Schooling Magazine

Hey Big Red (from the Archives)

By Stevemiranda

When I was in middle school, my friend Artie shocked all of us by shooting spitballs at the vice principal, Mr. Salvatini. It was an incredibly daring move because Mr. Salvatini was a stern man who didn’t tolerate any nonsense. We all got a big giggle from it.

In high school, I had a track coach who was very tall and had long red hair. One day, an older student named Tony walked into the locker room and greeted the coach by saying, “Hey Big Red!” We couldn’t believe his boldness!

* * *

In schools, there is a distinct gap between the students and the grownups. Teachers are set up to be distant authority figures—dispensers of facts and knowledge, but not real people. They’re not supposed to share any parts of their social lives. If they relate to students personally, they’re chastised for being unprofessional, for trying to be “friends” with students.

This never made sense to me in my 10 years teaching in traditional schools. And now that I’m working in a progressive school, I’m gaining a broader perspective on this dynamic.

No student would ever shoot a spitball at a teacher in my school—not because they’d fear punishment, but rather the act would make no sense given the nature of the relationship between staff and students. Staff members at PSCS do not demand respect from students based on their title or an uneven power relationship; they earn their respect by treating students with the same dignity and respect that they treat any other person.

They ask students for input in solving problems, share little details about their personal lives, and apologize to students if they make a mistake. Accordingly, the students respect the staff—and each other—because they’re immersed in an environment that’s based on mutual respect.

Still, many traditional schools prefer an environment of distant, formal relationships over authentic, personal ones. I’m not sure what advantage this offers.

(Join the discussion at www.facebook.com/reeducate. Get updates at www.twitter.com/reeducate.)


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Red Riding Hood

    Riding Hood

    Walking out of Red Riding Hood, I felt a total emptiness in my soul. I could not rage at the absurdity of the story, the effrontery of its capitalization on... Read more

    By  Jake Cole
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Big Game

    Game

    A great new humorous twist on the fake head bust, found over at Ruby's Lounge on Etsy. And the lovely Jennifer has kindly offered to give you, my fine readers... Read more

    By  Beachbungalow8
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN
  • Bright. Red.

    Bright. Red.

    Apparently red pants are quite trendy right now. You should know that I was well ahead of the curve; I saw these pants in Gap last spring and fell in love. Read more

    By  Astylizedhysteria
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Flowers with Red Vase

    Flowers with Vase

    I've been working on this painting for the last couple of days. Although that's not unusual I do typically paint in one session and then I'm eager to move on... Read more

    By  Claytonspost
    ART & DESIGN, CULTURE
  • Big Love, Big Ending.

    Big Love (SPOILER WARNING): Well, it's all over, literally. Big Love wrapped up last night with a bang...again, literally. Bill Hendrickson was shot to death... Read more

    By  Thefriskyvirgin
    ENTERTAINMENT, TV & VIDEO
  • Hey, Y’all! Chow Down with The Bumpkin Gourmet

    Hey, Y’all! Chow Down with Bumpkin Gourmet

    What do country bumpkins and gourmet eating have in common? I’m not sure, but The Bumpkin Gourmet is trying to combine the two in a unique way. Read more

    By  2ndgreenrevolution
    ECO-LIVING, ENVIRONMENT
  • Hey Lyn

    Berlin's famed techno supremo Thomas Schumacher is kindly handing out his original version of 'Hey Lyn' - the remix of which appears as the opening track oh... Read more

    By  Pelski
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC

Magazine