We all have a responsibility to stand against hate. Teachers are on the front lines.
I've had no shortage of aspiring musicians in my classes. I've had even more that have been interested enough in forming a bond with me that they share their music and ask me to listen.
Regardless of what generation you grew up on or what your music preferences are, there's value in being curious enough to take a listen.
The kids don't need you to like their music, but they do want you to have an opinion. Tell them it's not for you. Tell them you don't like it. Offer them a song in return. They love musical trades. This is also a great way to solve a common problem among many teachers, headphones in class.
We all know the policy. We all know it drives us nuts. The kids love to try and sneak an earbud in every now and again, but a great way to avoid escalating something small into a huge deal that involves security and admins is to ask to listen to what they're listening to, give an opinion, then tell them to put it away until all the work is completed. I've found that I get much more positive and compliant responses to that than walking up and yanking things out of their ears.
It takes the same amount of time, but it has a very different tone.
Eat student food
We all have bad days. We all have bad class periods. What we have to remember, especially while we are in the classroom, is that we teach kids and we can't take things personal.
Have you ever gotten frustrated with that kid that asks the same question a million times? Have you ever given the same answer a million times but on that last one thrown a little stank on it? Maybe it was your tone. Perhaps it was your word choice. Either way, we all know that look in a kids eyes when you've crushed them by making fun of them, condescending to them, or generally treated them like they were stupid. Parents do this too.
The emotional health of our kids is as important if not more than their physical and academic health. Sometimes it's something as simple as an "obviously" or "of course" before or after we answer as we normally would. Kids pick up on little things sometimes better than adults because they are trying so hard, in their own way, to please you.
Take care of their spirits. Live up to that expectation. They'll let you down from time to time, but they're supposed to. They're kids. They're just learning. Does that mean make excuses for them and lower your expectations? No, but you don't have to destroy their souls when they mess up.
Tough days teaching in DISD
No Bathroom Breaks
It's not my day mister
The low class in Dallas Schools
Listening to Dallas Students
Many teachers go above and beyond to help their kids be successful. Whether that's tutoring on their days off and weekends, staying up late/waking up early to plan the perfect lesson, or making themselves available by email or social media to their students outside school, teachers find ways the meet their students needs because regardless of everything else that's going on, this job is about the kids.
Here's the problem: It's dangerous. I'm not talking about the sexual abuse that happens in school or the potential to find yourself in a dangerous or compromising situation with a student. That does happen and accusations do get made, so keep your hands of the kids, keep your door open, meet in public places, and keep your head on a swivel if you are someone who does home visits. I'm talking about ensuring that both you and your students are protected mentally and emotionally.
If your district or school doesn't set cut off times for student teacher contact, set one. 9pm is probably more than fair if you're a talk to kids outside the school day kind of teacher. Two reasons you should. Reason the first, you need to shut it off at some point or you'll go crazy. Period. You need time to do your own teacher work and live your life. Without that you'll always be behind and exhausted. That's no way to teach. Second, kids need to understand that you won't always be there to hold their hand through every assignment whenever they want your attention. That stunts their development as well.
This is a topic with a ton of different parts to discuss. We'll probably do so.