Friday, February 01, 2008

Looking for Advice

I posted today on This Must Be Thursday, a blog I co-author with a close friend and colleague. I wrote the post for the cathartic qualities involved in getting emotions out on the page. However, in the process and since I've been mulling the big questions in it. And I'd love to know what others think.

The main questions were
So, what is my responsibility? Should my students be completely unaware of issues I face? Should they know if I'm having a bad day? Does their age matter, older students being more able to deal with understanding their teacher's mood swings or such? Is it my job to teach my students well regardless?
I haven't really been able to figure out where I stand on this and I'm hoping for some thought-provoking ideas.


AMY T said...

yes and yes and yes. i think we have a responsibility to teach well, even when we're having issues. i think kids can be made reasonably aware of stuff, depending on their ages and the particular issues. and i think teaching kids to be empathetic and kind and thoughtful, regardless of the kind of day i'm having, is one important part of my work with them.

Anonymous said...

Hey, J......I thought about your question and then blogged about it myself. See the entry titled : Disclosure. jan

organized chaos said...

I have always had very good luck by being fairly honest with my little ones. Maybe it is because they are just leaving Piaget's stage where they are only concerned about themselves and their families and they are just beginning to realize other people have lives and feelings too. Some days I'd even put it into the morning message in an 'Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day' style. (And later it becomes a writing workshop lesson... having a bad day? why don't you write about it...

To be honest this has never worked well with my jump rope team so perhaps it doesn't work as well in the older grades. When I had no heat in my house and was in a fight with my landlord, and was trying to find a new place to live asap one of them said, "Well why did you live in a place without heat anyway?" good question.

Maybe I shouldn't be as honest with them as I am, but I've found it builds community and trust. They know some days I wont be on my A game but am trying, but on others they know that I am having a great day and am there for them as learners.

Silly Corn said...

I think it's important to tell them something, but maybe not everything. Just as we expect our students to tell us if they are having problems at home or at school. This way we can help the student cope.

Don't expect from them what you won't give yourself. I'm not encouraging you to tell them everything (you don't want them to worry about you), but at least give them a heads-up.