Is The Student Uncomfortable, Or Are We?

My daughter has spent a lot of time at the dentist this year. Most recently, she was in there to have a tooth pulled because she had what the dentist calls a “shark tooth.” This means she has a baby tooth that hasn’t fallen out, but her adult tooth is growing in behind the still intact baby tooth. 

We were back in the office about a month later with another shark tooth. Before even considering pulling it, the dentist talked with me about it first. 

“Is she more uncomfortable with it, or are you?” 

I did some deep thinking over the past month and tried to remember how often she had complained about it hurting or being uncomfortable. Never… the answer was never. She never told me it was hurting her or that she didn’t like it, she couldn’t have cared less if her baby tooth was still in there, despite her adult tooth almost fully grown in. 

But it was making me uncomfortable, thus the reason why I had scheduled the appointment in the first place. 

In the end, we decided to leave the tooth, a good old “wait and watch.” To this day, we’re still waiting and watching and I’m doing my best not to show her my discomfort with her current state. It’s okay for me to be uncomfortable, but it’s not okay for me to push those emotions on her. 

Are there times in a classroom when we as parents and teachers push our discomfort on our kids in certain situations? 

Maybe with seating assignments. 

Maybe with how hard a test or assignment is. 

Are we pushing our uncomfortable feelings on them with their choice of clothes or food for the day? 

When their desk is messy and unorganized, is the student uncomfortable with it, or are we as teachers uncomfortable with it? 

What about how they treat their backpacks, water bottles, lunchboxes, etc? 

It really can be intriguing to think about and is a topic that makes your mind race a bit. 

What situations have you been more uncomfortable with the circumstances than your students have been? What coping mechanisms can we adopt to help us work through those emotions and feelings without affecting them? 

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