Went to the ER instead of waiting for an appointment. I apparently did something to my shoulder that causes muscle spasms and requires, among other things, obscene amounts of ibuprofen and a follow-up with a specialist. Add to that Thursday’s program sleepover (awake, of course, for staff), which went so beautifully I need to sit and think of how to even explain it, and a weekend convention in another state, and you have the recipe for one tired creature.
A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly: “Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?”
He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?” The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness.
The armor-plated defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.” Whoa.” —
what a radical idea yo
Bam. Kids “misbehave” for actual, real, valid reasons. And have feelings.
Maybe it’s very different in high schools, and from an administrator’s seat. But I was taught to approach students as people who might be acting out because of problems at home or elsewhere in their environment and to keep this in mind when working with them. Is this not common sense?
The Albert Kennedy Trust supports young LGBT people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or living in a hostile environment. As part of this we run a mentoring scheme which provides young people with a stable, one-to-one relationship that is supportive, respectful and non-judgemental. We are currently looking for new mentors and we particularly need Black and minority ethnic, female, trans and disabled applicants. If you would like to volunteer with us, and make a real difference to a young LGBT person’s life, you can find all the details, including a role description and application form, at http://www.akt.org.uk/help-us/mentors.html
The Albert Kennedy Trust is looking for mentors in Manchester (London has enough mentors for now) - particularly Black and minority ethnic, female, trans* and disabled people.
Please signal boost.
I’ve found, even since high school, that having a mentor in the LGBTQ community can make a world of difference to a youth who otherwise lack support. If you’re in the area and you want to change someone’s life, give some time.
Instead of spending this restless night doing anything remotely productive, we will be plotting my future wardrobe accordingly.
Would you want black and white or color?
And more importantly, would you want it laid out in the grid like Tumblr had it, straight across horizontally, or straight down vertically?
Also, would anyone be interested in having it as a little printed booklet to keep in their desk, quarter-page size?
Today I continued on like usual, scraping up my legs trying to attach one end of a string to a stubby tree branch. The other end was attached to a bucket.
I got up the darned tree.
Later? Three different kids climbed the tree and used the bucket to hoist up books and art supplies. It makes kids in the program who otherwise cannot sit still for long enough to try to read, because it strikes them as boring, want to curl up with a story. A couple of kids were for one reason or another unable to climb the tree…so they sat under it or on the grass to join them, in a way.
And on top of that, I have apparently amassed a small team of kids who are insistent that they teach me how to climb a tree properly, because I embarrass them when they come outside and find me hanging stuck from the same branches like a sloth for the first two (or…five…) tries.
Worth it all.
Tonight I sit and start a comic about being a teacher.
Monday I…get my back checked out like a good girl.
- The clinic has already charged me for a test the insurance should have handled for something small, and I can’t imagine affording an x-ray.
- The sooner I find out something’s wrong the sooner I have to fix it.
- It only slows me down once I’m not with the kids.
So the general exhaustion has been slowing me down from making any substantial posts, because there are many other things in non-internet-life that require my attention as the shift in income really settles in on top of it. But there is definitely posting to be had.
Things my kids taught me: I am apparently capable of doing handstands.
Things the ground taught me: I do not know how to get out of a handstand without turning it into a flat-on-my-back flip. Also, dirt and woodchips can and will get anywhere regardless of whether or not you tuck your shirt in.
I need a mask.
Or a sock puppet.
I want to see this. I want to see PPT make an #education video with a sock puppet.
Ah, darn, actually I have to consider this option too…paper bag puppet maybe?
didnt read! it was to long! (thats what she said)!!!!!!!!!!!
Going to nod my head at the fact that it might have been a wall of text. May be the only time I do this.
- Students can always be encouraged to look at education options that suit their interests so that they can go into the hands-on field afterward if they want to, but still have other options open to them.
- Students should receive proper career counseling so that they know what their options are.
- Teachers should ask students why they want to go into a field or career and encourage them to look at all their options, but never openly deride and disrespect a student’s choices.
- College is important and leads to better outcomes in general, but is not the only route to a good future.
- Respect needs to be paid to all professions — we need hairdressers AND engineers.
Thank you. I hadn’t had the opportunity to check that this evening, though one of my tasks tomorrow is to read through his blog. I apologize if it came across that I was stating he did not; rather, I stated that I did not know, and wanted to know where Educated to Death was getting some of their ideas about “failing” schools.
However, I am still of the opinion that one cannot and should not make blanket judgements or generalizations about all of a category based on personal experience. Even noting that one is working from personal experience seems moot when they then speak in vast generalizations to judge the entirety of the educational community. To me, and perhaps this is an unfair standard but, I expect educational professionals to be above that.
I have a certain respect for people who choose to work in low-SES areas, because it does present a certain well-documented set of challenges. However, my experiences have not in any way matched the suppositions Educated to Death makes of teachers or classroom management principles in low-SES areas, and his post makes a number of generalizations about students in both high and low SES that are not only not necessarily true, but stereotype-perpetuating and harmful to both groups.
If nothing else, continuing to spread these ideas, as based only on personal experience and not on data, could help inform teacher expectations that will then contribute to negative outcomes for low-SES students and an ignorance of potential risks for high-SES students. Educational professionals should be able and willing to look at current research to inform both their teaching practices and their knowledge of the profession. If Educated to Death uses anything other than personal experience to make the assertions he does, I will be far more willing to take a more serious look.