Day 174 May 19, 2023 Self Esteem Monitor

Sometimes we need to serve as monitors for our students. I had a teacher in high school who refused to use my nickname, and his reasoning always made sense. He felt that it was important to honor the student, and using their name instead of a nickname reinforced that idea. This also applies to other things that students use, such as passwords. Passwords always pose a challenge because people want to remember them easily. In the past, we were less concerned about security, but now we wouldn’t use anything recognizable.

About 20 years ago, I was setting passwords for my students at the beginning of the year. One student, who was a bit larger than her peers, chose the password “FATONE!” I was now in an awkward position of trying to tell her that I couldn’t put something that was self-deprecating. I gently tried several attempts to ask her to change it, saying that I was uncomfortable using “fat one” as a password because I felt she needed to have respect for herself and not use an esteem-killing password. I said it didn’t matter what other people said, and that she should be proud of who she was.

During this whole time, she kept looking at me like I had three heads. She let me go on for quite a while and didn’t take offense at anything I said. After I had told her to be proud of who she was, she started laughing. I was a little surprised. I then learned of a singing group called NSYNC. My daughter liked them, so I was aware, but I didn’t see how that mattered. She then informed me that there was a member of the group called Joey Fatone and that she liked him. After I took my foot out of my mouth, I gave her the password and never spoke of it again.