Pearls need discomfort, right?

“Those that have survived such perils of the sea as typhoons, suffocating red tides, and attacks from predators are brought ashore and opened. if everything has gone well, the result is a lovely, lustrous and very valuable pearl.” Click image for source.

Yesterday after work I was typing up a commitment contract with our head teacher, Lynn, for one of our students. We had had a day. I remarked that it’s like that in Alternative – each day is ‘a day’ – and that is what makes our jobs more interesting – every day is different and exciting.

We joked about that for a while and then I said but seriously, even though they can be trying in the moment, it’s responding to the varied situations and the behaviours/needs of our kids that makes me a better teacher. It’s on the job professional development. I feel I learn so much each day about relationship, caring, learning. Lynn responded – better teacher? It makes me a better person.

Thought that pearl was worth showing in the light.

Not in our name.

Sometimes re-framing is a demolition job. It can be a lot of hard work. Image found on Click to view source.

Sometimes re-framing is a demolition job. It can be a lot of hard work. Image found on Click to view source.

I try to teach my students to care. To care about each other and that, in order to do so, we need to go outside of ourselves. It is probably one of the more difficult things I try to do, and it isn’t always something I do explicitly. It is in our actions together, it is in hearing their stories when they are arguing or sad or hateful and then re-framing them to see them from the other’s perspective – because there is always an other in these stories.

…She’s such a …. I hate her, him, them. She, he, they think they are hot shit. If he doesn’t stop I’m going to have to get him. She thinks she’s all that just because she…

It is in trying to get them to talk to each other but more importantly to listen to each other. With some of my students, I get the sense that empathy, sharing, and caring are truly foreign to them and so I need to work all that much harder to re-frame their stories and push them toward a caring future.

On January 7, 2009 8 Jewish women occupied the Israeli consulate in Toronto to put pressure on the Canadian Government to withdraw support from Israel. To show their disgust, their outrage at the ongoing assault against the people of Gaza. To show how abhorrent the idea is that Israel’s actions are being done in our name, in the name of Jews.

We are Jewish women, not in our name.
Shame on Canada, shame on Israel.
These are war crimes.
Not in our name.

I found this video, documenting the protest, on the Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) blog.

So why does this video remind me of my students? Or rather, lend me to think about them? My hope is that somehow my constant re-framing of stories will help to lead my students toward a future of questioning, of wondering why things are happening, and of trying to re-frame the stories that don’t sit right with them. I hope to see a student I taught in a video like this one day, trying to re-frame a story that isn’t right.

Ethics or (doing what we do)

Up at the top of this blog has appeared a new little grey box. Right there, next to Home. See it? Today I’m going to introduce you to it – readers, meet ‘Ethics’. Mine.

I’ve been thinking about all of these words I’ve put into this blog, into my comments on other people’s blogs, about which blogs I read and return to again, and again, and again.

What inspires all of this? What am I looking for?

Hope for the future. That’s what it is all about for me.
When I meet/see/do/participate/read/write about actions and people who care for each other as people, who help each other be our best selves – who show each other how we can care for each other.

Who don’t put up with the opposite.
Who stand by their beliefs no matter what.
Who write about them, talk about them
live them.
(caring is biological)

It gives me hope for a future with more caring than we have now.
It gives me hope that our children can learn a curriculum of humanity before and behind any other.

Words are powerful things for me. Once said or read they resonate in me. So I prefer to read and say ones that push toward our best selves. Our ever changing best selves.

Where do I look for them?
Everywhere I can. Lately that is

a new place for me, Here.

So I adapted and absorbed and hold before you my statement on ethics. Read my blog, participate, come visit my classroom (for real) to see more. Read the links above and in my blogroll to see even more.

And answer me this question to help me to understand more:

What are you looking for?

morning hug