Friday, June 22, 2012

How do we turn this DEPLORABLE story into a TEACHABLE moment?

As a middle grades teacher I find that a HUGE chunk of my day is spent working on community building with my students. Arguments are triggered from an unkind look or passing comment, and the day is unsettled and learning cast aside until we take care of the matter at hand. My 6th grade girls refer to this madness as "DRAMA!" I despise that term, but it is truly fitting. As a reading teacher we read dramas in the literary context, identify the fictional elements, determine the theme, and move on to the next passage or text...kind of like the "DRAMA" that focuses on a problem, a solution, and we hope to learn a lesson, so we don't have to revisit the same unpleasant experience.

I find this story from Greece, New York heartbreaking, but nonetheless, I will be sharing it with my 6th graders. How does something like this happen? My children are three and six years old. In my house we stress manners, thoughtfulness, and kindness. I stress to my husband that our children don't have to be the smartest or most athletic, but they DO need to be the KINDEST, MOST THOUGHTFUL and RESPECTFUL. In my 6th grade classroom, we stress manners, thoughtfulness, and kindness. Where are we falling short in our work as parents and teachers that a human being is exposed to such DISRESPECT, UNKINDNESS, and UNTHOUGHTFULNESS?! While I know every case is not exposed and brought to light like this story, we must view this as a reminder that there is great work to be done, and no one from toddlers on the playground to senior citizens monitoring busses should ever have to endure this abuse.



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