Kids crave firm, consistent rules. A teacher's perspective on how we might creatively enforce them.
“So, what terrible, horrible, no-good, mixed-up, very bad thing forced you to be late for art class?” I recently asked my student, Alfonso, as he ambled through the door with his friend, Kenzie, in tow. Alfonso is a tall, somewhat gangly athlete with an impish grin and a floppy mop of straight, light-brown hair.
A teacher argues for the expansion of No-shave November.\n
An untrimmed mustache is a despicable thing. I know this because I am an American, and because it's the rules. Mostly these are the unspoken, unwritten rules of culture that everyone grows into, but sometimes they are right there in black and white.
When a teacher spends his free time becoming a better artist he also becomes a better teacher.
There is an oft-repeated saying that those who cannot do, teach—and that (as Woody Allen adds) “those who can’t teach, teach gym.” Although like many clichés this one persists by containing within it a kernel of truth, it nonetheless ignores the ages-old tradition wherein many exceptional practitioners of many a discipline have taught their way through some very productive years. It is hard to say whether their original motivation for teaching was love or money, but it is nonetheless obvious that countless inquisitive young minds have benefited by time spent under the tutelage of such masters.
On Facebook, how classroom rules do and do not apply.
In real life, people don't just usually walk right up to you and ask you to be their friend. Little kids do, I guess, but adults generally see that sort of question as just plain weird. I think of this sometimes when my students friend me on Facebook—adding yet another layer of complexity to the question of how best to balance the teacher-student-friend relationship—a layer of complexity that just five years ago did not exist.