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Showing posts from April, 2012

Book Review: Awakened by Angela Watson

Schools tend to be spaces of conflict that arise between adults, between children, and between adults and children.  Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, everyday situations can quickly escalate if we don't know how to respond to them in a productive manner.  Problems about who has power and what they want to over-power, are some of the most contentious conflicts that come up in schools.  At these times, some people move to the forefront as the popular ones in the pecking order, be they adults or students, and usually for the wrong reasons.  (We might even consider parents in this scenario, as well.)  However, teachers who are aware of the damaging potential of these situations, and who are true professionals, know that these issues get in the way of true teaching and learning.  Yet, happen they do, with or without our consent.  And, more often than not, we participate in these events, consciously or unconsciously.  In Awakened, Angela Watson tries to provide teacher…

Just another kid on the playground...

A couple of days ago, I listened to a spiritual leader talk about how we "terrorize" our minds by building up a case against people we don't like or don't see eye to eye with.  She said, "It's not them but it's our thoughts about them that terrorize us."  It could be your next door neighbour, your local politician, a family member, or a colleague.  Plainly put, it's the idea of the "other", ie, anyone whom we consider to be our adversary, that she was referring to.  You may want to think of someone in your life that you think of as your adversary as you read the rest of this post, and see if you can change your relationship with that person by changing your mind.  I know many of us work with people that, for one reason or another, we don't get along with.  We spend inordinate amounts of time trying to justify this dislike or resentment and end up creating "terror" in our minds about that person.  Wouldn't it b…

If I were in charge...

Schools are funny places.

They are regulated by bells, and separated by subject areas.  
Cubicles of varying sizes house 24 children and at least one adult,  sometimes more of each.  
If you're lucky there is a narrow window in each cubicle to let in some sunlight;  we don't want children to be distracted by the outdoors, now do we?  
If you're a child, you can't eat, drink, or go to the washroom without asking for permission. If you are a teacher you may as well forget it.
And, yet we stay with it.
Keep at it.
Try again.
Take a deep breath and hope for the best.
Love the children.
Take extra classes.
Attend workshops,  especially if they're free; we would have to pay out of our own pocket if they weren't.
What other profession does that?
And, what other profession prepares everyone else to excel at theirs? And, we do. Excel I mean. It's time to shout it in the world.
I love being a teacher.
I don't love the restrictions. And, if I were in charge of th…