I have an old, photo-copied, hand-out from a workshop that I went to about 11 years ago. Before everything was digital. I have always had it in my ‘work space’ since I got it. The workshop still sticks with me today, it was about conflict resolution. We watched “The Rainbow Wars” (for a synopsis of the 20 minute movie, click here), read the short reading I’m posting below, and then brainstormed what educators can do to help teach conflict resolution strategies.
I don’t know the source of this writing, all I know is Tim Veal was one of the workshop facilitators. I have typed it exactly as it looks on the paper I have in my workspace. After you read it, let me know what you think about: Why do we teach? Or anything else that the reading prompts in you. I’d love to hear back.
AS A TEACHER, I HAVE TAUGHT A THIEF, A SCHIZOPHRENIC, AN EVANGELIST, AND A MURDER. THE THIEF WAS A TALL BOY WHO HID IN THE SHADOWS AND WHOM THE OTHER CHILDREN AVOIDED. THE SCHIZOPHRENIC RARELY SPOKE BUT GAZED AT ME WITH TINY EYES FILLED WITH TERROR. THE EVANGELIST WAS CLASS PRESIDENT AND THE MOST POPULAR BOY IN SCHOOL. THE MURDERER SAT AND STARED OUT THE WINDOWS. OCCASIONALLY LETTING OUT A SHRIEK THAT WOULD SHIVER THE CLASS. THE THIEF STANDS LOOKING THOROUGH THE BARS OF HIS PRISON CELL.
IN THE STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL, THE SCHIZOPHRENIC IS RESTRAINED FROM BEATING HIS HEAD ON THE FLOOR. THE EVANGELIST SLEEPS IN THE CHURCH YARD, VICTIM OF A DISEASE CONTACTED DURING HIS MISSIONARY WORK. THE POLICE NO LONGER SEARCH FOR THE MURDERER SINCE HE WAS, HIMSELF, KILLED IN A BALLROOM BRAWL. AND ALL OF THEM SAT IN MY CLASSROOM AND LISTED AS I TAUGHT ENGLISH.
I MUST HAVE A TREMENDOUS HELP TO THEM. AFTER ALL, I DID TEACH THEM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NOUN AND A VERB AND HOW TO DIAGRAM A SENTENCE.
Again, I have proofread this, and this is exactly the same as the original in my office.
Why do we teach?