At any level, an educator holds a lot of power of their learners – the littlest things we do that we will forget moments later can last with them for the rest of their lives – so before you put down your students, think about what you are doing and how long your words might last.
A few years ago, trapped in the midst of final exam grading, I started posting some of the real howlers I got as answers on Facebook. I didn’t use students’ names, and I don’t “friend” students on FB, so this sort of venting seemed like an OK way for me to keep my sense of humor during the end-term crush.
I have felt guilty about doing that ever since.
Now, I vent plenty on Facebook and (especially) Twitter. PLENTY. But I deploy my snark laterally, or upwards–not down. Not any more. If I am the advocate for teaching and learning that I say I am, then I need to walk the walk. If I argue that failure is not a defeat, but something on which to build successes, then how can I use others’ failures as fodder for cheap laughs?
When I was…
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