I don't really blog about teaching. I'm not certain why, I just chose not to. But something happened last week that I really need to share. I teach psychology and we were in the middle of our emotion, stress, and motivation unit (I noticed that these spell MES which could be a description of my desk ;)
To inspire discussion about difficult topics, I started handing out slips of scrap paper and having students write answers to questions like: What makes you mad? What causes you pain? What makes you happy? and other difficult questions to discuss out loud. I then read the answers and we talked about what we heard. We ended up having some wonderful discussions.
But the sad part was some of the answers I received. "It makes me mad when my dad ignores me." "It hurts me that I can't have a closer relationship with my mom." "It hurts when my friends make fun of me." "It makes me mad when people call me names." (These aren't actual answers; just my paraphrasing.)
These answers just break my heart. I wish I could share them with the parents of the authors. How could a father ignore a child? And what type of mother doesn't allow for a closer relationship with their child (daughter, I think) Some of them almost made me break Absolute Teaching Rule #1: Don't cry in front of my students (that's different from my Classroom Rule #1: No bleeding) Seeing the answers in stark pen and knowing the courage it took to write that made me very proud of my students. And this is just a little activity in one class.
Teenagers always get such a bad rap: They're loud, dumb, rude, disrespectful, etc.
On the other hand, they want closer relationships with their parents.
When parents choose others over their children, it cuts deep.
It hurts them when they're made fun of by the people who are supposed to be supportive and they don't know how to handle the situation.
They're just kids. Stuck in adult situations that no one is helping them with. A little empathy goes a long way.
2 weeks ago