Ever wonder why people often stop making sense when they are arguing? The answer is in our bodies, not our minds or souls. Arguing people are triggered; their bodies are in fight-or-flight. Remember that regardless of what you believe about morality or our immortal souls, our bodies themselves are still mammals. (If you doubt this truth, just try to mess with a mother’s child, and see what kind of Mama-Bear response you get!) In my decades of teaching, especially when it comes to de-escalating upset students, I have found it helpful to, for just a moment, set aside all my … Continue reading Fight Flight Freeze FAWN
My beloved professor passed away last July. August DeBerdt was born February 19, 1934.So in honor of his birthday, better late than never, I wanted to share some of what I learned from him. I attended Berry College in 1994. A small liberal arts college in the foothills of Georgia. It was difficult for me as a first generation college student. I was excited to learn. But I was scared to death. I wanted to hide my head from the horrors of the world. But I was also impossibly curious. I wanted to be a writer. So, rather against my … Continue reading For Dr. August DeBerdt, beloved Teacher.
As a language teacher, I know about communicating. I also know how often people think they have communicated, but they really haven’t. I love to play the game of Telephone with my students. We start a whispered sentence in German, and by the time it gets all the way around the circle, it is usually completely garbled and hilarious. Or we play a similar game, except with sketches that get passed around. It shows them how fragile communication really is. “Purple monkey dishwasher” is my husband’s name for the phenomenon in which you explain something to your students, they nod … Continue reading half blind and half deaf
My son loves math. I’m gonna straight up brag, not even humblebrag. He’s gifted in math, way above grade level. Super bright. 3rd grade standardized math tests were yesterday. He bombed. He didn’t finish the test. He got caught up perfectionizing on one problem he couldn’t figure out the answer to. He felt so stressed that he shut down and gave up. If my son, who loves math and is gifted in math, and who is a privileged white boy, bombed this test, imagine how many other kids are not showing their true potential, for a myriad of different reasons. … Continue reading Why standardized testing must die.
Children naturally compete for resources like food and attention. They are programmed by nature to do so. If they have enough and they feel safe and loved, many children naturally and good-naturedly share what they have with others. Children are naturally openly curious about those different from them, and may look shocked and surprised or ask embarrassing questions. Children often do not naturally make judgments about whether a person is more or less valuable than themselves. This is learned behavior. Human beings have many natural tendencies and learned behaviors that can be nurtured or squashed. SO WHY DO SO MANY … Continue reading are we teaching more than competition?
Please God don’t let it all be pointless I want to understand as much as I can beyond the vanishing point of despair. Help me find some bridges When I am out to sea, staring at the stars, my boat … Continue reading An A.D.D Teacher’s Prayer