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High school teacher tells graduating students: you’re not special

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posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by PurpleChiten
For the love of GOD people, READ the transcript and at least know what was actually said before you go on and on and on about how horrible the guy was!!!! Sheeeesh.

www.bostonherald.com...


At best it's scattershot and lacking coherence, at worst it's deeply patronising and bordering on fascistic (notice the obligatory reference to 'Darwinian competition'). Despite saying he avoids clichés, the whole thing is loaded down with clichés. Despite supposedly encouraging and enlightening these children, he continually implies the students are over privileged, soft and spoiled - but never attempts to justify that or to explain what the consequences of that might be.

People here seem to be claiming he has offered some great advice. Where is the advice? The only actual advice he seems to offer could come out of any self-help book. "Climb a mountain because you LOVE it, not to plant a flag" jesus christ. Is that supposed to be a great speech now?

IMO this is a shallow and selfish speech which will only confuse these kids further about what our roles in this world are supposed to be. This guy is definitely a gatekeeper of the old system, and is offering nothing new to those who want a better world.




posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by albertabound
 


Ridiculously overpaid? I'm sure in your mind, professional athletes, celebrities, government officials, and CEO's deserve their million dollar salaries. I swear, the people who attack teachers must have been students that had a deep hate for them, or were the disruptive students in the class room who didn't care about their education.


I know in my state, all teachers hold a master's degree. We are by law expected to take 9 graduate credit classes every 5 years to keep our teaching certificate valid. We are always continuing our professional development during the school year. That means learning new technologies to implement in the classroom, new ways of motivating students to learn, improve on state assessments etc...

A country without a strong education system is NOTHING! You wouldn't have anybody to fix your car, appliances, your house. You wouldn't have doctors to save your life, and attorneys to protect your life. You wouldn't have been able to post your shallow comment without realizing a teacher taught you how to read and write!

Yes, I am a teacher and I can tell you this, I worked in the private sector for 10 years before becoming a teacher. If someone would have told me I would be a teacher in 10 years I would have told them they were crazy! Circumstances in my life, such as lay-offs, closing my own business and learning a new technical skill (CAD), just happened to be place me into the teaching professions. So I've been where you may be right now. I didn't go straight from getting a teaching degree into the teaching profession. So I think I have a much better perspective than you, and all the ignorant government officials out there who put the priority of education on the bottom tier.

I never complained about teachers and how much they made, because I came from a family of teachers. I grew-up in a low income family and my mother was a teacher! My dad passed away when I was only 2. Back than teachers made diddly squat. If it wasn't for the teachers union, they would still be paid diddly squat! For the amount of education a teacher has, the power they have to mold children and impress upon them the importance of succeeding in life through education and hard work, I think they deserve every penny they earn. Some career and technical teachers spend more time in a day with their kids than their own parents! They know more about what's on a child's mind sometimes than their parents realize. Remember some of these kids intrust teachers with secrets they feel they can never tell their parents. We serve as counselors and teachers, and at the same time deal with a multitude of students who have parents who take drugs, parents who are incarcerated, students who are homeless, in foster care and students who have behavior problems. They bring a lot of baggage to school everyday. Sometime teachers are the only bright thing in a students life!

Teacher wear many hats from counseling students on their behavior, problems they have at home, policing the hallways and breaking up fights. Many teachers across this country are injured yearly due to fights they break-up. If some of these overpaid teachers didn't put themselves between some of these ugly fights, some children can easily be maimed or accidentally killed. I personally had a student in my class that was stomping on a students head before the start of school. He served jail time and the other boys doctor said one more stomp on this kids head could have left him paralyzed. The boys mouth was wired for 3 months. Thankfully a teacher intervened. How many teachers have prevented more deaths in school shootings? Teachers care for these kids and don't think twice about protecting them from harm.

