to do when they encounter someone with any element of diversity.
I ignored the comment of course, but pledged to myself to make this a priority in my social education of the students that enter my classroom.
Nicholas isn’t cute because he doesn’t look like he has Down syndrome, because he of course carries the common physical traits. He’s cute because the traits of Down syndrome mixed with the good looks of Mom and Dad 😉 make him perfectly unique. Add his amazing personality doesn’t hurt the situation either.
Somehow I need to teach them that these differences, although they have previously been seen as abnormalities, are just elements of diversity and make the world a beautiful and compassionate place.
I probably made too big of a deal about this in my head, but it’s what I’m thinking. I’m hyper-sensitive to these things now. Why do you all think?
See you Saturday.