I love when a pop song is “teachable” and think we should take any opportunity to draw upon sources that our students engage with on a regular basis. This particular song deals with bullying and could introduce an anti-bullying unit or discussion.
From a teacher perspective, this video is a reminder that our jobs are a lot more than what is on the curriculum document. Students learn more from how they are taught then what they are taught. They learn more about how they are talked to than what the talk is about. This video is also a reminder that students have lives beyond our four walls and things may be going on that we are unaware of. I hope to build the relationships with my students where they feel like they can come talk to me. Realistically those who really need the help need us to come to them, not the other way around. As educators we need to take the time to ask students about their lives, value their interests, strengths and contributions and be that listening ear.
It is also important to note that an “outcast” could be anyone: the football player, the cheerleader, the band member, the kid with his hood up, etc. Anyone can feel invisible and everyone has their own issues, regardless of outer appearance or interests. Some of the coolest people I have met do not fit in the generic box that society forces people into; too often, these differences are not valued until too late.
Students cannot learn unless they feel safe and it is our job to create that community of learners where everyone is accepted, differences are valued and no one feels invisible! “Crowded hallways” should not have to be “the loneliest places” and students deserve to know that it will get better because we are there to make sure it will!