Monthly Archives: October 2011

Odd Observations in the Classroom

Teachers, have you ever noticed (and this question is strictly rhetorical) that some children stare vapidly into space as you teach a lesson and when called upon for an answer you would swear they hadn’t been in the room? It’s not that they aren’t interested – I mean most children cannot go the entire day without wanting to learn and participate.  In the early years, it is natural for children to be interested in academics and school.  No, seriously. But there is always at least one child in the room for whom learning seems to be a delayed process in a short-term manner, not in the long term.  It is as though they are having difficulty processing incoming data. watch quiet kids

The odd thing is that when these same children bring their work to me for grading, it is  perfect.  And they are independent workers.  They grasp the idea, they grasp the lesson but somehow they cannot verbalize it.  Even when not called upon to speak in front of the class they seldom if ever offer an answer. These children are solid in their learning.  They don’t require IEPs and they learn as well as the others in any sort of learning style – Gardiner would relate to that one.  Yet answers seem to be way beyond their grasp during the lesson.  I doubt it’s strictly shyness and unwillingness to speak in front of a group.  I mean, okay it could be with some kids but with all who exhibit this odd behaviour?  Watch self-esteem and learnig.

These are the types of classroom behaviours I don’t really “get”.  Perhaps it all comes down to a healthy self-esteem.  That I can accept.  And short of being able to observe the child’s role within his or her family structure (since this is the foundation of our sense of self) the only nudge upwards I can invent for my students is some sort of motivation in learning.  We’ve all done that.  Stickers, rewards, praise.  It does help.  I reward the effort, not necessarily the result. This video in fact shows the opposite of how to encourage children to speak out and participate in classroom learning.  I mean seriously who is going to speak to children this way?  Watch expectations: the self-fulfilling prophecy

It is this is the sort of baffling behaviour I ask bout among other educators to see what they make of it or what they have learned about it at in-services or when taking their Masters degrees.  Interestingly, when I ask them they give me a blank stare.  And say nothing. watch scores gives shy students a voice


Boy Scouts of Canada’s Hidden Peophile List an Outrage Against the Law and the Community

Yes we know that there are sick individuals in this world who have an unhealthy sexual attraction towards children who are usually without secondary sexual characteristics (ie. have not yet entered puberty).  What we also know is that Canadian Law and Ontario Law in particular demands that whenever a convicted pedophile is either identified as such or released from prison into a community that person has to be identified to the community for the protection of its children.  This clearly is not always the case.

The Canadian Boy Scouts of Canada have kept a hidden record of hundreds of former Boy Scout leaders who have been convicted of sexual molestation of its boy scouts; or at least their conduct has been so suspicious and ambiguous as to warrant dismissal of that leader.  To be sure there is a lack of justice in submitting the suspicion against what may or may not be a perpetrator, especially should that person be innocent.  People have committed suicide over being suspected of sexual allegations against children.  Not nice.

However there are convicted and non-convicted pedophiles who have somehow gotten under the radar and been accepted as leaders in the Boy Scout community and of course these perverts have violated vulnerable, young boys.  That the Canadian government has permitted the Scouts to withhold this information from the public is nothing short of a violation of justice and a moral outrage. Indeed this list goes well beyond not revealing this information to the public. There have been instances where the boy Scouts have allowed known pedophiles to continue to function as Boy Scout leaders without informing parents. Read “Scouts Canada kept confidential list of peophiles”.

The Boy Scouts should have been forced to report such incidents to local authorities and in turn the authorities to notify the media and reveal the molsters’ identification and abuse of children. Yet the Scouts chose not to. Why? Because they feared they would jeopardize their reputation in Canadian communities.

Say what?

They were more concerned about their professional reputation than about publicly protecting children from sexual molestation.  Watch Boy Scouts Sued over Abuse Case

Here is an organization that professes to lead by example, offer opportunities of maturation and growth, as well as positive community involvement to young boys and youth as they enter into puberty and adulthood.  No doubt the Scouts does do a very good job of offering those opportunities and accomplishments to its children.  Doubtless the Scouts is overall an honourable and well-intended organization that does harbour a concern for children and for the future of Canadian communities. Watch Kerry Lewis awarded $18.5 million for abuse by Boy Scouts

But it also cares a lot more about its reputation than its tenets.

And that, my friends, is the protocol of the Canadian Boy Scouts.