16 February 2009

Wisdom From a Teacher.

I was out browsing blogs and came across this post on how teachers can keep themselves from being accused of wrongdoing (leave it at that). I thought I'd share an excerpt of what I read with you:

"If you are male and see a young lady unsuitably clad, try to have a calm, rational female colleague address this issue if you find the attire to be detrimental to the learning environment but especially if you can't look at the student without feeling uncomfortable. Sorry to say, since I am all about gender equality, but a male teacher should see nothing below the chin on any young female person. If you comment, a defiant child will try the gambit of asking loudly and embarassingly why you would even be looking, and the conversation will degenerate from there very quickly to charges of lechery."

Sad. Probably very true. You can read the whole post here. Many of the trials she and fellow teacher bloggers go through make me go *whew* that Patrick is in gifted classes and G is getting special help in public school. But some of the students I hear about 'round here aren't usually violent, but just plain old weird. One of the young men that Patrick goes to school with spent several years convinced that he was actually the son of a dragon and had its spirit or something. Really. Another kid I saw walked around with chains all over in some sort of apparent identification with Jacob Marley. Except he wore all black, I guess so stains don't show... whatever. I think actually black is the new Garanimal for these teens because it just goes with everything when it comprises your entire wardrobe. Black shirt? Goes with the black pants and the black socks with the skulls on them. Ooh, top off with a black hat. Now... what colour bag should I use? Hm. I could use the black backpack, the black messenger bag, or the black carry tote. Choices. :p

8 comments:

  1. The joys of compulsory education, where people who don't want to be there are forced to be, and people who do want to be there are forced to deal with the ones who don't want to be. Where teachers are supposed to magically turn into saints who take abuse and remain unprovoked no matter how many times they're called every profane name imaginable. Where male teachers are supposed to magically turn into eunuchs who don't notice a 15 year old girls breasts popping out of the top of her shirts and female teachers get off virtually scott free when they sleep with male students because, well, they're female. Where the standardized test is king, parents want the kids to get grades they don't deserve, and you're condemened to whatever school your zip code condemns you to. Gotta love it!

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  2. I was told in the early days of my teaching career not to hug students. We're all told that. I only know of one teacher who actually didn't hug her students, but I think it was because she really didn't like them.

    I never initiate a hug, but you can't (or at least I can't) refuse a hug from a child.

    And then there are the boys who, because they have no father at home to play with, want to rough-house. Sorry, but that's asking for trouble.

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  3. Terry, I agree completely. I think a lot of the reason there is such a lot of fighting about public education is *precisely* because it IS compulsory and it DOES take up a lot of tax revenue.

    Think of it as a captive audience situation and everyone wants to get their agenda out there in front of those kids. Even CANDY sellers and BOOK clubs push their wares on the little guys. I think they're almost worse than the "gay agenda" because those folks are loud and you see them coming from a mile away with their lessons on tolerance LOL! But doggone it you can't opt out of the soda machine being in the school hallway or the pep rallies at which ADMINISTRATORS pimp out stupid prizes for selling the most junk in the fundraisers.

    If education had to be personally funded by each of the parents concerned, they'd either appreciate it a lot more (and back up the school on enforcing some of the silly rules because their money and/or energy is invested) or they'd opt out.

    The school would lose some more committed parents who would choose private ed. or homeschool, but it would also lose some of the worst troublemakers and bad parent cases as well.

    I think schools would come out ahead down the road but might lose some enrollment in the first few years such a thing were enacted. But I don't think that, say, half the student body just wouldn't show up any more if education (ahem) weren't compulsory. I think it might take a little while, if ever, for large numbers to leave school. I think there would be time for schools to adjust but I also don't think they'd ever go for it. You know, kind of like carmakers still want high salaries and great benefits, and they want you to keep buying as many cars (or maybe more!) than you did five years ago. No no no, market forces can't affect anyone who is bailed out and helped constantly no matter what. Um, so they don't really have to listen to anyone but themselves as a union. I say all that and still pity the five or six sane teachers still working under these conditions. :] (Last year I think there were eight, but a couple left.)

    Harry, I well believe what you've written. I was taught as a childrens' church worker that high fives or brief pats on the back are ok, but look out for anything where your bodies might touch.

    YEEEWH I hadn't thought of bodies touching, but now that you put it like that... thanks for ruining a hug with a kindergartener.

    One solution I saw (and there was a whole workshop on this LOL) was that you just kind of lean in with your shoulder for a hug when it's unavoidable. This way if you are "hugging" a woman, her breasts never make contact with you. And if you are the woman, your breasts never touch that other person. The pastor and his wife gave several demonstrations on the proper technique, too, bless them.

    Ok, sorry to be so blunt, but that's the world we live in, isn't it, that we must think of such things.

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  4. It's a good thing that My husband isn't a teacher in the US. He is the rough house king! The poor Japanese kids have so little time with their dads, so I am glad that he can sort of fill in for them. He tells his students that he is their "school dad".

    It seems that Japan is always about 10-20 years behind the US in most things, good and bad. Hopefully he'll be retired by the time things catch up in this area!

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  5. If you wear all black, that could become a race issue. My college had a "black Out" day for one of their football game last year and the Black community got upset.

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  6. See, now I am a hugger, if a child is distressed, my natural instinct is to cuddle them and pull them close. I would do terrible as a mainstream teacher.

    I really feel for male teachers. We have had false complaints made against male teachers and even though the girl retracted the complaint, careers have been left in tatters.

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  7. Back in my high school/college days, I worked as a camp counselor at a camp for kids w/ moderate-severe special needs. The first year there was no training about physical contact, but by my 6th year we were given demos on how to react when a kid hugs you: stand very, very still until the kid moves away. It was so sad, because some of these kids didn't come from homes that dispensed hugs. More than once, I had to let a kid sit in soiled pants because one adult could never be alone with one child, and I had to wait for another matron.

    I understand all these rules, though - I've seen a fair amount of sexual assaults by orderlies, teachers, etc. in my professional life. As with a lot of issues, the key is to strike a balance - though, as we all know, this balance remains maddeningly elusive.

    Oh, and when I'm not in a suit, I wear black. Only because it doesn't show what I just dropped on myself!

    Allison

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  8. Sue, in 20 years, I think California will have just fallen off the face of the earth. Something about fire and brimstone. So don't retire there. :]

    DF, you *are* kidding. Good grief LOL!

    Widdle shamrock, thanks for your comment. I wish I had words for the innocent accused. :[

    A, I understand, but it is too sad that rules like that ever had to be made. It makes it less fun to work in a place like that.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)