Inspiring Talk

I found Jim Bentley's talk, "Why we teach is more important than what we teach," inspiring and a sort of call to action.  Two quotes stood out to me from the talk.  "Media is only as strong as the message it conveys," and "Informed and empowered youth can intimidate adults in the court of public opinion."  I feel that my ultimate purpose as a social studies teacher is to help develop my students so they have the knowledge and skills necessary to shape the world they want live in.  I feel like this ties into what Jim is saying and reinforces what I have been working to do with my students.  

Top Replies

  • I think a key take-away for me in Jim's talk was the value of embedding your content in local needs and wants, which requires truly genuine and sustainable relationships with the community. When students…

  • I think a key take-away for me in Jim's talk was the value of embedding your content in local needs and wants, which requires truly genuine and sustainable relationships with the community. When students feel like what they're learning will have an impact in their communities, I think there are elements of the learning the process that then superseded the often skills-heavy focus of state and national standards. 

    This was a great reminder for me about why it is so important to build meaningful, reciprocal relationships within the community where I teach.

  •  I agree completely! Relationships are essential to meaningful learning! I like how you've extended the relationships beyond the classroom walls. The community plays an important role in academic success. It truly takes a village!

  • I agree with you that community relationships are really important.  This reminds me of some recent conversations I have had about trying to better support high need schools.  Often struggling schools are located in a struggling community.  The vast majority of teachers and staff working in these schools come from outside of the community to teach there.  Other than traveling in for work school staff rarely spend time in the area where the school's community is located. This results in a significant disconnect between the school and the community.  It is also difficult for teachers to understand the impact the community has on students when they are not at school.  I used to live within the city I teach but when I purchased a home I bought in a neighboring suburb.  I am less connected to my school's community and while I make an effort to venture into the school's community it often requires a conscious effort to do so.  I really do see a need to provide more support for people from low socioeconomic communities to become teachers, incentives for teachers to live in the communities they teach in, and then we may be able to create schools that are truly neighborhood schools.