I am sitting here staring at $2.15 in change in a pile on my desk. It might seem like a fairly insignificant thing, but it actually has had me thinking about a great deal of things over the past hour or so. In fact, I still don’t quite know what to do with it. You see, it isn’t mine, but the person who owns it didn’t want it. Let me rewind a bit. Continue reading Judging
Image courtesy of J. E. Theriot
Okay, time for a confession. Despite what anyone might think, I’m not perfect (actually, anyone would be crazy to think that). I make plenty of mistakes on my own and I shouldn’t be digging around in anyone’s life. That being said, I felt it necessary to take some time to discuss a concern I have about how we are treating one another as professionals and simply as human beings. I’ve seen an alarming trend of being overly negative when responding to others online and even face to face. The media and entertainment certainly aren’t helping things either. It seems to me that we have lost a genuine respect for one another as fellow human beings. From internet trolls to late night talk shows, social media to general conversations, it seems that it has become acceptable, maybe even ‘cool’, to mock others or become highly critical of others who don’t think or do things the same way as we do. Even those who are calling on others to be more accepting of others become dismissive and negative towards those who might not feel the same way on certain issues. Do we have to agree with them? No, but we don’t need to be so insensitive and nasty.
Since this is a teaching blog and not meant to be a platform of more general topics, I want to bring this a little closer to home and focus on how we treat other teaching professionals who believe or think differently than we do. Continue reading Rebuking
Image courtesy of Ben Dalton
I have mentioned in previous posts that I have only two rules in my classroom: have fun and respect one another. At the beginning of each term, I have my students work out what that means based on various topics including cell phone use in the classroom, attendance, and cultures. From that, we build a code of classroom conduct that each of us, including myself, need to follow. It works well and it tells my students I respect them as a person and I hope that they would do the same for me.
A week ago, I came across this news article of a teacher in Mexico who confronted her students about some nasty things that had been tweeted about the teacher by one of the students. I won’t get into details, but the teacher used the classroom to address the issue in a very direct way. The comments on the CNN news article show a number of people in support of the teacher saying, “She is the authority in her classroom,” and “Humiliation is needed in schools, much more of it”. The whole event, from student to teacher to administration to the general public’s reaction has made me feel sad. I don’t think the issue here is ‘putting someone in their place’. I think the real issue is how we view one another as human beings.
After reading the article and watching the video, I started to think about each person or group of people affected by this event and I started to see how complex this issue is and how difficult it is to ‘place blame’ (not that I think we should). I decided to break it down in a sort of chronological order as things progressed. Continue reading Understanding