Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teacher, Don't Teach!

Alright. Another loyal friend sent me this article yesterday. Believe it or not, I was a classroom teacher for one whole school year. Yeah, I was ready to kill people by the end, starting with myself. Worst. Experience. Ever.

As a first year teacher, I had the great stress of having a degree for highschool and teaching only sixth graders. I had the other wonderful insight that kids are dumber these days. Oh, and they don't want to work to get the grades they think they deserve. So, to facilitate learning, I would try different, brain-engaging activities, only to be yelled at by Administration that my methods wouldn't possibly work (even though I'd been following the research on brain-based learning). When my students pulled up at grade level and above on their standardized tests, they started to leave me alone.

In summation of that horrid and awful experience, the worst part of classroom teaching was the parents who thought they could do a better job, but didn't want to actually do it themselves.

I think happy bunny has something to say:

Yep. Cram it. I don't go to your place of employment in a tizzy and tell you that you don't know how to do your job because of some event in which a child has told me they were "abused" in class. Since when does a child rule the house? Lemme link the article here.

Okay. We knew this was going to be a potentially bad situation because a) it's kids and b) it's about slavery. So, these two black girls were bound and made to sit under a desk--to DEMONSTRATE how the slaves were brought over to America. Neither of the girls seemed upset by this. Any teacher knows that if a student declines to participate, you move to another volunteer. That's just standard. NEITHER of the girls had any complaints during class.

When the one got home however, she "burst into tears" over the ordeal. That's a long time to wait. Even if history is last period of the day, that's still a long time to hold back a flood of tears--why wouldn't you do it, say, during class or after class...? So, then the mother of this child goes on to say that the child was "so embarrassed" she didn't go to school the next day.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

That child has way too much power in her house. I couldn't get out of going to school even if I was throwing up! "Don't you feel better? Now get to class!"

The NAACP got involved in this, though, they insist it isn't a race thing. Darn tootin' it is! Slavery only affected those with dark skin. Funny, huh. So, yeah. It is a race thing--otherwise, the ACLU would have been involved instead. "No child, regardless of color, should be bound."


I think that was the point of the HISTORY LESSON.

Just because you ignore it doesn't mean it will go away. We've tried that with the Holocaust. But you know what? I think we may actually be successful in erasing slavery from our nation's history. Know why? Because people are friggin' idiots. If we don't teach kids about racism, they'll never have to endure it.


If we -don't- teach them about slavery and don't get it through their incredibly thick skulls what it was actually like to live during that time, they won't know or understand why the laws in place are worded the way they are. They won't appreciate the hard-fought battles by men like Frederick Douglass to get blacks the right to vote and the recognition of being humans and citizens of the United States.

What we are teaching these kids, however, is that the government and every white person in the world OWES them. "You're black! Your ancestors were slaves! We owe you for the wrongs our ancestors did!" I think I've commented on this before and said, "Nah. I don't owe you anything."

Here's a good thing to think about: if that teacher had been black and used that same technique, would this student "feel embarrassed" by the demonstration? I don't think so. In fact, this teacher's name was Bernstein. Sounds Jewish to me... whose civil liberties and rights trumps whose?

I think we should do away with the NAACP. Yeah, I do. Because it's not serving the purpose for which it was initially established. I also think we need to get rid of the ACLU for the same reason. Both of these organizations have managed to make most people feel the same way about them as the KKK. Probably because both of those groups have turned into a sort of KKK.

Still, you don't see the Klan rushing into ever incident where a white person is being attacked because they're white (like this one). You don't see the KKK jumping in and saying that a white person's rights have been violated because blah blah blah. Of course, you don't see the NAACP or the ACLU burning effigies on peoples lawns, either, but that isn't the point. Do I think the NAACP and ACLU are good organizations? In concept and theory, but not in practice. Do I think the KKK is a good organization? Obviously not. It was, however, an organization with which to draw a conclusion and parallel.

Don't sue me over it.

Speaking of suing, the parents of the girl who was "embarrassed" by the history demonstration are considering filing a civil suite against the teacher. I think she should counter-sue for damages and added stress to her job. SHE has grounds. They do not. It's not like the student was in Kindergarten. She was in seventh grade. That's Junior High or Middle School or whatever the heck you call it now. Life isn't going to be all rosey and "fair" and ya may as well get used to that idea. Oh, and you can't just sue your way out of everything.

"But they're just children!"

Yes, and when I treat them like children, you yell and complain to me that your child feels babied. Maybe...and this is just a weird idea--MAYBE you should take some freaking responsibility and rear your own child and allow the teacher to teach--which, ya know, is what the degree is in. Teachers are not babysitters. If you don't like how your child is disciplined (or even THAT your child is disciplined) at school, then discipline them at home so they don't have to be disciplined at school. Really, THAT is best for EVERYONE. The teacher--the other students--it's condusive to learning. It takes the stress off the teacher to control your spawn and teach them what they need to know.

Oh, by the way, the two girls that were bound with tape at the wrists and feet were not the only two black students in Mrs. Bernstein's class. Oh, and also the NAACP said they don't think she gets it, since she didn't admit to any wrong doing and only apologized that the child was "embarrassed."

I say: "Good on Mrs. Bernstein. She didn't do anything wrong."

...and people wonder why there's an increase every year in crime...

...and doesn't the NAACP have more important things to do than investigate a history demonstration about slavery?

Okay, I'm done....beating a dead horse at this point...