Dear Teachers, Please Don’t Give Us Labels

Here’s my traumatic true story.

When I was 12 years old, I entered high school under the Quebec system (or what the United States would call Middle School). Although I did not excel academically in elementary school, I entered high school as a student with terrible grammar errors, low reading comprehension, and a decent but low average.

Britney has Down Syndrome. Therefore, she can’t perform well as her classmates.”
— My elementary science teacher.

Here’s a picture of me (on the right) and my best friend at our sixth-grade graduation.

My sibling told me he heard it. No joke. In all seriousness. If my sibling had lied to me, I would’ve known when he lied. At that point, I believed in my sibling.

Once we have arrived at home, I took my library card. I told my parents that I’m heading to the library to use the computers to do my research. My parents were okay with it, but as long as I was careful and safe on my way home — then I should be fine. I quickly left to go to the library by walking there. Once I got there, I jumped onto a computer desk, logged the details into my account and searched up “Down Syndrome.”

As I sat at the library computer in tranquility, I started tearing up.

I logged out of my account quickly and went home with tears in my eyes. As I was reflecting this on my way home, that comment broke my heart. Was my science teacher thinking I was mentally and physically disabled? Was he thinking I was considered an ugly duckling, just because I was not part of the norm of students in my class? Do I really look like that? Does he think I looked like them? Many thoughts and questions wondered inmy little, sixth-grade mind.

“Often when you put a label on someone or something, you create a limit — the label becomes the limitation.”

— Jim Kwik

I agree with that statement because never give labels to your students, as the tag limits or hinders their full potential.

Do you like it when we call you, dumb/stupid teacher? no.
Do you like it when we call you, worthless teacher? no.
Do you like it when we call you, ugly teacher? no.

You get my point.

Don’t ever call any child “disabled, dumb, idiotic, stupid, ugly, worthless, or whatever negative title.” Your words do affect the way a student percept you. Be careful with your word choice. Choose your vocabulary wisely. Just because they do not conform to their classmates doesn’t mean that is the time to harass or put them down.

As professional it may sound; you are an educator with higher education. You are there to teach the leaders of tomorrow. Not to bash them or put down their self-esteem. Today we are your students, but tomorrow we are the future.

Every student in the world, regardless of their race, social-economic status, biological sex, and age have potential in succeeding in the future. It is what and how we choose it directs our life towards a better future. For example, I know a friend who dropped out of high school, took a break in schooling then came back in finishing their high school diploma and is now in college. It is amazing where you shift your goals and thinking to.

I now dislike that teacher.

A short University student who writes with bad grammar, unintentionally. :) Active on Quora & on my website: