Cupcakes and Haircuts

April 1, 2013 by Heather Ess  
Published in Hair

In education, especially in the elementary school there are any number of distractions that will throw the day off, including cupcakes in haircuts. In a previous post, I looked at cupcakes, today I enter the world of haircuts.

was in 8th grade when I decided I wanted to be blonde.  Two of my best friends were blonde. As a toddler I had strawberry blonde hair but as I grew older I had this thick, wavy dark brown hair. I hated it. I used an entire bottle of Sun-In and the hair dryer waiting for that glorious moment when I would look up into the mirror and see a smiling blue eyed, blonde girl before me.  

Well, that didn’t happen. Instead my hair turned orange. Walking into Junior High that morning I was proud and ignorant. I saw myself as blonde until someone asked me why I dyed my hair orange.  Yet another let down for me. But at least it wasn’t a teacher this time. 

Now fast forward to my first year teaching.  One of “my” girls took the entire day off of school for a spa day with her mother and older sister. Now before you get the image that I was working in some type of district on par with Chatswin that fictional upper class neighborhood from Suburgatory, let me tell you, I did NOT work in that kind of area. After 3 months, I started calling city the Armpit of Hell. Maybe a little harsh, but seriously, it’s not a great place to live. And I do apologize to my friends who live there, but seriously, you know YOU wouldn’t intentionally “move across the tracks” (literally) just to stay in “the Park”. 

Well this particular girl whose hair merely gained highlights and a few new layers totally threw off the entire class. Most of the students are of Latino descent and yes, most of them had dark brown/black straight no layers or bangs kind of hair. So this was something new for them.  Most of the girls int he classroom weren’t even ALLOWED to get their hair cut, except for a small trim. When “Betty” came in that morning there where gasps and OH MY GODS! The boys stood speechless in their spots not sure what to make of the situation. “It’s just her hair” one boy commented. Yes. Yes it is just her hair. Welcome to the realization that girls want to and will do different things with their hair. And it will be a big deal. And you, as a boy, as expected to notice and compliment her. 

After hearing a number of negative comments and then “sides” starting over whether or not she should have even cut or colored her hair, I knew that this was going to be the topic of the morning whether I wanted to teach Main Idea or not. So the morning reading lesson was put on hold to teach the students a different kind of lesson:  making choices. 

We all make choices: some good, some bad.  Learning from them is key. I can’t believe how in 3rd grade now I hear all the hullabaloo about haircuts. Yet no one seems to get so excited my new method for multiplying double digits by single digits. 

I’ll have to find a way. Next up. Snow Days and Delays.

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