I wish I can say the same thing about school boards, administrators, and government officials. Their concern is mostly about putting the blame on teachers, or put a band-aid on the problem or how they can shuffle data around to make them look good in the eyes of the public. They also make sure they're salaries and raises are never in jeopardy.

Some professions have a strong impact on society and teaching is one of them. They should be valued and paid accordingly. For as much over spending and injustices government officials have created, you would think their salaries and benefits would be an outrage. They use serving the public as a lifetime career.

If you're still upset about teacher's salaries, go back to school and become a teacher if you think the grass is greener on the other side. A few "F bombs" and a "few screw you", and constantly fighting to get your student's attention to listen, breaking up fights, students complaining about their home life, I guarantee after a month you'll ask yourself, what did I get myself into.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by pravdaseeker
 


I beleive the statistics prove that they are indeed special. At least in comparison when you look at the number that DON'T ever graduate. BUT that's JMO.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by MidnightTide

What happens when you don't understand it? When little John and Sally go out of school and expect everything to be handed to them and when it doesn't they crumple and expect the government (and you and me) to look after them.

These kids should feel lucky that someone told them the cold hard facts of life, most parents don't teach their children that anymore.


Children don't have enough people telling them life is sometimes painful and horrible, so they 'collapse' then go on welfare? Why, that's an absolutely genius theory! Brilliant. Get that man an ATS honorary phd in sociology.

Nearly every child in the world spends half their time being terrified and bullied by something or another. Every book, tv show and movie spends half the time showing people being murdered, blown up, arrested, robbed, exploited and killed, and yet children are getting to age 18 without any awareness of suffering?

The sense of over privilege, unrealistic aspirations, delusions of grandure etc in our society come almost exclusively from advertising and PR. The whole job of that industry is to profit from people's false expectations. Yet the guy making this speech doesn't even offer a second of empathy for these children having grown up under the mental onslaught of that industry.

y'all lack empathy, and y'all lack understanding of the modern paradigm.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:41 AM
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That's right, you're not special. You're an individual because of your upbringing. We are all the same animal.

It was recess, 3rd grade. I was having an argument about something, most likely ball possession, with another child. He told the teacher. The teacher, miss Enns, asked me if I thought I was special. I knew this one. I watched a lot of TV. I proudly told her the answer I knew was right, "yes." Wrong answer. I was told to go sit down and think about it. I did. I decided that miss Enns was ugly and mean, so she didn't know what she was talking about. I, however, was up on the latest in educational programming. Mr Rogers told me I was special.

I kept growing my ego, and others fed it. I went full on transcendental. I met other egotists. We all screwed each other over. We were easily led around by our egos. Flattery got you everywhere.No matter how much my ego ripped me apart, I always thought it was the one thing I could rely on.

We can't escape individuality. Parents and peers will mold us depending how they were molded. We may eventually overcome the damage, but we will have the memories. We will have nostalgia. We will have purchased nostalgia as well. We will be DC Comics people or NFL people.

What we have to do is find out who we really are. If we are honest and thorough, we will all come up with the same answer.

This is not to be confused with forced homogenization. This is what the military has always done all over the world. The soldier is first stripped of everything. But, before the soldier can realize who he or she is, the soldier is told to be and contractually forced to be the person the military needs. However, the soldier is allowed nostalgia when not working. This is referred to as "Army of One".



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by pravdaseeker
 


If only someone would give a speech to the useless parents who raise 95% of today's kids. Why are so many of them so screwed up? Because their parents are so weak that they can't overcome the media programming. No matter how much programming is "out there" to turn your kid into another useless adult, if you are a parent worth a damn, your kid shouldn't end up succumbing to it. If you can't handle the responsibility of raising your kid right, then for the sake of all of us, go get snipped!

