This post, uploaded during the fall 2012 presidential campaign, speaks volumes about what children see, hear, and absorb, and it quotes, perhaps my favorite education authors, Ted and Nancy Sizer. While their book was written for teachers, it is just as apt for parents, grandparents, and others who are concerned about children.
Already in the 2016 campaign, kids are hearing, picking-up, and at times using the uncivil, and sometimes uncouth comments made in the media. We adults need to do all we can to ensure that children have a way to unplug. We must also plan to spend a considerable amount of time talking with them about what’s happening and why rudeness, disrespect, and cruelty are not options.
They watch us all the time. The students, that is. They listen to us sometimes. They learn from all that watching and listening.
–Theodore and Nancy Faust Sizer, The Students are Watching, 1999, Beacon Press
The Sizers wrote about classrooms and schools, explaining that students learn from what their teachers do and say and also from the things their teachers do not do or say. The authors illustrated their points in many ways, demonstrating how much our students learn from the things we do not do.
I read the Sizer’s book in the later 1990s with my growing child at home, so it was easy to see how the lessons applied not just to teachers but also to everyday family life. The message — that children learn from what we don’t do and don’t say…
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