I tried to help students build connections. When a lesson in early American history connected to ice cream and Bambi, we were all surprised.
In one fall semester history class, there was a very mature and bright junior girl, Juanita, and my very immature freshman student, Donnell. The threat of snow and hopes for a snow day were in the air.
We sat at the table chatting about how things, like cooking, were done "back in the day". Juanita said her Grandma had told her about making snow ice cream. Donnell wasn't exactly engaged.
To insert a little humor, I told them about telling Daddy a piece of Boy Scout wisdom Tom had shared with three-year-old Mary: "Don't eat the snow where Bambi go." Juanita and I had a good chuckle. (Daddy had not been amused.)
We were about to move on with the lesson when Donnell checked in. With a totally guileless expression, he asked, "Is yo' daddy's name Bambi?" Juanita and I nearly bust a gut!
Reel it in girlfriends, and cut this guy some slack.
Donnell patiently listened as we recapped the conversation and told him about Disney's "Bambi". Just before the bell, we all had a good laugh about Donnell's gaff.
Donnell's grace for my ignorance was a takeaway for this teacher. But the much bigger takeaway was learning not to assume what kids know or don't know, whether it's about content or life.
Have you ever made an awkward assumption about someone, Dear Reader? Have you been on the opposite end of that sticky wicket? What's your favorite grace tool to put others at ease in those situation?