Sunday, April 12, 2015

How much do I understand?

Last week I listened to the new podcast, #BACKCHANNELedu that focused on Native American life on the reservation.  This was the 6th episode and while listening I couldn't help but think, this is a world I simply cannot fathom.  

I dug deeper and read an article that was in the New York Times, Indian Reservation Reeling....  

After reading the article and listening to the podcast I felt extremely naive.  In some weird way I could relate it to reading an article in Runner's World.  The magazine occasionally talks about races that take place on a mountain.  In my mind I often say, I could do that!  But really, who am I kidding. A mountain!  The reality is that a mountain race would kick my butt.  I'd probably be reduced to walking at some point.  

The comparison for me is in the belief that we are all equal.  Don't get me wrong, it's the right thing to say...We Are All Equal.  But the truth is, we aren't.  I listen to the podcast and read the article and I realize life on a reservation is something beyond my comprehension.  I choose to be kind, I choose to listen and I sympathize.  But frankly, this isn't easy for me to empathize.  This is a world I simply don't fully understand.

And so, I relate this to our own students.  Just last week I talked with a young man that seems to be on the precipice of spiraling out of control.  I listened to his story and I could hear his anger.  I spoke with the young man's parent and we will be meeting this week.  It's tough to completely understand some of the home dynamics our kids go home to.  

I think many of our kids realize, We Aren't All Equal.  Our kids see it and hear it each day.  They see their friends going on elaborate trips, they hear their peers talk about experiences they've never done. They notice the clothes and the stuff classmates have.

This all makes me believe that the real issues are poverty and cultural diversity.

As educators it is so easy to be frustrated with our students behaviors, it's easy to simply discipline. We all lose patience from time to time.  

This week I had my perspective challenged.  Once again, I discovered I have a lot to learn.  

Most of the time we feel very comfortable in our safe and secure surroundings.  

When was the last time you expanded your perspective?  


Monday, April 13th:  PM Lockdown
Monday, April 13th:  3:45 String Team
Monday, April 13th:  4pm Boy/Girl Quest
Monday, April 13th:  5th grade M-Step begins
Monday, April 13th:  Author Visit (Leisl Shirtliff)
Tuesday, April 14th:  Admin Meeting 9am
Tuesday, April 14th:  5th grade M-Step
Tuesday, April 14th:  3rd grade trip to Ella Sharp Park
Tuesday, April 14th:  PTO Meeting 7pm
Wednesday, April 15th:  8:45am grades K-2 assembly
Wednesday, April 15th:  Grades 3/4 Standard Based Grading meeting
Wednesday, April 15th:  3:45 String Team
Thursday, April 16th:  5th grade M-Step
Thursday, April 16th:  3rd grade to Ella Sharp Park
Thursday, April 16th:  4pm Boy/Girl Quest
Thursday, April 16th:  Statewide Tornado Drill Day 
Friday, April 17th:  3rd grade trip to Ella Sharp Park

Articles Worth Reading:

Cover to Cover @Vroom6

Videos Worth Watching:

Floating Ellen? (7 min)

Kevin James explains how to put kids to bed. (2 min)

Jaydin Goldstein's Remarkable Day (10 min)

One More Reason To Get A Good Night's Sleep (11 min)


  1. Nice post Ben. The truth is that there are many student issues, both local and foreign, that we can't comprehend, because it's so out of our range of experiences. It reminds me of our habit this month of "Seek first to understand". If we do that, then we are working on closing that understanding gap. Even if it's just a little...


  2. Are you want to succeed? Just globalessays writing service can make your life better and easier.