Saturday, June 11, 2011

Meyer: Questions

While I was reading Meyer's article, my best friend Cathy sent me this picture.  She and her fiancee Zoi, are in Boston at the Pride Parade!!!

Meyer's article was a very interesting and an easy read, though I had my computer open on dictionary to decode the many unfamiliar words!!  Again new knowledge is added to my "toolbox".  I didn't realize how much of an issue sexual and homophobic harassment was in schools.  I guess maybe it is the overall demographic, or the age level you teach.  Now that I am more aware of the issue, I want to learn more about it.  I have come up with some questions to help understand this issue better.

1. Do all schools have a program on how to address unkind behaviors like bullying and harassment?
In the article, teachers spoke of not having any training on the matter and I thought about myself.  I have not had any training of the issue either, but i feel I could assess a situation if I had to.   As a teacher, we should be able to ask for the tools we need to educate students and make the day run smoothly.  If not then schools should put a policy together to address the issues.

2. Should all teachers be trained on how to successfully address homophobic harassment and other undesired behaviors? Would you participate in bullying/harassment PD?
I think teachers would want to learn how to diffuse situations on their own.  In the article, one teachers says how he/she does not like to get the administrators involved because it says, "I can't handle my classroom." I feel the same way, I do everything I can before I get the admin involved.  Though if the teachers were trained, then when the issue was brought to the administration, they would know it was serious.  Also, isn't the administration there to help you?????

3. In the article, the interviewed teachers discuss the issue of time and how they need to finish the lesson regardless of what is going on in the classroom.  Why doesn't the teachers use the undesired behaviors as a valuable life skills teaching point? What is more important, the lesson or stopping and educating students on an undesired behavior?
I feel that if the students were educated on the harassment issue, they may think twice before acting out on the issue.  Having a discussion on the issue can help students that are unfamiliar or biased to hear the other side.

4. As teachers we know how important consistency is within our classrooms and schools.  Do your schools show consistency in regards to harassment? Are all areas of bullying/harassment treated the same?
In the article, one teacher says how they "let stuff slide" or ignore it sometimes for various reasons.  I am still baffled that math or any subject is more important than the safety of their students.  The article states: "other studies have found that antisocial behavior in students increases when the administrative support is inconsistent and when there is an absence of follow-up from school leadership." This is when students can become depressed and make undesired decisions.

5. How can we raise awareness to educators who have not personally felt the impacts of discrimination or exclusion from dominant culture?
This question was raised within in the article and it made me think of ways to educate.  There has to be a way to get all educators on the same page and squash this unfortunate issue.  Educators teach, therefore we should teach whats necessary to minimize problems.


  1. Rebecca, great questions! I also like the picture you included (although I can't see it for some reason on my computer). It is very fitting and your friend Cathy has great timing to send it to you while you were reading the article!

  2. Rebecca, I can really relate to your point on question #3...instead of plowing ahead with the lesson and ignoring the undesirable behavior, take 5 or 10 minutes to have a mini-lesson on why that behavior is unacceptable. Maybe after doing this a few times and publicly calling out the students who are doing the bullying in front of their peers, it will become a less frequent occurrence in the classroom. If ALL students feel that the teacher has created a safe learning environment for them, then taking the ten minutes out of a math lesson is going to benefit everyone so much more in the end.