Even though I sometimes consider myself a pretty experienced teacher (is that ok after 3 1/2 years?) something happened a few weeks ago that I had never seen before, and won't easily forget.
In one of my wonderful second year groups, one of the girls announced that she is no longer a girl, but wants to be a boy. She had had thoughts about becoming a boy ever since she was seven years old (she now is 14) and had made the decision to change her name and appearance.
I had already heard some gossip about this, but decided not to pay too much attention to it. After all, if it was true, her mentor would inform me. And so she did. Two weeks ago we were informed that Anna (name changed of course) was to change her name to William. The teachers were asked to call her that and pay attention to her (or his?) wish to be approached as a boy. So no more "Hurry up young lady, get your book and start to work!" but rather: "Hurry up, get your book and start to work!".
Even though this situation seems weird, I'm already used to it. The kids in her class are handling this wonderfully and this has really calmed her down. Her behavior had been going through the roof lately, right before she made her announcement. Thank goodness she's in a wonderful class (I know I already said this but I love them). Any other second year group would have picked on her horribly. Not this group. They say things like: "Hey Billy, come on!", "Look Miss M, this is my brother" (for some reason 13 year olds like refer to each other as siblings when they get along well).
Isn't this an interesting situation?