Accent on the right words

Working in a school environment inevitably means dealing with situations that occur between students. Sometimes defusing them before they start, but more than often it’s after the fact, especially during recess. Being in the right place at the right time at recess is a rare occurrence  and todays incident was not one of those moments.

Spotting a child crying, I stopped to investigate. Asking all the pertinent questions, investigating the wounds and deciphering what has been added into the mix for dramatic effect, all the while offering comfort.

I round up the little group that was involved, all looking equally guilty as their neighbour, and I start to talk. My style is very much one of making them feel they have a chance to share what happened instead of me just giving them a ‘telling off’. So there I am gently talking with them all about why it’s not ok to hit someone, and yes, even if another little person tells you to. They all stood looking at the crying child with the appropriate look of sadness on their faces, except one. If any of them should be paying more attention to the crying child it should have been her, but no, she is looking attentively at me. Ok, so she’s listening to me, what’s wrong with that?

After I stopped talking she looks dreamily up at my face and pipes up, “I really love listening to your accent”. I am never aware of my British accent until times like these, when it is openly pointed out to me. It quickly opened up another topic, on a much lighter note this time. “But I don’t have an accent, you do!” always makes them stop to think. I can almost see the cogs working overtime in their brains trying to figure this one out. They get there, eventually, but this time I think  it was a case of not hearing the accent on the right words but the right words with an accent!


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