Category Archives: school

Kids With Guns (2)

After my article on school shootings, I immediately wanted to do more, although it was relatively hard work, just because it’s not so easy to find helpful information. But I really want to dig deeper into this and find out more, find similar threads and patterns and ways the media deals with this. So, today, three more examples, all from 2006.

Read the full post here.

The Unmaking of a Teacher

I was sitting in a teacher’s room yesterday when a young teacher came in. He just had a lesson for his teacher’s training in which his supervisor observed him. The way this works is that you plan a lesson, meticulously, then you give the lesson and afterwards there is a discussion if you did well. The trainee teacher was optimistic at the beginning of this talk, obviously satisfied with the lesson. At the end of the talk, after about fifteen minutes where I partially eavesdropped on it in the teacher’s room, he had his head in his hands, slumped in his chair, defeated by the criticism he had to hear. Granted, I didn’t see his lesson and I don’t know him very well. Maybe he sucks as a teacher, maybe his plan was awful, maybe he is really delusional about his teaching abilities. But something about that progress from enthusiasm to slump stayed with me.

Read the full post here.

Kids with Guns (1)

When I wrote about the Marysville School Shooting two weeks ago, I discovered this list on school shootings on Wikipedia and it fascinated me endlessly. I wasn’t sure why until I started doing research because I wanted to write more about this topic. It’s fascinating to see that while almost all of those incidents are reported in the news, it often isn’t more than the initial “someone has been shooting at a school” report, but rarely any follow-ups. So it’s very hard to learn what was behind those shootings, to read about motives or reactions. I guess that’s not surprising for our media that it is only interested in the shock value of such news and doesn’t dare to dig deeper. Still, there are some follow-up articles and as I realized I might get obsessed with this topic because I endlessly wanted to look up everything, I decided to turn this into a series, focus on a couple of incidents and come back to that long, long list again (and again).

You can read the full post here.

Taking It to the Street

As I came into one of my classes today, the students all gathered around me, waving red pamphlets and telling me we have to go outside! I didn’t know what was going on until I realized there was a demonstration going on, right outside the building, visible from the classroom window. My students tried to convince me that they were really interested in that demonstration and wanted to go there, which I doubted since they obviously preferred this to a lesson. Eventually we went outside to see what it was all about.

You can read the full post here.

Student Looks at Teacher

Here she comes. Damn, I hoped she was late today. Why can’t she be late? It’s not like we can’t wait a bit longer to start the lesson. It’s not like anyone cares. Including her. That’s why she is so late so often, right? She probably has better things to do than teaching us. And we certainly have better things to do as well. Oh, look at her, she didn’t prepare anything again and just checks the textbook to see what she can do today. She didn’t prepare at all! And she never does. Why should we care about any of this shit if she obviously doesn’t? Such a waste of time. And I can’t look at my phone because she’ll confiscate it right away because she has the power. It’s so stupid.

Read the full post here.

Learning, Not Studying

For a long time I always talked about “learning” for exams until a native speaker pointed out to me that it should be “studying.” Apart from being an embarrassing mistake to make for an English teacher, it brings me to a relevant point about when I use those words. I use them before exams and I have learned over the years that one of the most astonishing things you can say to students is “You don’t need to study.”

You can read the full post here.

Generation Cynical

How often do you hear people, especially teachers, say that the youth of today is not what it used to be, that they are lacking in intelligence, interest, motivation, anything really. “It wasn’t like this when I was young!”, “It’s so different now!”, “Oh, today’s kids…!” I often disagree with any of these assumptions, just on principle because I never think kids are dumb or worthless, but our hope and future, so it’s up to us to show them the way and not to complain about them all the time. Besides that, I think that most talk about how things were different in the past is nonsense because history rather repeats itself than to change, and while I think that some things have evolved for the worse, I disagree with most of the aspects that people talk about normally. Changes in modern generations are also not necessarily bad and rarely intentional, and often reflect what they learn in our society. Why am I saying all of this? In a recent lesson, I had the strong feeling that the kids were much different than I was at that age and I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s true and if it is, why?

You can read the full post here.

 

Why Being a Teacher Sucks (Sometimes)

My holidays are almost over and once school starts, I will probably return to more thought pieces on school and general things. But to get ready for school and after Detachment, I thought I could spend two posts on reflecting what exactly I like and don’t like about being a teacher. And as I dutifully learned in school, I start with the bad things now and continue with the good things on Sunday. I heard this will strengthen my conclusion. So, in no particular order and without an end in sight as I write this now, some of the reasons what’s bad about being a teacher (and if you haven’t seen, I explained why I’m a teacher already).

You can read the full post here.