Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teaching Hope: Empowerment

I really enjoyed story 144. It’s great that this teacher was even allowed to take the students on such a unique field trip. By meeting with the mayor, the students were allowed to voice their concerns to a very real audience. They were very enthusiastic and stood strong in their beliefs. This is a great lesson for any middle school student. If you want something to change, you have to do something about it. Not every problem is going to fix itself. Making a “toast for change” showed the students that speaking up is the first step and getting someone (like the mayor) to listen is the next step. These kids are affected by so many different issues on a daily basis, that teachers may not even notice what’s happening. I really like how their experiences shine through the “toasts for change” being made.

Story 146 really made me happy. I love how determined Mike’s peers were when he decided he wanted to drop out of high school at the end of his sophomore year. Students and teachers alike were not willing to let him go. I would love to work in a school that’s really more like a community. I think it’s an important part of learning. It also must have planted a seed in Mike’s brain because even though he left for a little while, he was back before the school year had ended. I’m really glad the teacher never gave up on him and even graded his final paper. Overall, this story makes me think about how stressful life can get and how sometimes, it seems like it would be easier to just give up. Students are probably going to reach this point and as teachers, we need to know what to do when it happens.

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