Bullies: not just in the playground? As adults what do each of us do each and every day to if not stop, then at least curtail the level to which those with supposed authority operate with impunity rather than with equal or more so levels of responsibility? Kudos to Newspaper Reporters, Journalists the world over, Artists in every media, Teachers at all levels and Students who are prepared to take a stand and stop the, if not yet criminal, then potential to be criminal, bullying when they see it-
And a giant thumbs down to those in power who hide behind curtains of Klout to impose only their way of thinking and only their way of acting on others.
As an educator I am blessed with the opportunity to meet and work with a broad variety of younger (K-12) students, their parents, and the adult students who select private tutoring as a means to learn and grow their Reading and Writing – This also means that I am in a position to encourage students of all ages to read the words on a page for surface meaning , and to delve further, to get at deeper text. The curriculum, whether here in Toronto, Ontario, or the Common Core Curriculum in the States or the lauded curriculum in Finland, Japan, the Middle East, China, …, professes to encourage literacy. Many tests are created to determine that students can in fact READ; I wish there were more emphasis on encouraging students to -in fact- feel- feel something for others- we use a fancy term called “empathy” when what we are really after is the ability to care; care about one’s actions; care about one’s commitments; care about building rather than burning bridges; care about railing against complacent acceptance of meanness and cruelty on the part of one group of people to another. Care about Caring.
I am older now; old enough to recognize when students (of any age) are getting excited about ideas, (not to be confused with ideologies) and to be grateful for these exchanges, to know that these exchanges are the “real” teaching moments and to be aware that with each student my goal is to encourage him/her toward independence- so I am careful about using qualifiers, while recognizing that my own ideals of the way the world is “supposed to be” were formed much earlier; engraved when I first began reading and questioning what I was reading – that the learning to question “why” has become second nature, carved into a portion of my brain by all the caring writers of all the texts that I had been privy to as a child. “Great Literature?” — yes, many classics, but also comics and magazines, and “trashy” novels and bestsellers, and what ever printed word I could find. Because each one of these artifacts of someone’s thinking provided me with another way to become more curious-
Parents wonder if their children are reading- and I see kids quick to understand technology but dreading a novel study- “reading” technology is a form of literacy essential and practical. I see kids who can do figures in their heads but struggle with story content because the printed word moves about on the page in front of them yet, when given the oral information. can clearly discern both meaning and moral. I see students who discover that there is a “method” to writing – some run with it, others simply apply it, all realize that words have power and make a difference.
My wish for 2012-2013- health, happiness and a positive learning experience – Share it!