When we think about education, we often think of the teacher student relationship, but that is not the entire story. Then when teachers get together, it is often teachers versus administration. The sad truth, however, is that drama still occurs at the adult level, often masked by professionalism.
What am I saying here? Well, surprisingly, a student commented to me one day, “Not all teachers get along, do they?” My resounding reply, “Of course not.” I laughed, and had to ask what made her ask that question. She explained that she noticed how teachers get frustrated when other teachers interrupt the class unexpectedly – the roll of the eyes, the curt, crisp answers, the irritation in the voice.
It was a good teaching moment, and I correlated it to teenage drama. Even adults have trouble getting along, especially with different personality types. It was enlightening for her to think that even adults aren’t perfect and had their own personality conflicts. Even when that occurs, we all still need to work through those differences and issues. Somehow, if everyone is open-minded enough and work toward a common goal, a respectable solution can come out of the conflict.
I was astonished to note how perceptive kids are and how they can see through the fake sometimes. Oftentimes, teachers try to paint a perfect world, but teenagers can see right through the bull-bleep and sense the real truth. The classroom may seem like a different world, and educators want to create that “safe, nurturing, environment” but when the school bell rings, students go back to their reality.
How can we best prepare students for whatever realities they go home to? Always with the truth. Even if we try to provide that home away from home in our classrooms, these students still go home to a reality they need to maneuver, and we need guide them toward problem-solving and not escapism.
Interesting, something to think about as I go through the rest of the work week.
I teach in a middle school, grades 7 and 8. Maybe the tween environment is contagious – oh the pre-teen, pre-pubescent angst. lol!