This past Monday we had a school-wide assembly in the morning, and the speakers were discussing an event we'd have on Friday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our students could show their support by wearing pink on the Friday. During this short presentation, various students were listening, and various students were quietly giggling or talking with their friends. I noticed one teacher mill around the students and appear to sternly look at them to settle them down. This went on for the whole 5 minute presentation.
At the end of the presentation. This particular teacher got up in front of the school and gave an impassioned reprimand to the "10% that were not respectfully listening to the speakers." You could hear a pin drop as she talked angrily from her heart: if you were joking and talking with your friends, you're basically saying that you don't care about this issue, and you're not considering that maybe your friend or a student you know or a teacher you know has a relative or knows someone going through this disease. You were talking with your friend and basically being disrespectful of people that are going through a devastating situation in their lives and turning your back on your peers.
This was the gist of her reprimand. It was powerful for a few reasons. She's a respected teacher, she has had experience in one way or another with cancer, and the students know it, and she wasn't harping on them, but they could hear the emotion in her voice that this was something she cared deeply about and that she was very upset with their behavior.
I'm so impressed that she stood up and said something, and I think it's something the kids will remember the next time a situation like this occurs (I know I will). They're still kids and still learning how to behave in various instances, and it's easy for me to forget that they still need guidance in what's right and wrong from ALL sorts of sources in addition to their parents ... as opposed to adults just shaking their heads and saying, "kids these days".