Big Idea: It's Thanksgiving, the time when generations get together and differences jump out. Here are some things to think about before you go into those conversations.
This week, try this: If someone says something offensive like, “So, I hear you’re still teaching. Why don’t you find job that makes real money?” try this: take a breath and pause, and do NOT get defensive. Once blood is spilled, the piranhas feast.
Then you can respond with humor: “Oh, I have faith that someday one of my students will give me a cut of their earnings once they’re famous!”
Or maybe respond with honesty: “It’s not about the money for me. I’m fulfilled by how I can make a difference in kids’ lives. High fives and hugs mean more to me than some big house I’d just have to clean.”
You can then also redirect the conversation: “In what other career could I get to join 12-year olds in playing with scalpels? Could you teach me how to make this gravy? Mine is always lumpy…”
Quote: "Guilt and defensiveness are bricks in a wall against which we all flounder; they serve none of our futures." (Audre Lorde)
Educator Resource: Ethical and Moral Dilemmas Discussion Starters. One of the core competencies of Social Emotional Learning is Reinforcing Decision Making. Just having open conversations with kids about emotions and daily interactions is a great way to teach and model how to be a good human. These can be used to debate in social studies, as writing prompts in ELA, or as discussion starters when you have some time at the end of class, or as a regular thing, like “Moral Mondays” (yes, I just made that up!).
Dad Joke: What do Thanksgiving turkeys become after they die? Poultrygeists.
Have a great week! ~Matt Weld, ROE #40 SEL Coach
SEL Coach Matt Weld creates and delivers in-person and online SEL-related content.