Note To Parents
I am occasionally asked by parents why I cover news stories as a bellringer at the beginning of class. I am of the belief that part of my job is to help students not only become more knowledgeable citizens but also find their own voice within a classroom setting. Whether they are destined for college or the business world after high school it would be a disservice to them for us not to prepare them for what they will deal with as adults.
I realize that many parents may worry about the possibility of indoctrination within the context of this activity. As a father I can completely understand this fear. It is my strong belief that it is not the place of the teacher to attempt to mold students as they see fit. I spend a large part of this time period covering point of view and bias and am very open about the fact that they must be careful of the personal bias of everyone, including myself. I do my absolute best to give students a ‘middle of the road’ view of these stories while explaining what some of the more radical elements do to sway opinion. The problem with this is that everyone has a different view of where the “middle” is. It is my sincere hope that each student discusses these stories with you at the dinner table and in this way can get another viewpoint on the story.
If you ever feel like a story has been misrepresented in class please feel free to contact me. Since this is so far from my intentions it is something that I want to know if it is done unintentionally. Please email me in these instances at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the course of the year students will often be given clips of videos (all of which fall under the district guidelines). This is done to visually reinforce concepts covered in class and break up the monotony of assignments. These clips are almost always quite short in length and I find can be a great teaching tool to keep the students interested. I do my best to find video clips that are informative and interesting but may also use humor to bring a point across. I find that this helps with the theatrics that all teachers must use to keep the attention of young learners. If you have any questions or concerns about students being shown these video clips please don’t hesitate to email me at the address above.