An educated mind is an opened mind. An opened mind is a liberal mind. Teachers don't have to intend to create liberals, it happens naturally.

On the inside:

  • Why do we teach?
  • Links to other education-related stories.
  • As always, the topics will be whatever you want to discuss.

Door's Open...

Why do we teach?

Topic, topic, who's got a topic? (cue Bob and Doug MacKenzie)

I'm still undecided about whether I really and truly need to stay at Daily Kos for the long term.  The past several days, with the firing of a couple of transsexual people (one a City Manager, one a faculty member at a college in Michigan) tends to sway me to stay.  Someone has to speak up for them.  On the other hand, it's not really all that good to see that pacifists are made to feel less than welcome here and this past week, a shot across the bow of we who consider ourselves altruists:  in Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. it was suggested that altruistic people don't really exist.  That bothers me, because my hippy altruism is what lead to my choice to become a teacher.

And then several people claimed it would be a good idea to bash Guiliani by using the same type of gender slurs used to attack Coulter.  And, of course, yesterday was simply horrid with the latter.  I have absolutely no understanding of people who can decry her homophobic rantings about Edwards on the one hand and on the other behave exactly like her in spouting transphobic, misogynistic, and/or totally uniformed rantings supposedly directed at her:  Folks, the people reading Daily Kos are it's members, like me and you, not the Ann Coulters of this world.  Can't we show a little respect for people on our own side?

But part of what makes me a teacher is also my sense of duty.  I'm certainly not the best at always getting things done on time, but when I start to do something, I do try to see it through.  Back at the end of last year I mentioned that the Women's Studies Program at this college were going to be doing a program on Human Trafficking in March.  Well, March is here.  I need to do my part, which is to create a "web presence" for our program.  If not here, where?  It is clear to me that it would be more productive to use Daily Kos as my medium, to attend the events when I can, and to write my impressions and maybe generate some interest in the subject amongst the members here.  It will be a set of Workshops, if you will.  I'll let you know when we have a name.  My goal will be to convey to you the horror in what I am learning.  I imagine it will also be painful.

At the present time we have the following events planned (fabulously so by my partner, who is the Women's Studies Program coordinator):

Name, Organization, Date
(Survivor of Human Trafficking), iAbolish, TBA
Stacy Hanrahan, NGO at UN, 3/7
Cate Griebel, Safe Horizons, 3/20
Nancy Bacci, Bloomfield College: Button Making Workshop, 3/21
Dina Yarmus (Student at Ursinus College), United Students Against Sweatshops, 3/22
Women’s Studies Student Presentation on Human Trafficking, 3/28  
Robert Ross, Clark University/Slaves to Fashion, 3/28  
Film: Lives for Sale, 3/29  
Elissa Steglich, AFSC – Newark/Immigrant Rights Program, 4/12  
Video: Frontline, various

I also have to admit that I care about the friends I have made here.  One of the regrets of my life is that the fractured nature of my life path has meant that many, many good friends have been left behind because I simply am not good at keeping in contact.  I want my friends to be able to participate, in whatever vicarious way that might happen, in the April nuptials of my partner and myself :-).

So I'll keep a hammer by my computer and when I see something that really causes me psychic pain, I'll whack my thumb with the hammer:  I'm told the brain can't handle two pains at once.  

It gets hard to be here sometimes, but when the going gets tough, it's time for the teachers to step forward and do more teaching.  We represent, after all, the embodiment of the collective memory of humankind.  It is up to us to weave the stories for the next generation of learners...and the next generation of teachers.  That sentiment is a pretty good description of why I became a teacher in the first place and the attraction that has kept me doing it.  I certainly know that it wasn't to train people to work.

How about you?  Why did you become a teacher?  Why do you still do it?

--Robyn Elaine Serven
--Bloomfield College, NJ

Education Round-up:  I've categorized.
Philosophy and PoliticsStories:  Ourselves and OthersFreedom on CampusNCLB/Department of Education/Standardized Testing/AssessmentMoneyAction, Advocacy and Information
I'll be hanging around most of the day, actively waiting for your comments (actually, I'll be working in another program, but I'm close by), so at least one person will be here to discuss whatever anyone wants to discuss.
The Not-so-many Rules
  • No general bashing of administrators, politicians, etc, just on general principles. If you want to bash them, have a point and a plan.
  • No bitching about students unless you're talking about what you are going to do to alleviate the problems you think the students have.
  • Introductions are encouraged, but not essential.
  • I have no investment in hosting the Teacher's Lounge. If someone else thinks they can and wants to do it better, cool.  I just want the space. And not for teachers only, but respecting the general theme of teaching and learning.
  • Teacher's Lounge can be "slow blogging" if you want it to be.  You don't get quality writing if you demand velocity.  It doesn't have to be the case that something posted today is dead by tomorrow. I would like it to eventually be up and active 24/7, but that may have to wait until I have developed an independent blog site.

Every Saturday I'll post a clean slate, between 10am and 12am EST.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 08:52 AM PST.

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