"No, Mother Teresa was an extremely kind and caring person who devoted her life to helping others. That comment was extremely inappropriate. Please step outside, I'll be out to speak to you momentarily " I, as calmly as possible, replied.
Character education in my Earth Science class is important. Asking the students for an example of an altruistic individual resulted in "Mother Teresa" and as a follow-up I asked "who was mother Teresa" which elicited the above prostitute response.
After I got the activity underway, I cracked the door to address the comment. I said nothing and received :
"Mr. R, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that. Sometimes I just shout things- and when I think about what I'm saying, I don't know why I'm saying it. I'm really sorry."
My response was simple: "take a breath next time, it may give you a chance to think" and since the student was on the brink of tears " and take a moment and collect yourself. Join you group when you are ready."
Issue resolved and lesson learned. But wow, the things they say...
Reflecting later about the disturbance, I was confused about what the student said. Particularly, the part about shouting things before thinking. We all say things sometimes without thinking and are all prone to impulsive behavior. But teenagers seem more so. They have their "act on impulse dial" turned up- any secondary teacher understands this and has grown to accept it.
But why? Why are teenagers more impulsive? Is there a psychological explanation?
Of course there is!