The obly thing that annoyed me about the post is that, like every person who makes the similar point, it always seems to be the honor roll kids who are singled out for having no "street smarts" or common sense. In my experience, usually the dumber the kid, the less common sense he/she has. I've always felt this notion of the smart gets being really dumb outside of school books is an exception to the rule, stretched as being the norm by those who are jealous of those who are smarter than them. Its basucally an easy shot to ridicule intelligence - something tptb would love, i'm sure.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by pravdaseeker
 


It also depends on what definition the teacher is thinking of, too:
Special:

of a distinct or particular kind or character: a special kind of key.
I don't think this is what was meant.

how about def 2 ?
being a particular one; particular, individual, or certain: You'd better call the special number.

If he was referring to this one then 100% he was wrong because every single one of us is an individual...sounds like NWO propeganda tripe telling people we are not individuals and I would hope this is not the definition to which he was referring.

lets see maybe this one?
pertaining or peculiar to a particular person, thing, instance, etc.; distinctive; unique: the special features of a plan.

I am sure this isn't what he meant because everyone has a thing that is special to them at least personally.( a special pet etc)

Hmmm maybe this?
having a specific or particular function, purpose, etc.: a special messenger.

With this one he may be half right, except the high achievers and the star athletes in school fit into this category, so he is only partially right here.There are certain exceptional people. How about the Veledictorian? HMMM???You think he/she should be a janitor at the wal mart? Probably not. This makes them special and have a purpose they fit both aspects of this definition, so he needs to go back and study English again.

maybe this?

distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual: a special occasion; to fix something special.

Okay that simply just doesn't fit, but it does fit for a graduation, it is a special occassion and should be celebrated, however this can't be applied to people, so.

Just saying.

JUST SAYING.

edit on 9-6-2012 by ldyserenity because: sentence correction.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by dogstar23
reply to post by pravdaseeker
 


If only someone would give a speech to the useless parents who raise 95% of today's kids. Why are so many of them so screwed up? Because their parents are so weak that they can't overcome the media programming. No matter how much programming is "out there" to turn your kid into another useless adult, if you are a parent worth a damn, your kid shouldn't end up succumbing to it. If you can't handle the responsibility of raising your kid right, then for the sake of all of us, go get snipped!


This programming has been deliberately fed into our system for at least 100 years, the parents of these failing children are undoubtedly heavily infected with it, as we all are. The children growing up in the last 30 years have received it on a unprecedented level since the advent of mass communications. Anyone making statements about the distorted social values of modern kids and not including this in their evaluation, has failed, and is likely to be unable to offer any rational advice. This speaker apparently does not realise it, so he has failed.

I agree that it's our own responsibility to see past it all, and to grow ourselves into decent, aware and functional humans, but I don't think we should underestimate just how effective this ruse by the propaganda industry has been.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by ldyserenity
It also depends on what definition the teacher is thinking of, too:
Special:

of a distinct or particular kind or character: a special kind of key.
I don't think this is what was meant.

how about def 2 ?
being a particular one; particular, individual, or certain: You'd better call the special number.


Or in the context when he tied it together by stating the following at the end of his speech, it gives a clear picture in my mind that the speech was about individualism and that "special" and "extraordinary" are earned titles in what we achieve in life, not just by getting a participation trophy or a kindergarten "diploma", but by actually going out and making something of ourselves.


...you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.



If he was referring to this one then 100% he was wrong because every single one of us is an individual...sounds like NWO propeganda tripe telling people we are not individuals and I would hope this is not the definition to which he was referring.


Quite the contrary given he was telling these kids to do something with their lives and get out and do it; not just sit around waiting for it to be handed to them like it has been up to this point. Cliche's and all -- albeit better than most of the cliche's we are used to hearing in these commencement speeches -- the overall point from the speech that I walked away with was...live your life in a way that in the end it will be special, it will be extraordinary because you sought it out.

To each their own in how we read what he said I suppose.
edit on 9-6-2012 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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I just wish that someone had the guts to say that when i graduated from high school.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by ldyserenity
 


Hello ldyserenity, ATS Readers, Writers,

LOL.. WOW, when you put it in that light.. they are "special"; especially since at least they got their high school diploma!

