By: Nayelle Williams, Secondary English Education Major
Albert Einstein once said, “What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” As children are growing up and embracing their identity, it is important to address the topic of popularity. We live in a society that places a strong emphasis on being popular or cool. Additionally, we are plagued by the desire to be liked and respected by peers, parents and the media. Many teen shows and movies portray school as being categorized by different cliques. Stereotypically, these cliques are the jocks, mean girls, nerds or outcasts. This is not just a fantasy or plot filler, these cliques do exist and are prevalent in schools today; however, they may manifest in different ways.
Many children aspire to be apart of the “popular” clique because it seems glamorous and fun. However, teachers and adults alike, have the responsibility to remind youth that popularity is not everything. We need to encourage our future leaders to be confident in their unique qualities and characteristics. We need to remind them that is okay to be different and stray from the crowd—to be unapologetic in their individuality. As an aspiring educator, I want to instill the power of independence amongst my students. I want to remind them that the true cool kid is someone who is kind to everyone and who is not afraid to stand up or alone for the right thing. The true cool kid is one who is not willing to conform.