My wife and I were both high school teachers. As we looked at the mug shot of James Alex Fields and listened about his fascination with Hitler from his former teacher, we both thought, “I had my share of kids like that”.

In fact, teachers have had, or will have EVERY extremist there ever has been, is now, or will be in the future.

Sometimes they simply adopted the extreme views of a parent. But most suffer from ESP – Estrangement, Shame and Powerlessness. They’re estranged from other kids and teachers, and from what goes on in schools. They’ve had a lifetime of being told that they didn’t live up to others expectations. That’s the formula for shame. They also feel powerless, in part from having so much done to them, but more so from not being able to get their lives to turn out as they’d like, and see other kids lives play out. So much of their behavior that teachers don’t like is their attempt to get or demonstrate they have power to compensate for this powerlessness. This all starts early, sometimes before they come to school.

Birds of a feather flock together. These kids seem to find each other. It’s why we get gangs. ESP leads to the anger we so often see, and what makes them susceptible to radicalization.

More often than not, teachers, other students and school discipline only add to their estrangement, shame and powerlessness.

We have got to do a better job with these kids. We’ve got to help them feel less estranged, and connected and accepted if possible. We’ve got to teach and encourage them to have Unconditional Self Acceptance instead of trying to shame them into compliance. It would help for us to have Unconditional Other Acceptance for them, and let them know it, and encourage other students to do the same. We’ve got to stop provoking futile power struggles, and instead empower them. That may seem antithetical, but it’s needed.

At the very least, if we can’t make them better, we’ve got to stop making them worse.

Images

Teachers may be our best hope for preventing extremists

Comments

rs allen 5 weeks 11 hours ago
#1

What you just described is the perfect job qualifications for a baby sitter!

Not an educator.

naturesmasterpieces's picture
naturesmasterpieces 5 weeks 9 hours ago
#2

Sorry you see it that way, but having been in the classroom, and having specifically dealt with the most troubled and troublesome students my entire career, I can safely say what I envision is anything but a baby sitter, and most definitely an educator. Having UOA or Unconditional Other Acceptance is not coddling them. It's simply accepting that whatever they think, feel, say or do is understandable given what their life experiences have been. That doesn't mean you have to tolerate it. I challenged my kids on a regular basis, but they're more likely to respond to it in a positive way when they know you have UOA. Challenging their thinking, attitudes and beliefs is key to their emotions and behavior changing for the better. Helping them see the dysfunctionality of such things is truly education, not babysitting. Sticking someone in a detention hall, or In School Suspension and just expecting them to sit and be quiet is babysitting. Doing what I'm talking about is anything but. And it's tough and challenging work, but extremely rewarding. People often think these types of kids like being where they are, but they don't - they settle for it, because they don't see any hope of anything better, or ever having what other kids have. I teach them there is hope and show them how to get there.

cappy 5 weeks 7 hours ago
#3

If schools are privatized we could all be in big trouble... It will depend on "who" is doing the "educating" and "what" they are teaching. (taught in a classroom)

rs allen 5 weeks 5 hours ago
#4

Yeh, I get it. I'm okay, you're okay..........just don't go off and kill somebody. That about sizes it up pretty well, doesn't it?

What is it you taught? Home ec?

cappy 5 weeks 5 hours ago
#5

Yep, HOME ec. -It all begins at home, friend. Remember, your outer perception of the state of the world is only as safe as your own inner world. Take this where ever you go.....

Time to take out the "left" and the "right" because no one really knows just who or what that is at this point. Happy eclipse season to you too.

gumball's picture
gumball 5 weeks 4 hours ago
#6
Quote naturesmasterpieces:

Sorry you see it that way, but having been in the classroom, and having specifically dealt with the most troubled and troublesome students my entire career, I can safely say what I envision is anything but a baby sitter, and most definitely an educator. Having UOA or Unconditional Other Acceptance is not coddling them. It's simply accepting that whatever they think, feel, say or do is understandable given what their life experiences have been. That doesn't mean you have to tolerate it. I challenged my kids on a regular basis, but they're more likely to respond to it in a positive way when they know you have UOA. Challenging their thinking, attitudes and beliefs is key to their emotions and behavior changing for the better. Helping them see the dysfunctionality of such things is truly education, not babysitting. Sticking someone in a detention hall, or In School Suspension and just expecting them to sit and be quiet is babysitting. Doing what I'm talking about is anything but. And it's tough and challenging work, but extremely rewarding. People often think these types of kids like being where they are, but they don't - they settle for it, because they don't see any hope of anything better, or ever having what other kids have. I teach them there is hope and show them how to get there.

