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Thursday, January 11, 2007

When it is OK to lecture

I keep a journal and as I looked back at an entry dated 1/11/2005, I came across this great quote that I had noted.

It seems that on this day, I was frustrated with how many times I was having to talk to a particular class about a particular flaw. (Some classes just seem to whine - although I must say in the two years since, I don't have much of that problem now.)

I talked to a veteran teacher of 30 years and this is what she said to me:

"Lecture them over and over and over because they need to hear it. We don't just teach our subject here, we teach these students who to live their lives. They are kids and no matter how old they are, they need to hear it again and again and it WILL have an impact."
This reminds me of the post (aptly titled Sometimes a Teacher's Gotta Preach: Advice for Teenagers on Spring Break and Prom) from a while back where I recorded my pre-prom / pre-Spring Break "lecture."

It is not often that I do "lecture" and when I do, I don't do it for too long. But I am finding that my students from three and four years a go are coming back to retell me the "stories" that I told them during one of these infrequent but heartfelt "lectures" of mine.

You teach them how to live

My point is this. Yes, we teach important subjects, but the best teachers also teach students HOW to live. (Just watch the movies of acclaimed teachers.)

If we do not teach students about character and wise decision making, we truly stand upon the precipice of disaster in our increasingly interconnected world. Ethics are directly tied to character.

I talk openly with my students about most everything from the dangers of pornography (studies show that spouses with this addiction are more unhappy in their marraiges) to that of speeding, drinking, drug addictions, sex, online safety, online predators, myspace safety, and most anything as appropriate. I love my students.

Prom Season is upon us

As we look at prom season coming, we need to know that after it has come and gone that we can live with ourselves for having done all we could to promote wise decisions. If you have an audience of teenagers, you have a great responsibility.

But where is the technology, Vicki?

OK, I haven't forgotten technology - I have a wealth of posts coming on everything from Second Life (see online places in SL for educators from SimTeach) to my new wiki projects but I have been immersed in PowerSchool this week and hope to finish up tomorrow so I can again share some neat things I'm doing. I also had my Computer Science students choose "major fields of interest" that we call "majors" for some upcoming projects. They are excited. Flat Classroom winners will be announced Sunday! More later.

For now, I'm reflecting because I am tired. Have a great day and if you feel your inner prompt pushing you to "lecture" on the things of life to your students sometimes it is OK.

(Note: This is not an excuse for those teachers who tend to have "conversation time" on a daily basis. That is not my style AT ALL nor, what I'm advocating. I am an adult leader not a "buddy." This is about taking time during the right time to talk -- I do this 2-3 times per year per class, usually when something "big" has happened that has them upset or around breaks and ALWAYS around Prom season.)

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