And congrats you have especially indentified ANOTHER one of those "levels of special-ness"...

Agree... the number who do NOT graduate is getting worse and worse.. and that is very sad, and yet still SPECIAL in its own right.

After a few more special pages, we can start a special thread on LEVELS of special-ness..

Especially if we play our special cards right.... we can START A SPECIAL RELIGION on being special,, get tax free special bennies from the special tax people etc..

We can even build a mega-special-church.... and especially go live on TV on Sunday mornings... have a SPECIAL CHOIR EVEN!!! Special channel, Special satellite even... oh god... I am having a special moment..lol.

And special benches to sit on, with special cushions to kneel on, etc...even special song books with original special hymns in them...with fancy special gold writing on its special cover..

These minutely explored levels of "special-ness" are especially as vast and mysterious as the cosmos.. and especially all of creation almost.

We might wanna apply for a special grant, ya think? Especially to study this special topic?

Man, how special..lol..

Special Pravdaseeker



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


Well NOPE then I must fully disagree every single person IS an individual, we are not robots and that sounds like propagandist BS to make a slave class feel "UNINDIVIDUALIZED" or part of the herd. I hate people that instigate the "HERD" mentality. Every one of us is an individual and has their own traits and no two people are exactly the same not even twins. But that doesn't mean they have some great purpose, but telling people they are the same as the person sitting next to them is part of the dumbing down death of the american student and it is to make them feel broken (something the military probably taught this elitist propagandist teacher). They are so very good of stripping a person's individuality from them do you know why? It is so they don't have to feel bad about getting them killed or killing them if it came to that. It is BS pure and utter BS... now just because you're an individual that does not mean feeling entitled...there is no correlation, except the one he made, which is how they manipulate the masses into buying into their BS.
edit on 9-6-2012 by ldyserenity because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-6-2012 by ldyserenity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by ldyserenity
 


I am confused as to where you imply that this isn't about individualism? Is it because he said "because everyone is special"?

Telling high-school graduates -- who most likely are 17-18 years of age that they must go out and find their own isn't individualism? He waxes that we should not do work because we have to, but because we love to do what we are doing -- that isn't individualism?

--------------------------
Would the speaker have been better off to just tell the students that they are precious little angels and the lights of the world and all rests upon their shoulders. They deserve everything because they are special. That the world is cruel but once you leave the soft-cradle of your homestead and set out upon the real world, there will be another homestead that will take you in and cocoon you once again; Government. It will protect you so that when you stumble you will be okay. You don't have to worry about consequences once again, as if you were still a child looking brightly up upon your mother and father looking for acceptance and protection from the cruel cruel world.
--------------------------

See, if he said that above, then you and I would be in dead-locked agreement. But for now, I am not seeing this "elitism"...



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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On the second part of your post. There is a BIG difference with telling someone they are not an individual, and telling them to make their life extroidenary. That is their life that isn't special by any means but they are individuals, and some people could give a hoot about having an extroidenary life, some just want to be happy and really DGAF about what others think or say about them, and that is a different topic altogether. Doesn't make them less of an individual. The only people that speech appealed to is the ones who want to make themselves special. Whic translates "egoists". I'd rather teach my children to be kind instead of being self important. Self important people want attention. I never wanted to have a special life, being loving and nurturing and providing for my family and being happy is all I ever wanted. So I still have to disagree with his speech. What I understand of what you are saying though, I can see that being a good speech for those who care to be deemed "privileged", that's really what he meant while making this speech. With great power comes great responsibility, some just would rather not have that much of a burden in life, and some it isn't a burden because they misuse it and act atrociously anyway, I certainly wouldn't cal those people special. They're anything but. JMO.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:30 AM
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Times are already brutal for young adults. We can't get jobs. You need experience to get a job. You need a job to get experience. This world sucks.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


