21 January 2012

Just because you say it........

I think that as teachers, we have a duty to teach more than basic facts to our students. We have to teach them valuable life lessons. 

Believe me when I say I have a lot of life lessons I want to teach students. I want to teach them about using a professional email tone and address. I want to teach them about the value of doing something on time. I want to teach them to use deodorant.

Since I want to teach them these things, and have taught many of them some of these things, I'm going to start running a series of posts that expand upon my ideas of what, outside of academic content, schools should be teaching. Think of it as the alternative to the discontinued U-boats series. 

Today, start the list with teaching students that just because they say something, it doesn't make it true. This is a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. For example, kid walks into the classroom after the bell has rung, and says "I'm not tardy". I generally respond with a sarcastic "No, you are. You see, that sound that comes over the speakers indicates to me (and the rest of humanity which can hear) that if you are not in the classroom you are tardy. Simply claiming that you are "not tardy" does not make it true." Kids are sometimes shocked that after saying that I still mark them tardy. They genuinely believe that they aren't tardy.

At one point I wondered where kids had learned that simply saying something and believing it to be true would make that belief fact. I realized they had been looking at public figures for their entire lives who did just that. So, I'm getting this made for the front of my classroom, once I get a classroom:

I know they won't get the joke, but I'll chuckle every time I get to point at it and mark a kid tardy. Enjoy your weekend!

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