Disheartened.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeach, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2011

    I was very passionate about discussing and reading all the responses online (here, ECning, FB, Twitter) to the Wall Street Journal article we discussed in another post and wanted to bring this article in for my seniors. I made the lesson very relevant by bringing up other censored mediums, such as how Lady Gaga's album just got banned in Lebanon. I had a so-so conversation in my first period class; some students were interested and others still seemed asleep.

    I was excited, however, for my last period because we always have engaging discussions and I was really excited to share this with them and have a good discussion. I even printed out some Twitter replies and blogs for them to look at. Not only did they not care ONE BIT, but they were even rude and disrespectful and said things under their breath like, "Who the F* cares??" After I heard a student say this I was completely enraged. I said something along the lines of not being able to have a constructive conversation and asked them to write an essay in silence for the rest of the period entitled, "Why I should care about censored and banned books."

    Not only am I still completely bummed, but it made me wonder: if THEY don't even care about this topic, then what's the point? It's like trying to fight someone else's battle. I understand there are many, many teens out there who are readers and care about this issue -- because they are READERS. As an adult, I can read these books all I like, and I'm passionate about advocating for teens to be given the right to read them as well... but what if they just don't care? Why waste all my time and energy into a topic that effects them but they don't find relevant? I suppose this was more of a vent than anything else... I'm just feeling very disheartened. AND my school blocked AtoZ today!! One of those days :unsure:
     
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  3. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2011

    bump.
     
  4. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 6, 2011

    It's clear from your post that you're a very thoughtful teacher who always has the students' interests at heart. That is an extremely valuable quality and I hope you don't lose it :)

    I have the feeling the kids are suffering from summer-itis. It is very close to the end of the year and no one can focus as well as they should.

    Did you get any funny or interesting comments in the essays?
     
  5. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2011

    Thanks, TeacherShelly. I have a feeling that you're right and I shouldn't have taken it so personally...
    On the bright side, some of the essays have the best writing I've seen all semester!

    Sigh. Almost done!
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 6, 2011

    I think the kids had end-of-year syndrome and then realized they had gone waaaay too far when you lowered the boom. Glad those essays came close to redeeming them. Can you try it again tomorrow?
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 6, 2011

    In addition to summeritis, there's another issue.

    Kids today have access to so much electronically. They're not at ALL dependant on school and school libraries for a supply of reading material.

    If there's a book they want to read, they merely need to hit amazon.com and they'll have it in no time at all-- and that's if they choose not to download it onto their e-reader.

    So in a way, they're right-- it's really NOT a big deal to them. They have access online to reviews of any book they might conceivably be interested in, and no matter how remote their home is, they can still read any book their school has banned. So it really doesn't effect them the way it might have had I gone to Island Trees HS on Long Island in 1975, when a lot of books were banned. http://portfolio.educ.kent.edu/millermm1/caselaw_files/frame.htm (Of course, anyone I ever met who graduated from Island Trees made sure they read every single book on the banned list. If I didn't know better, I would swear it was a ploy to encourage reading.)
     
  8. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 6, 2011

    Alice, you're right. I can see their point about why it might not matter to them right now (since many are 17/18), however, I still did not appreciate the way some let me know -- by saying, "Who the F cares." Many more constructive ways to put that!
     
  9. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    Jun 6, 2011

    Step out of your "teacher" zone for a minute and think about what your students felt, despite the way they expressed it, and also what Alice said.

    Maybe your students have a point. Who cares? And I'm beginning to agree with them. Who cares if a book is "banned", all that means now is that it's not in the school library? So what, right?

    Anyone can get access to a book now, banned or not.

    So maybe you learned a lesson today? And I mean that in a good way.

    I'm a total tech geek, network admin for 15 years, so yeah, really geeky. I get excited with I hear about a new browser update coming, or the next version of Android, new programming feature or whatever. My 7 year old could not CARE LESS. And it's nothing personal, it's just that she has grown up with technology, and it's not even that she "takes it for granted", it's more than that, it's part of her life like air and electricity, it's nothing to be excited about.

    Same thing with banned books, right?
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 7, 2011

    Oh, that's where the being 17 and THISSSSS close to summer comes in. And if it was more than a few kids, I suspect there was more to the issue-- like maybe a bunch of them had just come from
    a class where they had a hard time.


    Of course you're right; they were incredibly rude and disrespectful. And I don't know about your teaching style, but I would absolutely address that issue. Not in a confrontational manner, but in a "hey, you guys were really out of line yesterday" way.
     

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