Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Values and setting priorities

The teacher I subbed for the other day had an interesting values exercise for a high school English class which was tied, in some way, to an assigned reading. First step...take 12 listed values and quietly, prioritize them for yourself. Do you think world peace is more important than a clean environment or a healthy, happy family? The list was a good one and the kids finally got that they could put whatever they wanted and we discussed who put love as their number one value and why? Various told their first, their fifth, their twelfth and why in that order for them. Finally, one student raised his hand and said, "Mrs. C, what are the right answers?" That stymied me because it indicated at least one person didn't get that this is personal and individual. Furthermore, this must not have been a topic addressed in his family or maybe not earlier in school. Not sure, but surprising....and I don't believe the kid was convinced when I told him there is NO one answer to this. I loved the exercise and so wanted the homework assignment to be to write a paper defending their values and the priorities they gave to each. That would have opened a window into their hearts and their lives. I am remembering why I loved teaching!

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