Well maybe I am reading into it way too far than because of his mention of making your life extroidanary. To me this is implying that those who don't feel they want or need that kind of life, it is looking down on them but like I said maybe I am reading too far into it. I do tend to do that.
I'd also argue that someone who hasn't made an overly extroidanary life may be an extroidanary impact on someone elses, but now we're just talking alot of nuances. It's straddling hairs. I don't know if I agree/disagree with the speech 100% because it is good for those with the want and need to feel important, but most people just want to be safe, happy, and healthy. Some people just love learning more than having some important position. Me I am one of those I want to learn as much as I possibly can in my lifetime, so I won't have any big important "Special" jobs, mine will be just to make a living because I will dedicate my time to learning and have several jobs in several arenas because every new job is another learning experience about a different career.

I guess though to this teacher I'd be a loser sheep.
edit on 9-6-2012 by ldyserenity because: edited for spelling and sentence structure.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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It makes me laugh even more when these same kids claim to be "the most social generation EVER".

Sure, but take away your electronics, put 20 of you in a room with each other and force you to TALK to each other and you'll be terrified.

These kids need to realize that on day 1 after graduation, it's "welcome to the real world".

But the scary part is that even throughout college, university, and even through the start of their careers, many parents continue to coddle their children. It's absolutely FRIGHTENING to find out the complete lack of real world skills that many college graduates have these days.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by ldyserenity
Well maybe I am reading into it way too far than because of his mention of making your life extroidanary. To me this is implying that those who don't feel they want or need that kind of life, it is looking down on them but like I said maybe I am reading too far into it. I do tend to do that.


I don't think you are reading too much into it. You are applying critical thought to it and are making good points and discussion.


I'd also argue that someone who hasn't made an overly extroidanary life may be an extroidanary impact on someone elses, but now we're just talking alot of nuances. It's straddling hairs. I don't know if I agree/disagree with the speech 100% because it is good for those with the want and need to feel important, but most people just want to be safe, happy, and healthy.


Aye indeed and I hope that wasn't the crux of his speech -- that we need to achieve "extraordinary" status, but I can see the nuances you refer to. Though he does speak to one of the greatest things in life is to be selfless and I think adding that distinction in there, one can be extraordinary not for their achievements, but for their contributions to those around them; through love and just living life.


Some people just love learning more than having some important position. Me I am one of those I want to learn as much as I possibly can in my lifetime, so I won't have any big important "Special" jobs, mine will be just to make a living because I will dedicate my time to learning and have several jobs in several arenas because every new job is another learning experience about a different career.


Indeed again! But your thirst for knowledge is what makes you extraordinary in these days. The striving for yourself (selfishness isn't always a bad thing) to know more and do so because you love it is what makes you extraordinary. Personally, I think you fall into what this speech is about -- be that person who doesn't stop learning, doesn't stop moving forward and continues to live life for what you love.

Jobs come and go but knowledge stays with us. I have enjoyed this discussion with you.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by babybunnies
It makes me laugh even more when these same kids claim to be "the most social generation EVER".

Sure, but take away your electronics, put 20 of you in a room with each other and force you to TALK to each other and you'll be terrified.

These kids need to realize that on day 1 after graduation, it's "welcome to the real world".

But the scary part is that even throughout college, university, and even through the start of their careers, many parents continue to coddle their children. It's absolutely FRIGHTENING to find out the complete lack of real world skills that many college graduates have these days.

You really need to point fingers at where they should be, at the crap educational system, but I suppose you could just search up the numerous threads here in ATS through the search function, and find out all the info you need on the dumbing down of our children through our horrific educational system, true a great number of parents are at fault too, but our educational system leaves a lot more than to be desired. Of course, no disrespect to our OP by going off topic. If they wanted to have "Special" graduates, though, in this nation they'd stop throwing money on the war fire and try to kindle it in the education departmen, but they don't they want a bunch of mindless drones to be their wage slaves and they need expendables as well.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by WeRpeons
 


Dear WeRpeons, ATS Readers, Writers,

WOW right on!!!

