as a school teacher of seven years, leigha bishop is always finding new ways to encourage her students. recently, she noticed one of her students wearing a braided topknot (辫状头饰). she praised her at once and promised to get one too. but the student thought she was joking. "she didn't believe me, so she answered 'sure, ms. bishop'as she walked away," leigha tells teen vogue.
to the student's surprise, leigha came to school the very next day with the same hairstyle. "i went home and got to work on my hair! with my student's hair being similar to mine, i thought what better way was there to show her how beautiful she could make me feel with that same braids!"
leigha took advantage of the chance of recreating a hairstyle to encourage her students. "when students are valued for who they are as an individual (个人) beyond grades on a report card, they will want to go to school and want to succeed in life," she explained. "this small action of copying a hairstyle also shows that students have the ability to encourage teachers."
leigha shared a photo posing (摆姿势) with her student and their hairstyles on twitter. "when your student is just so cute, you have to copy her," she wrote. another twitter user decided to repost the picture with these words, "this teacher, ms. bishop from lakeview elementary in sugarland, texas praised one of her students' hair saying she loved it, but the little girl didn't believe her. the next day, the teacher came to school with her hair done the same way as her student. so cute!" the post spread quickly and many people added their thoughts. one wrote, "we need more of this. it builds confidence (自信) and celebrates the natural beauty of our little girls."
as a teacher of color, leigha saw how important it was to show her student the importance of representation (表现), especially in an educational setting. "i am a teacher who sees my students as whole people and not just bodies sitting in my classroom. i am a woman of color, and i want to make children of all races better and better," she said.