It has been quiet few weeks in the teaching world with summer break providing much needed time for students as well as teachers to unwind. But all is not that hunky dory otherwise thanks to heated arguments and countless debates on various topics in the wake of Orlando mass shooting has shocked the world.
A lot has been spoken about the tragic incident and I am sure even the students might have been influenced by all that is being said and reported on national media. With next academic year right around the corner, I believe teachers have a huge responsibility to discuss with middle school students about the 4 raging topics that have engulfed our nation in the aftermath of Orlando shootings.
One of the biggest challenges a teacher would face under such circumstances is to create a positive influence by teaching what’s right backed by facts and logic. It is essential not letting a bias against someone or something clouding your judgement as it can have a negative impact on students’ mind.
One of the biggest issues that came to the fore in past few weeks is the hatred against the homosexual community. As a teacher, you need to start a dialogue with your students to know what they actually think about homosexuality. And if you find any negative prejudice creeping into the psyche of the students, step in and squash the root cause of homophobia which is nothing but the fear of people who don’t fall into the society generated norms of sexuality. With the help of compassion and scientific proof, we teachers could eradicate homophobia from the minds of the young ones.
Terrorism and Islam
There has been a lot of noise about ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ with people turning against Islam and Muslim community for the horrendous acts committed by few religious fanatics. Since students’ have impressionable minds they are bound to pick up the trait of blaming Islam for terrorism by observing their elders. As a teacher, it is important to protect children from such religious hatred by reasoning with them. Teachers need to teach their students to respect every religion and not to hate an innocent person based on his/her religious inclination. Teachers must impregnate the thought in their students that every Muslim should not be hated and held accountable for the acts of few radical terrorists. After all, teachers need to perpetrate compassion and not hatred.
Time and again, the discussion of banning guns has erupted in American politics. After the Orlando attack, there has been some serious questions raised against National Rifle Association about the easy accessibility of assault rifles to common man. While the population of America is divided about gun control, it is important to gauge what the students feel about this issue. As a teacher, you need to lay down all the facts and figures on the table, and explain pros and cons of gun control. In the end, let the kids form their opinion about guns and do not influence the students with your bias. It is important that they have a strong, rational opinion about gun control.
The job of a teacher is not just to ensure students’ academic growth but to also develop a fair and rational voice within the students by discussing about tough topics.