Teaching tolerance…

For the past few blog posts I have added ellipses to the end of each title.  I do that because an ellipses suggests that there is more, and there is always more embedded in the language of my blog posts.  I wanted to take a moment to explain why they appear.  In education, the ellipses in primarily used in a reference to suggest that you are leaving something out.  When something is omitted in a reference, it is important to go back and read the entire quote to determine how it supports the ideas presented by the writer. 

In this same instance, I am using the ellipses to suggest there is more to “teaching tolerance” than the title suggests.  As educators our priority is grounded in the idea that we accept all students as they are.  In addition, we understand that the totality of what we experience in each of our students is not presented daily.  It emerges as we get to know them.  We learn their story by experiencing them daily.  When we discuss tolerance as an idea, it means patience.  Do we really teach our students tolerance: patience? 

I am guilty of giving my students a finite amount of time to finish a task, requiring them to “get it done”.  This is not the type of patience or tolerance I am referencing in this post.  I am asking if we truly teach our students how to have patience with each other daily.  During the course of the pandemic, we used words like kind, understanding, patient and flexible.  Do we use those words in the brick and mortar building?  I believe that many of the issues we encounter in the classroom “raise our students’ awareness” more than we realize. 

As we look at the current cultural crisis, we must remember that as educators we are on the front lines.  It is our responsibility to teach our students through our own actions.  We must learn how to emulate patience and teach it to others.  Our students learn much more by “seeing” not by “hearing”.  Let’s show them what being tolerant looks like.  Each of us can change the world one little person at a time!