Monday, June 20, 2011

You Might Already Be Teaching Peace If....

If you've taught K-12, you've been there. A new mandate to plan for. A new test to scantron. Another inservice that may or may not be led by someone who has taught K-12 in the past decade. (Those who run these teacher trainings who have not taught run the risk of getting eaten alive.)

And they want us to "teach peace" too? They want us to seriously be responsible for the moral, social development of students we see 45 minutes a day on a good week? A week without fights, assemblies, tornado drills, fire drills, bomb scares, parent conferences, special ed conferences, state tests to proctor, open houses....

Sometimes, because of the reality I note above, it's almost impossible for teachers today to imagine adding one more thing to that list. So in that spirit, I say take heart! For exhausted, besieged teachers everywhere who would love to "teach peace" if there were only five spare seconds in the day, did you know you are probably already doing it?

It's closer than you think!

You might already be teaching peace if….

1.If you read works like To Kill a Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men with your students because you want them to understand the seeds of hate and prejudice.

2.If you read works like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 so they know how important it is to think for themselves.

3.If your students know the words “doublethink” and/or “scapegoat”.

4.If you’ve ever told a kid that “it gets better”.

5.If you’ve encouraged a kid to power off and reconnect with nature.

6.If you’ve called a parent to tell her how great her kid is.

7.If you’ve invited a kid to write or speak about struggles s/he’s facing.

8.If you’ve taken a group overseas so they understand other kids better.

9.If you’ve involved kids in making the rules of the classroom.

10.If you’ve formed a partnership with a community organization.

If you're already doing those things or many more, you may already be teaching peace! You're already "being the change".

Got other suggestions of things teachers are already doing to "teach peace"? I invite you to leave them in the comments.