Happy New Year!
A couple of things happened to me during a lovely Victorian Christmas break that made me reflect on the powerful influence that all of us - and I'm talking about parents and teachers here - have over the young people in our care.
Firstly, I was on the train to the MCG for the Boxing Day Test Match. It's a trip that I'd completed countless times in my younger days and before our family moved to Darwin. I was excited for the big match and clearly the other passengers were too. I noticed an elderly couple nearby who were discussing the prognostications in the paper about the match. Behind them sat a group of three teenage boys whose excitement manifested as loud, yet friendly, banter and conversation. No big problem - except for the swearing - which was obviously disturbing the elderly couple. To the lads' credit, after I'd given them a couple of subtle knowing looks they piped down. But it made me wonder how they got the impression that this type of public obscenity was ok.
I drove home to Darwin from Melbourne - all 3768kms! I stopped for a night at an outback roadhouse, ordered a cool drink and sat in the "alfresco" area enjoying the desert sunset. A young family was at the next table and again my ears were pricked to the abhorrent language being used by the parents in front of their two children. Ah, I think I might know where the train teens got the idea from.
Parents and teachers need to reflect hard and often on the example we are setting.
As teachers, our behaviours are often teaching more than the subject matter. It is for this reason that a regularly re-visited Personal Teaching Philosophy (PTP) is critical and so is a linked Classroom Management Plan (CMP).
As parents, the example we set is everything.
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