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Sharon caught me....I was still home thinking....doing just a bit of
housework. We have all said to one another how much this list has helped us.
We are honest with one another, we are not afraid to disagree. We are
cordial in or disagreement...and it is OK if we disagree. It is very easy to
find someone on this list with whom you share the same philosophy. It is
very easy to find someone on the list who has the answer to your question, a
lesson to share, an idea. It is amazing that we have accomplished online
what is very difficult to accomplish within our own buildings or school
districts. I envy those of you who do not have this problem. We are
expecting students to show respect, when sometimes we as teachers (and yes,
administrators) are not giving fellow staff members respect...or showing
support of their programs. Perhaps we can fault standardized testing for
this...but that is just an excuse. Some of us may teach in a situation where
the attitude is "Look out for yourself. No one else will". Maybe I try to
help others, too much...but I do not want to look at that as a character
flaw...but as a asset. I encourage all of you to share the wonderful
experience, the caring and sharing of this list to your fellow staff
members. I now have a few staff members in my building that are excited
about the connections we can make and do not look at my enthusiasm as a
threat...but as a help to their program and mine. Your kindness will grow
I do believe in miracles--no matter how small. I had a very small miracle
myself this weekend. Look for guidance in your God. Talk freely with your
students about religion and how important religion has been and continues to
be important in the arts. You can not separate the two. God has given us
many ways to celebrate his kindness and good. It doesn't matter what name we
call God. Religion is a gift that God has given to man. And God gives each
culture a different way of celebrating. The more we share acceptance of
religions of others the closer you will feel to your God. Even science is
admitting that there has to be a God.
I know some Native America cultures (and probably others, as well) take
offense to our teaching of their beliefs. I say we need to understand them
better. Our 'beliefs' (Christian beliefs) are part of their (Native
American) curriculum and I am not proud of the things I have read. It is up
to us and the children we teach to mend these differences. Let us also share
how religions are alike...how there are certain truths...certain beliefs
that bridge all cultures.
While I had a very difficult time (emotionally--not worth going into here)
in a class a took on Lakota Culture....I did take one bit of good from the
class. The homosexuals in Lakota culture are looked upon with respect and
honor (this is what we were told..so please, do not tell me now if you know
otherwise). They are the teachers. This is what I share with my students
about the Lakota culture when I hear another student calling another "fag"
or "queer"--whether they mean it or not.
So let us pass our knowledge onto our peers. Let us celebrate our
accomplishments...Let us lend a helping hand....Let us be the role models
for our students. I am taking my own advice and will try to become a better
role model. How can we build self-esteem in our students if we are not
permitted to be proud of our own accomplishments?
I know many of you will not have time to read this.....but, sometimes
letters are meant to be written. This is my chance to have a voice.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 23 2000 - 12:27:46 PDT