Sunday, March 3, 2013

School must be more than academics . . .

Last week I placed this Presentation Zen post in my blog file for possibly sharing at some time on my blog.  In his blog post, Garr Reynold's shares an example of graphic story telling and visual narrative.  It is a poem by Canadian poet and writer Shane Koyczan that carries a message for all of us.  Coincidentally, later in the week a high school student happened to share the same video with a teacher suggesting that he play it for the class.  The teacher then shared it with a team of teachers focused on bullying and relationship issues at the school.  The student used these words in her request.

I found this really amazing video talking about bullying. I was just wondering if there is a way to get the school to play it in front of the whole school? Or at least in our class? I also have an mp3 of a man talking about how the size of a woman's body or how they look shouldn't define them, if that could be played too? It would really mean a lot because I don't think our school talks about these problems enough, even though these are huge issues in our community.

As we continue our focus on instruction we sometimes lose sight of issues that young people face at home, in school , and in our community that influence their capacity for learning.  It is requests such as this from a high school student and messages such as that being shared by Koyczan that remind us that there is more to our work than aligned curriculum, assessments, and instructional practice.  Our school environments must be places where ALL young people feel they are safe and contributing members of our school communities before they can be academically successful. 

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