All this talking about and thinking about education is good. We used to do this all the time back in Granbury, ad infinitim, but I see more clearly now that such rethinking of your objectives and motives in teaching is valuable far more so than the alternative which is to keep doing the same thing every year just because we've always done it that way. I'm in a place now where this is the norm, and it's frustrating. The thing is - the education of our young people is a living breathing organism all its own. If we treat it like something static, we've lost the battle before we've even begun. Educators are the worst at BMWing (i'll clarify that in the comments if anyone needs to understand that acronym) about how messed up the parents are and how screwed up society is and how America has gone down the tubes. I admit to bouts of this sort of ranting myself. And while it's true that there are parents who are absolutely part of the problem not the solution as far as the education of their children, I can't change parents. I can only change what I'm doing. And I have to be honest and admit at times that what I'm doing needs to be changed.
There are certain aspects of education that do remain the same. Children have always been and will continue to be little human beings who, in given situations will react a given way. However, the landscape we teach them on has changed tremendously. This ever-changing landscape causes shifts in values that affect what we do in the classroom. And, I'm not talking at ALL about social issues like gay rights, abortion or sex-ed in the curriculum. I'm talking about things like cel phones, Ipods, video games, the Internet, fast food, and debit cards.
I got my first phone at the age of 16; it was connected with a cord to my room at home and I never knew who was calling until I picked it up and said hello. You practically had to have a court order to get any sort of "caller id" from the phone company.
I like this quote from Gandhi:
As an educator, it's my job to figure out what "bread" looks like to the kids I serve. I personally think it looks like someone taking the time to meet them where they are. The problem with some educators today is that they say they want to meet kids where they are, but they really mean that they want to meet kids where they expect them to be or where they "should" be according to the world as it was when they grew up. At the heart of the matter, what kids really need has never changed, but how we present them with what they need, so that they can accept it, has got to change.
Interviewing can be a pain, but it does cause me to stop and reflect about what I'm doing and why I do the things that I do. If I truly believe that all kids have worth and value, then I will treat them with dignity and respect. Even when they misbehave. I will honor them as human beings even when they don't deserve it. I will give and give even when I don't feel like it and even though there's no way I could ever be compensated enough for my troubles. It's what I want done for my own children as they find their way in the world. It's what I choose to keep doing for the children I teach.
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