Paula - A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bullies another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.
Teaching- you’re doing it right
We can tell our children that school is important until we’re blue in the face, they’re not stupid. They see the loudest applause is for the kids on the field. They know teachers are paid poorly and don’t drive fancy cars. They know people plan Super Bowl parties but mock the National Spelling Bee. In other words, they see the hypocrisy, and we can’t expect society to correct itself. If we want to have any lasting influence on the way our kids approach education — the way future generations approach education — then we have to grab our pom-poms and paint our faces and celebrate intellectual curiosity with the same vigor we do their athletic achievements.
This was how I felt every summer that I came back to the states and hung out with my high-school age friends. I don’t think I’m that bright but I was the “smart one” and the best you could hope for was to be politely tolerated. I felt terrible for the kids I heard described that were into science and math. They were “nerds” “weirdos” “social retards” and this from athletes who only had to take four non-athletic subjects that were, from all the homework I helped them with, completely about memorization and busy work that was forgotten as soon as it was done. These weren’t just dumb jocks from bad family situations either. These were great families with the means to send their kids to good schools and they made the entire focus of their kids life on athletic prowess, not entirely by what they said. But by what they did. They would leave you alone and murmur occasional encouragement if you were studying but they would be on your sidelines cheering and driving hours out of their way for any tournament you were in, and display your trophies proudly in the house.
Nothing at all wrong with being an athlete, I wish I was more of one and I’m trying to be to have another aspect of life to be strong in and enjoy. But kids need to know their parents are going to be just as proud of them if they build robots and compete for science prizes.
Given the number of notes this has, it seems to be a fairly accepted view on Tumblr. Good stuff - the world needs all types.
We know of public school teachers who, on their own time, go out and raise money for classroom supplies — new maps and books. We know teachers who spend their own money so their students have the proper tools for learning.
These days, when it’s so fashionable to be critical of public education, when it’s politically popular to ferret out the shortcomings of the public school system to parade before voters, we forget that those very same public schools employ a host of decent, caring men and women who believe in what they’re doing and take extraordinary steps to help their students succeed.
“new maps and books.”—every now and then the guys at the newspaper give me a nod, and it makes my day. (via girlwithalessonplan)
Are you interested in volunteering to tutor grade 8 maths/science/English at Masiyile high school with Equal Education?
This commitment would involve two afternoons a week, primarily assisting learners with the homework they have been set in class. Equal Education is looking to include parents and teachers in the process to ensure a quality learning environment, although expects the tutors to be primarily university students.
Key things to note:
- Focus: Grade 8 English, Maths, and Science (Physical Science & Biology)
- Days: Tues/Thurs 14h30-16h00 (TBC)
- Transport provided.
- Start date: 25 July 2011
More details available here.
If you are interested, or would like further information, please contact me.
From the Cape Times, 27 June 2011.