We are so quick to judge people and slap a label on them that is to determine the rest of their lives.
"They'll never amount to anything! They have the drive of a slug."
"That kid surely needs better parenting. They’re so poorly behaved!”
"He/She is so bad! They're annoying and disrupt the class all the time. Keep your eyes on that one!"
We predetermine how someone will be based on our perception of their behavior.
In my very first year teaching, I got brought in to take over a class where the teacher had left on medical leave. The supply teacher gave me the run-down on the class and remarked that one kid was trouble. We will call him Sean.
She told me that Sean was so bad she had to send him out in the hallway daily and even caught him about to throw scissors across the room.
I've never been one to take 'gossip' at face value and would rather hear the story from the source, but I knew I had to figure this Sean kid out.
He turned out to be not only the most amazing little human I have ever known, but he made a huge impact on me as to why we should never put a label on someone.
I worked hard at gaining his trust and he definitely pushed my buttons. I opened up communication and treated him with respect so when I sent him out of class, it was only so that he and I could have a conversation as to what was the root of his issue at the moment.
It turned out that Sean was being molested by a family member. This is why he was quick to anger. That is the situation that he was carrying to school every day and didn't know how to express himself or what was going on so instead, he cried, shouted, threw things, and got angry.
He was a little caterpillar, alone in his cocoon wanting so badly to be free. He struggled and fought wanting out of those bindings.
But eventually, he became the butterfly. When someone saw him for who he was and the gifts he brought into the world, that butterfly got free and he soared!