Here recently, I’ve learned to trust myself more and to never judge someone by their past. I learned this by telling a trusted person basically my whole life story, and they just made everything so much worse for me. I do a lot for other people: like giving them advice, listening to them, or helping them when they need it. However, in contrast, when it came to helping me, I had few friends- maybe three I would talk to about things. One of those three friends was someone I THOUGHT I could trust with my life. That’s how much I trusted this person. When we first met, this person was very nice indeed, but as the months went by, this person changed. A lot. We could never just talk anymore; we argued about everything. I told them everything that they wanted to know when they asked. After I shared everything with them, they just threw it back in my face, like I was a bad person. They held my past against me, and I guess, since people do that I decided to put everything that I have in my school work, and to better myself for the real world. This
I am an educational consultant and writer, and the most powerful learning experiences I have are when the folks I am consulting with/learning with have chosen to be part of the group, agree on the nature of the problem, and there is a high degree of trust among group members. I’m working now in a troubled middle school that won’t make AYP this year and might be closed due to underperformance. Many of the teachers and all the school leaders got together at the beginning of the year, though, and decided they would work on problems of instruction as a way to deal with their underperformance. Because everyone agreed this would be fruitful, and people have developed a lot of trust with each other about discussing hard things, we are really seeing improvement every day, even in test scores! But all three conditions: trust, agreement on the problem, and choosing to participate are ingredients of making this a powerful learning environment. Thanks for asking!
Journalism was the most authentic writing experience my students every enjoyed and the best teaching I have ever done. My journalism students at Title One, urban schools in Southern California were almost all the children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. We always had at least three different primary languages on staff; one year we had seven, yet they regularly won prizes for quality of their paper. The students had a real audience, a real purpose and a real voice. They came into my classroom before 7 a.m. for a zero period class. They worked on the paper after school and on Saturdays. Sometimes I forced them out at 9 p.m. I taught them about research and writing, and about the First Amendment and the responsibilities of the press, but they lived those principles while they made editorial decisions, almost always mature and responsible decisions. My demure young business manager, the child of an elderly refugee, told me one morning that her father had pointed to a Vietnamese woman digging for recyclables at curb as he drove her through the winter darkness. “See her. She is why I want you to study journalism. You must tell her story.” My first principals,