While I understand your point, I do not understand the word choice here.

How can you describe it as "unconditional acceptance" and then go on to describe how you challenge their viewpoint in order to modify their dysfunctional behavior. That does not seem to fit the term "acceptance", unconditional or otherwise.

rs allen 5 weeks 3 hours ago
#7

reply #5

Who do you think you're addressing. I don't know you from the dog shit I scraped off my boot this afternoon, I am not your friend buddy boy.

Yeh let's all forget left and right or center; the age of Aquarius is upon us! Oh aah sorry my bad, it's only a solar eclipse.

What a baffoon you are. Try to say something of some import the next time you open your mouth.

naturesmasterpieces's picture
naturesmasterpieces 4 weeks 4 days ago
#8

gumball, UOA means you accept that what they think, feel, say or do is understandable given that they're human, and what their life experiences have been. That doesn't mean you accept what they think, feel, say of do. Consider this: suppose on the day you were born, we took 100 other babies and ran an experiment, and put each of them through exactly every life experience you've been through. What would you expect them to think, feel, say or do at this point in their lives. My guess is it'd be much the same as you do. You might get a "bell curve" distribution, with some faring better, and some faring worse. But you'd probably get a whole lot of folks thinking, feeling, saying and doing much the same. We see something like this in real life, as we have many students who have the same type of tough life experiences, and think, feel, say and do much the same. It works the other way too, for kids who have more positive experiences. And when I challenge others, I always try to do it with respect to what they really want, not what I do. I basically ask, "What do you really want?" and then "How's it working for you to think, feel, say or do what you do now?" Dr. Paul Hauck says that if WE don't like something others do, we have 3 basic choices: 1) Problem solve and assert ourselves 2) tolerate with disturbance 3) tolerate without disturbance and 4) leave.

naturesmasterpieces's picture
naturesmasterpieces 4 weeks 4 days ago
#9

rs allen: you do know that "no one upsets you, you upset yourself", right? There was also "I'm okay, you're not okay", "I'm not okay, you're okay" and "I'm not okay, you're no okay". So where are you at? Step in dog shit this morning? Karma?

rs allen 4 weeks 3 days ago
#10

No fool, I have dogs.

naturesmasterpieces's picture
naturesmasterpieces 4 weeks 3 days ago
#11

You have dogs, know they crap anywhere they want, and somehow you manage to step in it. And you call me the fool. :)

rs allen 4 weeks 2 days ago
#12

Hmmm, well now the dogs yard is just over a couple of acres. No, I don't manicure the lawn, in fact I don't manicure any lawn on my property and to call any place on my property 'lawn' is a misnomer , so every once in awhile..........

Now if I kept horses........or goats......or pigs..........or sheep I would have said something else. What I'm thinking though is that you must keep cattle because of all the bull shit you throw about.

naturesmasterpieces's picture
naturesmasterpieces 4 weeks 1 day ago
#13

I had a mentor who said "Everyone steps in it every so often. The important thing is how they handle it".

As for how you might choose to look at anything I post, that's YOUR choice. I have no control over how you do, so would never both trying to change your mind. But it's MY choice how I look at what I do, and lucky for me, no one gets to make that choice for me, unless I let them. And I choose not to.

BTW, this is a quite empowering approach to teach kids, to deal with bullying and other such things.

Did you know one of Ellis' favorite words was "Horseshit". Not sure why he picked that instead of bull.

rs allen 4 weeks 12 hours ago
#14

And you stepped in it when you started speaking for cappy instead keeping your nose out of it; what I had to say to him or her had nothing to do with you. My reasons for responding to him/her had nothing to concern yourself about and yet you stepped into it. Then, after stepping in it you strut around trying to blow smoke up everyones ass as if your shit doesn't stink.

Yeh we get it, you've got your myth.......you've got your guru..........you've latched on to your pole star............blah blah blah.

Go sell your snake oil someplace else.

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