Kids develop a sense of justice quite early, as evidenced by how often parents and teachers hear the words, “That’s not fair!” But children’s understanding of justice and fairness tends to be simplistic until they are taught what those concepts truly mean in a not-so-simple world.
A 3rd-grade teacher named Aimee shared how she helps her students broaden their understanding of fairness in a viral TikTok video. It’s a basic-yet-brilliant way to help kids “get it” when they see another student getting something or being able to do something they’re not allowed to have or do.
“Fair doesn’t mean everyone gets the same thing,” she says in the video. “Fair means that everyone gets what they need to be successful.”
She explains that this lesson helps kids be understanding when a student with diabetes needs a snack or when an autistic student needs noise-canceling headphones, or a kid with ADHD needs a fidget device.
The video has gone wildly viral, with 3.7 million views on her TikTok channel (@aimeesedventures) and more through shares on other social media channels.
In a follow-up video, Aimee explains that the fairness lesson was really about equity, but “not fair” is the terminology that kids use when they don’t have a good grasp of that concept.
She also explained in more detail why this lesson is important. Some kids need certain tools to help them work better, but those tools aren’t helpful to kids who don’t need them. In fact, sometimes they can be more distracting than helpful and hinder a kid’s learning.
Showing how a child with a fidget toy might use it while completing a task vs. a child playing with it instead of completing a task is a great example of how that works.
Kudos to this awesome teacher for a lesson that not only reaches kids where they are but also makes the concept clear for adults who need it as well. Here’s to all of the amazing educators who help our kids learn the lessons they need not only to succeed academically but to become better humans overall.