Friday, November 8, 2013

Instigating Influence

Whether teachers realize it or not, they impact their students in ways they never thought possible. My classroom is always open to students in the morning, and many swing by to drop their books off before meeting up with friends to walk the halls of the high school. This is nothing new as I remember those days all too well from Craig High. I have one specific group of freshman boys who are not only excellent students, but epitomize everything good about today's teens. They scream respect in everything they do and I see nothing but good things in front of them for many years to come. However, one of my teaching comrades from the other end of the building chose to make an example of one of them, selecting them out of a crowd for "taking up too much space in the hallway." This individual then escorted the young man to the Dean of Students office and asked that he be disciplined accordingly.

When I caught wind of this from the kids I found myself in a quiet rage, knowing full-well that this is NOT what teaching is all about. With nine weeks of the school year behind us, I am one of a select handful of teachers who yet to experience any discipline problems, and I have the ability to deal with any situation through simple and sincere conversations with young people. I'm beside myself thinking that some educators are looking for the tiniest opportunities to seek punishment for someone, rather than using a calm approach of one-to-one conversation. These are the times when I wish teachers could view the replay of themselves and realize the harm they do to this profession, much less the student who fell victim to their error in judgement.

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