Middle School Teachers Promote Positivity

I'm sure almost everyone has at least one teacher (or maybe more than one) that made a huge impact on their lives. I know I do. There are teachers that give 120% for their students. They not only care about their students' academic achievements, but their well-being also. Those kinds of teachers, the ones that genuinely care for each and every one of their students, are gems. As an upcoming middle school teacher, I aspire to be one of them.

A group of middle school teachers from Tennessee decided they were tired of hearing their female students have such low self-esteem issues. They cared about these girls and decided to take action. They gave the girls' restroom a make over. They painted empowering quotes on the stalls' doors. They made it welcoming. They reminded these girls that they are strong and beautiful and capable of achieving anything. 

 

I absolutely LOVE this idea. I think back to my own middle school days and reflect on my own poor self-esteem issues. I hear the self-esteem issues my students have in the classroom right now (I am currently student teaching in a middle school). These teachers stayed passed when they usually leave, to turn this restroom into an encouraging place. Some people, however, did not so much agree. 

I scrolled through some of the comments and was disheartened by them. One man wrote, "Ladies, get your act together. Get your focus on TEACHING ALL KIDS and off of your advanced women's studies courses." 

First of all, this person being a male, has NO idea about the self-esteem issues young middle school girls face. Yes, of course middle school boys struggle with self-esteem issues as well (I have seen this too...also the article mentions these teachers have plans to redesign the boys' bathroom in the future). This really does not have anything to do with "advanced women's studies courses." It is about middle school teachers who CARE for the well-being of their students and are trying to give them some positive encouragement. In a world of cyber-bullying and retouched photos, it is no surprise adolescent boys and girls are struggling with body image and self-esteem issues. 

Our world needs more people like these compassionate middle school teachers and less of these jerks who post ignorant comments like this man. This restroom redesign was just a way to help some students, not promote women's studies courses? Is there even a correlation? 

More teachers from around the country have followed suit and started redesigning their schools' restrooms as well. Once I am a full time teacher, a hope to be able to do the same.