My high school English teacher brought me a special challenge: a way to teach Shakespeare to children. A serious question this brings up for me is, what is more important or practical the language of Shakespeare or the story telling structure?
I have done some initial research with mixed results. This is a question I am going to ponder for the next several weeks. I am taking on the project of creating a project pitch for a media project used to teach Shakespeare to Elementary School kids.
I am having a period in my higher education where changes are being made to OUR education. Teachers have to remember that the students are their first priority. Changes have to be made with the idea that they are improving the educational experience for the students. Too many people focus on the structure, accomplishing goals, passing tests. It’s wrong! Learning should be exciting and relevant and last throughout your life. Test scores don’t determine success. Finishing a class doesn’t mean that you remember what you learned. Teachers need to make their lessons last. Those are the teachers working for the students.
For one of my classes, I listened to a pychfile (an audio podcast) about parenting and specifically focused on rewards and punishments. So here is the breakdown:
Positive Rewards: These are the rewards where the child is given something for being good or doing something good. I good example of this is when children get prizes for each time they successfully use the toilet while potty training. This can be an effective reward system, but the child begins to always expect to be given something. For example, my sister would go on the potty just long enough to get a prize and then go back to wetting the bed.
Negative Rewards: This is when you take away something negative for good behavior. As I best understand this, if the child behaves, they avoid something like a lecture.
Positive Punishment: This is when you give something negative for a bad behavior, like a spanking. This can be very ineffective because the child focuses solely on the punishment. You want the child to remain focused on the behavior.
Negative Punishment: This is when something positive is taken away as a response to poor behavior. The best example of this is a time out. The child does not get to play or socialize because they behaved poorly. After the reward system failed to work on my sister, my parents tried a new approach. She was still doing number 2 in the bed at night, so my Dad tried a negative punishment. He told my sister “sometimes people have trouble going number 2 when they have too many sweets, so we’re going to stop having dessert until you have an easier time going to the bathroom.” My sister never pooed in bed again. I think what is important about this example is that while it qualified as a punishment, my dad explained it like concern for her health.
I just watched a ABC Family Original Movie (I know, but bare with me) title Cyberbully. Long story short, it’s about a teenage girl who attempts suicide because she is harassed by her classmates online. In the end, like any good ABC Family Movie, she stands up to her bullies and draws some attention to the bully.
At the part where she attempted suicide, I actually began crying. I began crying because I know how it feels to think everyone is against you and you are completely alone. It amazes me how cruel kids today can be. There was a girl who jumped in front of a bus two days after Christmas because she had been bullied for years. Even after she died, her classmates where posting comments about how funny it was she committed suicide.
In the study of child and life span development, technology plays a big part, especially in the rate at which children socialize. Think about it. Kids are able to be in constant communication with each other. They can make plans easier and talk in a private sphere. Maybe this isn’t a good thing. Maybe some kids can’t handle the power that comes with socializing online. Now, they don’t have to see the faces of those they hurt. It makes it easier for them to be mean. Bullying, online or face to face, is a very serious problem for children in this country and I think parents need to communicate about bullying with their kids. Not just how to deal with it, but how to avoid becoming a bully and what to do when you see someone else getting bullied. We need to make it more difficult for kids today to become bullies with more consequences.