21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth Young
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 22:32:28

    This is an inspirational write and I enjoyed it immensely from someone ‘inside’ the system. I have four grown children and have endured good, bad and ugly teachers and principals; thank you for caring and for making a huge difference.


  2. Roberta
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 23:00:06

    As I have said in past blogs too, we have to be the example we want children to be. I watch reality shows like Biggest Loser etc and they are so full of bullying. We have a real problem demonstrating and using Acknowledgement, acceptance and appreciation. Gets around so many of the reasons people bully


  3. justanotherthoughtonline
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 01:50:54

    Both of my parents taught…and both of them experienced colleagues or principals that spent time and energy making other teachers miserable. Not only was this a bad example for the students, but it also was a waste of time (they could have focused their energy on creating better lesson plans or improving their craft).

    I have yet to work in the teaching profession (although it is my goal), but I have experienced bullying in the workplace. I believe it is a widespread problem that people really don’t grow out of they just change how they do it. You are 100% correct in your assertion that if we want children to be model “acknowledgement, acceptance and appreciation,” then we need to model it ourselves.


  4. Diane
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 15:36:44

    Thank you for this post. It is so true. I came into teaching from careers in the (what I call) “real” world. I find our public education system to be in such a destructive box that I fear for the future of education in our country. In the business world, if I didn’t adapt and grow, I was out of a job. Not in education. Even after teaching 10 years, the actions of some so-called professional teachers still dismays me. And the real sad part of it all is that I teach in a pretty-forward-thinking charter school!


    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 20, 2011 @ 18:45:12

      Diane: I agree that what scares me at times are the “professional teachers” and their HORRIBLE reasons for being there: tenure, and be all set. I mentioned, to that horrible 6th(then 5th grade teacher) that I had to split to get to my (second) Masters program…and this “teacher” said: “Why are you doing this? I’m done with any more education/learning” (yes..paraphrasing). This is the same group that hate to go to Professional Developments, who bitch and complain..and you know what, YEAH>>YOU LESLIE!! You are the epitome of all that is wrong in education. I won’t give her last name, but if anyone is reading from the school I used to work in, that’s who i mean. Tell her. She is all that is wrong with education. Grrrr….;)

      Thank you. Yeah, I’m getting feisty. I hope you, Diane, keep your head about you while all around you are losing theirs.


  5. Giulietta Nardone
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 17:29:35

    Hi Stuart,

    My friend mentioned your timely post in a comment on my blog. I had a newspaper column published on standardization and creativity. The entire school set-up isn’t conducive to real learning. Cage folks up all day and you get all sorts of aberrant behaviors.

    I’m glad you mentioned bullying and schools and role models. It happens everywhere – parents often bully other folks in their towns to spend more on schooling (erroneously called education) then get appalled when kids bully.

    Yet, they can’t see it unless you point it out.

    Congress members bully each other. Folks threaten each other. And we’re surprised when kids do it?

    Crazy! Great post.



  6. kriti
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 05:49:51

    Bullying (in my opinion) is a sign of attention deficiency. Any bully is actually a child inside. The only way one can deal with a bully is to give him the attention he wants or to become a bigger bully and let him know you are not scared of him but would be interested in anything else he/she has to offer. I think you did something right with the principal Suart – way to go…


    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 22, 2011 @ 07:07:20

      Thank you Kriti. I had a long discussion with a friend last night: the difference between things going along “Stu’s Perfect World” and my at least voicing my indignation at what I perceive as wrong doings, or misguided bumbling.


  7. Penelope J.
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:13:32

    This is a big issue that you brought up and often overlooked when discussing the problems with educational system in this country. If students are aware of this, they lose all respect for both the bully and the person being bullied. A dangerous situation. As someone above commented, we see bullying going on in the highest places so why not in academia as well? Since I come from a family of academics, I heard a lot about this, and also the amount of politicking that goes on among principals, teachers, and parents. Getting back to bullying in schools, I hope that you address the very current problem (that you mentioned) of parents bullying teachers.


    • bornstoryteller
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:16:20

      Penelope: I’m hoping to have a larger audience with all this once I get camp over and done with. I plan to write six hours a day for a number of weeks: half on a novel, half on this: white paper or book, not sure yet. Thanks.


  8. Holly Jahangiri
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 09:25:38

    When my son was in middle school, he was bullied. Fortunately, he’s 6’1″ now, and it’s a bit harder to bully someone who towers over you. (Bullies are generally cowards. The truly self-confident people of the world don’t need to bully others.) What made me angry was the fact that the teachers and principals knew, and did nothing. Because they, too, were bullied – by these kids’ parents. They were cowed by the fathers, one of whom, I was told, actually threatened an assistant principal with physical harm. I never understood why they didn’t just call the police, if this kind of behavior was common knowledge.

    I once confronted the father of a bully. I thought we could have a calm, adult conversation about it; our kids were friends, but bullying wasn’t something I would tolerate. He started calling me every foul name he could think up, not letting me get a word in edgewise. Seeing there was no possibility of having a rational discussion with the man, and feeling sorrier and sorrier by the minute for his daughters – understanding what they had to live with – I looked up at him and said quietly, “YOU are a pathetic, little man.” I turned around slowly, fully expecting to get knocked to the ground in front of about six little girls – but no way was I going to back down and be intimidated in front of them. The guy actually turned around and went back into his house without uttering another word.

    I heard later that he’d had a similar altercation with another woman who lived nearby, only he’d chased her around the complex. I guess she let him see her sweat.


  9. Hocam
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 16:05:30

    Hi Stuart, I’m lucky to work in a small school where we all work co-operatively. Some of the staff have worked together for a very long time and some are relatively new. Ideas are discussed and everyone plays a part in implementation. Parents are actively involved, the come into the classroom to listen to reading, help the children plant flowers, make pancakes etc. Working in the classroom changes their attitude completely when they actually see how the school functions.
    We have an anti bullying policy in the school, children were given questionnaires about their experiences, then parents, bus drivers, ancillary staff were all asked to a meeting to devise a policy. It was felt the bullies also needed support in resolving the issues. It has worked well for us. Back in the Playground Blues and Quasimodo make great drama lessons for dealing with the issue among the children. Luckily it hasn’t arisen among the adults.


    • bornstoryteller
      Aug 17, 2011 @ 19:39:27

      Molly: I am so envious! What a great sounding school. I wish I could come to Ireland to just visit the school for a bit, and feel that positive work going on.

      Thank you.


  10. mumuGB
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 03:38:18

    My parents were teachers (they are retired now). There was always some sort of conflict: with a colleague, the head or whoever. It clearly wasn’t a nice environment to work in. I think that you are spot on: teachers are isolated. It take courage and balance to stay focused and remain open/flexible!


    • bornstoryteller
      Aug 18, 2011 @ 07:31:11

      Thanks Muriel. I don’t know why the territory/isolation thing happened, and has so prevailed. Does it stem from the one room school building of days of yore, where THE teacher had her space and that was it?


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