No matter who you are or where you come from, you've come into contact with bullying one way or another. Whether is was directly or indirectly, bullying has shown it's ugly face and left a scar. Luckily, educators like this teacher who used an apple to teach about bullying exist, and use education to help stop the terrible cycle. No one deserves to be bullied and hopefully kids learn sooner than later what bullying can do to a person.
Rosie Dutton, a teacher in Birmingham, UK, figured out a way to demonstrate the effects of bullying to kids. She used an innovative technique that seems simple but goes a long way. Throughout her lesson she asked kids to describe two seemingly identical apples. The kids gave general notes about the appearance of the fruit, proving that on the outside the apples were identical. What the kids didn't know was that Rosie Dutton dropped one of the apples on the floor several times before the class started.
The teacher asked her students to pass one of the apples around the room, and told them to say really mean things out loud to it. I'm sure that was really strange and funny to some of the kids at first. She would have them say things like "you're a smelly apple," "I don't even know why you exist," or "you've probably got worms inside you". They then said nice things to the other apple, praising it.
To the students, the apples looked identical. The apple that was getting bullied looked fine on the outside. At the end of the class, Rosie Dutton cut the two apples in half and showed the students that their words had an impact. The apple that was verbally bullied was bruised up on the inside. A perfect metaphor for how words can leave a lasting impact on people. Basically — stop bullying people!
As a kid I got bullied pretty badly. I didn't speak English when I first moved to America, and my outfits were a mixture of Urkel from Family Matters and every R&B singer in the later '80s. Turtlenecks and chains, people. I tried so hard to fit in, but I just couldn't control the way middle schoolers reacted to my overall being. To this day I am very sensitive to bullying and knowing that a teacher goes out of her way to teach kids about it makes me happy.
The more kids understand the impact of their words, the better they will be as adults. Understanding other people's struggles and that our differences should bring us together will only help build a better world. So thank you to the wonderful teacher who came up with this genius idea!
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