As we continue to develop our classroom management skills, we often spend time discussing our "Multicultural Moment" scenarios where we are challenged to view situations from different points of view, preparing us to be in a classroom where I will likely be surrounded by 15-20 opinions other than my own on a daily basis.
While experiencing my very first National FFA convention, we had a "hands-on" Multicultural Moment activity to complete. Our goal was to be observant of others around us throughout the course of the week. We were to observe the interactions, both positive and negative, that we witnessed throughout the week.
Simply just having this task in the back of my mind I believe made me more aware of what was going on around me. I caught myself listening to conversations happening next to me, watching others as they struggled to make their way through the crowd of a thousand FFA members, noting they way they treated one another.
One of my favorite experiences I had while making my observations actually involved one of the students I was traveling with from my cooperating center (no worries though, he made me proud!) As we began making our way toward the exit of the convention center after spending the day at the career fair and Expo center, the students I had with me were obviously tired and moving a little slow. Another group of FFA boys from another state, however, came charging through the lobby, buzzing right past our group, knocking some items from one of our girl's hands. Well, being the gentleman that our boy was, his response was, "Excuse me, you owe her an apology. She is a lady and you are rude." There was no opposition from this other young man, as he gave her an apology and went on his way. Our student picked up his friend's items and assisted her in carrying them the rest of the way to the bus.
Now, being in a teacher's position, I reminded my student that the other young man was likely just really excited to get where he was going because, I mean c'mon, he's at the National FFA Convention! But even still, it was encouraging to see my students standing up for one another, taking care of each other, and being living proof that chivalry is not yet dead.