EXCELLENT POINTS and all that rot!!! KUDOS TO YOU!!

Giving you a dang star for that one!! So true.. and sadly becoming more rare these days.




Teacher wear many hats from counseling students on their behavior, problems they have at home, policing the hallways and breaking up fights. Many teachers across this country are injured yearly due to fights they break-up. If some of these overpaid teachers didn't put themselves between some of these ugly fights, some children can easily be maimed or accidentally killed. I personally had a student in my class that was stomping on a students head before the start of school. He served jail time and the other boys doctor said one more stomp on this kids head could have left him paralyzed. The boys mouth was wired for 3 months. Thankfully a teacher intervened. How many teachers have prevented more deaths in school shootings? Teachers care for these kids and don't think twice about protecting them from harm.



I wish I can say the same thing about school boards, administrators, and government officials. Their concern is mostly about putting the blame on teachers, or put a band-aid on the problem or how they can shuffle data around to make them look good in the eyes of the public. They also make sure they're salaries and raises are never in jeopardy.


You know, you sound like one or two of them teachers I had that ACTUALLY made an impression on me..
You are so correct... I have an ex that was/is a teacher...and much of what you say is so true, she had the same things going on..

There were 3 or so that taught me and made a mark..

A Geometry teacher who had a magical way of explaining it all... was able to visualize it.. The original teacher was horrid, was almost failing..the NEW teacher shows up.. different way of explaining, light bulb came on and stayed on..Grade goes to a low A...Cool teacher!!

A music and drama teacher.... had a way with music and the arts.. we did a series of plays, and to this day, none have brought in the money for the school that those 3 plays did way back in the days..lol.

And a history teacher... (who rebuffed my claims as a big lie)..of Germany having a jet fighter during WW2... The next day I brought in a book from the school library... Time Life with LOTS of pics of the ME-262.... LMAO

Asked her if I was a liar, then just WHAT were these photos of.. in THIS Time Life book then???

She flew into a rage and kicked me out of her class... left a mark and a lesson.. some people dont handle being corrected very well...I DARED to unassert her authority.lmao... what a witch she was.. but still made a high B in her class...PURPLE hair and horn rim glasses with one of those chain thingies around her neck??? These types usually mascarade as ENGLISH TEACHERS, but I have come to the conclusion most ENGLISH teachers are aliens, most likely reptilian.. ok maybe not, but dang!!!

I had a biology teacher that was way cool too.... he was just a good friend, he would go hunting with me and my buddies...fishing, etc... in actuality he was always still a kid at heart. GREAT guy!

In todays school world... to be honest I dont know how you do it!

It was a MAJOR scandal if someone wound up getting pregnant in high school.... lol.. It was a much more "prudish" world then.

NOW, or a while back.. a teacher here had to deal with two students having sex ON THE DANG SCHOOLBUS! IN FRONT of other students too! And here is the clincher... they were only 5th graders!!! Whoa!!!!!!

Very small town.. no big city scenario.. and this still happened.. wow..

So no kidding that times have changed... and I do sincerely salute you for your efforts to educate this nations youth.

It once was where a teacher MIGHT have to dodge a punch every once in a while, but that would ONLY happen to a male teacher, never a lady.To now, teacher ladies get the crap beat out of them by other YOUNG student ladies..And even the teachers occasionally need to dodge bullets from students.. death, under the right circumstances...sad sad sad.

It never happened that a student could not distinguish "fantasy" from reality and its consequences. SOMEHOW a bunch of kids these days cant seem to tell the difference between a VIDEO GAME and actually doing something awful...WHY is that?? Perhaps another thread eh?? hmm...

So thanks for trying, and most likely succeeding with many kids, some you may NEVER know about..how you touched their lives..

I hope you are one those few remembered teachers that most kids think of as being "special"..( hmm another level?? lol)

Pravdaseeker



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