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Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: speak or remain silent? Reply with quote

For the past few weeks, my son has been telling me about his Grade 10 Socials class. The teacher has the kids writing projects comparing "genocides" and the main focus has been the current situation in Darfur. The teacher believes Canada and the UN are being negligent for not sending a "peacekeeping force" to Darfur and makes no bones about it.

My son decided to write a note to the teacher, saying he felt she was teaching a one-sided account of the conflict. He was very polite in his criticism but made it clear he didn't agree with her.

Last week, the school councilor "borrowed" my son from Socials class and had a long chat with him. Eventually, the councilor disclosed that the teacher had given the note to him. The councilor said he was satisfied my son didn't intend to challenge the teacher.

So... as a parent, do I go to the councilor and find out what's up or do I remain silent and wait to see what happens? As a parent, I find a passive role difficult but I don't want to cause more problems than I solve... My experiences with teachers leads me to believe they're unlikely to appreciate any questions I ask as they seem to take questions as being challenges to their authority and expertise. Likewise, I don't want to let this slide and find my son's grades reflecting a bias against him because he disagrees with the teacher's NDP attitudes.

Thoughts?

-Mac
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is advocating sending a peacekeeping force an NDP position. I think we should do that too. Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims over there. In fact, non-arab Muslims are also being slaughtered by Arab Muslims.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't expand on the teacher's other proclamations but, from what my son has told me, she basically mirrors the federal NDP's policies.

The NDP are the only party (not individual) who are currently advocating sending troops to Darfur to my knowledge. Do you know it to be otherwise?

-Mac
mrsocko





Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 2463
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votes: 8
Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The councilor said he was satisfied my son didn't intend to challenge the teacher.


What does that mean? Why shouldn't he challenge the teacher. Debates are not allowed in grade 10 but a teachers personal political views are.

Your son sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. You should ask the councilor why the teacher can't look at both sides of the debate. Asking the councilor and the teacher why your son was taken out of class is a perfectly normal reaction.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two words for you: private school. Two more words: home school.

Generally speaking, a rabid monkey could instill more knowledge in a child that the average teacher today. Who do you have to thank for the state of eduction in our country? I leave that as an exercise for the reader, although I will say, the word starts with 'sec', and ends with 'ularist'.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
The NDP are the only party (not individual) who are currently advocating sending troops to Darfur to my knowledge. Do you know it to be otherwise?


I might have to vote NDP :shock:
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know whether the councilor used the word "challenge" or not. That's the word my son used when he described the encounter to me.

He's a good kid and his verbal skills are very advanced for a 15 year old. Most of his teachers think the world of him but I can see where an insecure adult might feel challenged by him.

I've always taught him to be respectful in his interactions with adults which might be why he chose to write a note rather than discuss his concerns with the teacher directly.

Perhaps I will drop by and ask the councilor to explain the encounter. He's new to the school, according to my son.

-Mac
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Two words for you: private school. Two more words: home school.


One more word: vouchers

A healthy dose of competition can solve most problems.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Two words for you: private school. Two more words: home school.

I wish I could afford such luxury but an honest cop's salary only goes so far in the housing market in the Greater Vancouver area. Both my wife and I work so home school isn't an option... and private school isn't either.

kwlafayette wrote:
Generally speaking, a rabid monkey could instill more knowledge in a child that the average teacher today. Who do you have to thank for the state of eduction in our country? I leave that as an exercise for the reader, although I will say, the word starts with 'sec', and ends with 'ularist'.

Sad but true.
Craig wrote:
I might have to vote NDP :shock:

Anything but that!!

-Mac
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
Mac wrote:
The NDP are the only party (not individual) who are currently advocating sending troops to Darfur to my knowledge. Do you know it to be otherwise?


I might have to vote NDP :shock:
Western troops have specifically been told to stay away, so the point is moot. Only African troops are welcome in any peace making force, and it will stay that way as long as China continues to shelter the Sudanese government from security council resolutions.
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: speak or remain silent? Reply with quote

Mac wrote:

Thoughts?

-Mac


I'd go find out whats going on..

Its probably good for your son to know that you support him as well.

I encountered a few situations like this as a child, I know my parents being involved was a big help.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My son decided to write a note to the teacher, saying he felt she was teaching a one-sided account of the conflict. He was very polite in his criticism but made it clear he didn't agree with her.


This was, IMHO, an incredibly mature way of handling his concerns. That kind of action demonstrates wisdom and integrity beyond his years, and the appropriate reaction for the teacher and the counsellor should have been to commend your son for his tact. (Actually, the teacher should have been able and willing to handle it without a counsellor).

That kind of willingness to respectfully challenge someone's opinion should be encouraged, as it was by some of my better teachers when I was his age.
FascistLibertarian





Joined: 23 Feb 2007
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The NDP are the only party (not individual) who are currently advocating sending troops to Darfur to my knowledge. Do you know it to be otherwise?


Yeah but as soon as some Canadians got killed there then they would pull out and go to Burma, until Canadians got killed there then they would pull out and go to Haiti, until Canadians got killed there.....
;)

Mac it is hard to say without reading the letter. I would say that they are trying to stifle critical thinking. I remember in highschool my world issues teacher was very left wing, as was most of the class, but we would have very respectful discussions looking at both sides of the issues where conservatives were able to give their views (and there teacher would not just shut it down).

If the teacher has any sense they will see that sending UN troops to Darfur is a grey area, they could do a brainstorming activity in class askign students to list the possible pros and cons of such a move as well as the possible consequences. If it were me I would ask the teacher to do that anjd to encourage critical thinking and discussion about different points of view.

If they refused ask them for a list fo their personal private beliefs on any topics that might come up so my son would not use critical thinking or put forward a view that did not reflect their beliefs as the teacher clearly does not want the kids to think for themselves but only to mirror their dogma (and I would say this so sarcastically).
Riley W





Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would argue the point if the teacher can make her opinions known on the subject, why can't the student?

My favourite thing to do last year in Gr. 9 S.S. was to write up anti-Liberal/anti-NDP, pro-CPC current event assignments each week. My S.S. teacher last year was a moderate liberal...but she was infatuated with PET.

I had a really terrible situation last year in my S.S. class.

My town was having council/mayor/school trustee elections and you know how S.S. classes have mock student elections?

Well anyways my dad was running for coucil urban ward. But the big thing was my mom and 2 other allies were running for the school board, and one of the enemies was a parent of another kid in the class who had other school friends...

It would have been a terribly partisan and awkward situation, but the teacher never thought twice about that. I just was "sick" that day...

Anyways my advice is what I do...my Geography teacher is a Liberal too (for crying out loud for rural manitoba I sure have a lot of liberal teachers), and when ever he makes a pro-liberal comment or anti-CPC comment, I chirp up and respectively challenge his view.

I found out he like students challenging him, and we sometimes get into 5 minute debates...

If this is going beyond the project mr. socko, I would recommend your son challenge out loud in class the teacher.

Of course respectively, as long as your respectful she can't punish you....

Knowing this woman she probably thinks Iraq is a U.S. led genocide... :wink:
Craig
Site Admin




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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I support piecekeeping. And here is my piece...

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