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Friday, October 02, 2015

The Foreign Voice

Have you ever been a foreign voice? The voice in the crowd that no one understands?

I think we've all experienced that particularly if we're experiencing an event for the first time.

I remember once witnessing this when an exuberant mom reacted with joy to her son's accomplishment at a sports event. Her jubilation was expressed in a way uncommon to the crowd. And as the crowd turned and looked at her with surprise, the women recoiled a bit as her joy turned to a sense of discomfort when she noticed the crowd's less than supportive stares and glare.

Was the woman right or wrong? It wasn't a right or wrong situation, it was a situation where the culture generally supported one kind of reaction and this woman brought a new style of celebration to the event.

This happens in classrooms all the time, but fortunately as educators we can connect new ways to familiar ways to help everyone feel like they belong to the classroom, grade-level, or school team. In the big world, this isn't always the case, and it takes savvy to bring new voices, routines, and reactions to established culture.

I want to think more about this in the days to come. If you have any thoughts on the matter, let me know.