Posts Tagged ‘teach’
One day, our professor began class by asking us whether or not we should teach morality in public schools.
It took about 12 seconds for my credential class to decide that yes, we should. We wouldn’t want our little rapscallions running in the streets, taking baseball bats to our windshields and setting fire to hobos just because they didn’t get taught morality at home. In true Socratic fashion, he almost immediately posed another question.
We thought it was another gimmie.
Why, Judeo-Christian, we said. That’s pretty common and acceptable, and we don’t need to add in all the theology when we teach it.
In true Socratic fashion, that was another setup.
Who here doesn’t think they subscribe to this Judeo-Christian morality, or something close to it?
Just about everyone grunted in the affirmative.
Hah. I bet you guys are a bunch of hypocrites.
We insisted we weren’t.
Alright, then. Let’s prove it. Could I have everyone who is married or was married come and stand up in the front of class for a moment?
We did so.
O.K. This question isn’t for the people standing up. This is for the people sitting down. How many of you are virgins?
One of us raised a hand.
The rest of you are hypocrites. According to Judeo-Christian morality, if you weren’t married, you should be a virgin. Therefore, according to Judeo-Christian morality, there is only one moral person among everyone sitting down in this class.
Now my question to you is: How can you teach morality if you don’t practice it?
Good question. Awkward way of showing his point, but a good question nonetheless.
Neatorama turned me on to this nice little feature from The Times Online.
A Jew was stranded in a Moscow trainstop and needed to find a telephone. He turned to the man next to him, asking, “Are you anti-semitic?” “Of course not, what an awful thing to ask,” the man quickly replied. The stranded Jew asked several more Russians the same question, but they denied being racist.
Worried and exasperated, he finally turned to a disgruntled comrade in the back corner of the train’s bar.
“Comrade, are you anti-semitic?”
“Hell yes, I can’t stand them!”
The Jew paused for a moment, sizing up the hulk of a man that sat in front of him. Then, he said, “Finally, an honest man. Here, would you watch my luggage while I go find a payphone?”
There are more where that came from.
It occurs to me that jokes like these, while they’d at first go over the head of my students, would effectively cement everything they learned about communist Russia.
To get the jokes, they have to know basic history, and the quality of life back then. While many Soviet jokes run on the premise that everyone ate potatoes and had to wait a really long time for basic goods and services, there are some wonderful exceptions.
Lenin, Stalin, and Brezhnev are on a train crossing Siberia when the conductor comes back to them, saying that it broke down.
Lenin says, “Re-educate those responsible.”
The conductor comes back, saying, “This has been done, yet the train isn’t moving.”
Stalin says, “Shoot those responsible!”
The conductor comes back, saying, “The driver and the engineer have been shot — but still the train isn’t moving.”
Brezhnev says, “Paint the windows black and tell everyone we’re moving.”
What I worry first about is the student who sits in the back of the room, frankly not caring and not even pretending to be interested. With enough personality, and with enough preparation, this might work marvelously.
Thoughts on how this might work? Or, if you have no qualms, any favorite communism jokes?
There are plenty of reasons to stop teaching. Joel posted ten, and though it the post was undoubtedly an April Fool’s joke, half of his over-the-top suggestions were credible on some level. Talk about irony.
Among them were:
Administrative hoops I have to jump through
TAKS testing. Lesson planning. 504 modifications. I like my principal (and all of them I’ve worked for so far), but the administrative web that has been set up from the top down really wears on me.
Budgeting. Fundraising. Travel requests. Purchase requisitions. Grades. Tardy admit slips. Report cards. Progress reports. Music stores coming to collect instruments from kids whose parents haven’t paid.
I am not valued enough
I don’t get paid nearly what I am worth. In fact, looking at some of the data on Jonathan’s blog, I don’t get paid even half of what I might get if I taught in New Jersey or California.
Setting aside his explanations, I’m told that plenty of teachers drop out for those basic reasons or some very similar. To quote the only teacher mentioned throughout the article linked in my sidebar:
The kids were wonderful to be with, but the stress of everything that went with it and the low pay did not make it hard to leave.
There’s the big debate about whether schools could, or should, be run like a business. I’ve certainly worked for some businesses that would drive a school into the ground.
On the other hand, I’ve experienced some business models that would make a school flourish.
He goes into greater detail, so I suggest you check it out.
Confidentially, my first reaction involved TPS Reports. As far as my dad and stepmom are concerned, former cubicle crawlers that they are, that Office Space movie is, or can be, the gospel-honest truth.