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Monday, January 26, 2009

Domo Arragato, Mister Roboto!

We have come to the final week of the Learn Me Good January of Guest Posters! And this week, there are some excellent guests to read and visit!

Today I present another fellow DISD teacher, Kathy, whose blog is called Trimming the Bonsai. Kathy is a Technology Applications Teacher who is also a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher. Her blog documents her incredible trip to Japan and her experiences there.


I recently traveled to Japan as a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher. I saw some amazing things and had a wonderful time. I’ve been sharing my trip with my students as part of my follow up plan and the reactions of my students have been interesting.

Most students are interested in what I ate, what I did, etc. But the strongest reactions I get come when I show pictures of Japanese students cleaning their school. After lunch students clean assigned areas of their school. They use brooms, mops, rags, and cleaning products. I loved watching them work and almost all of them seemed to take great pride in what they were doing. Most of my students are curious as to why we don’t do that here. I kind of gloss over the reasons because I don’t want to get into a discussion of our legal system versus the Japanese one. Then there are the students who make comments like, “You couldn’t make me clean.” And that is disheartening to hear. I’m not sure if cleaning the school would be a great idea, but I would like to see students have a little more pride in their school.

We’re trying something new at my school. We have a huge front lawn and so for the first time since I’ve been here we are keeping everyone off the lawn so that we can have nice grass this spring. The kids caught on quickly to stay on the sidewalk. We’ll see how it turns out!

I hope you enjoy the blog. It was a trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful I got to go. The program has ended and I was in the last group. That made it even more special to me.

Personally, I have a hard time getting my kids just to clean their small area at the end of the day, much less mop down the school! It WOULD be nice to see the kids take a little more pride in the appearance of their school.

My thanks to Kathy, and Sayonara!

1 comment:

Priest said...

Before a person can have pride in anything, they must first have pride in Self. Therein lies the rub. As a society we are still suffering the consequences of the destruction of the Social Contract (Circa 1950s), the self-indulgent hedonist 1960s, followed by the "It's all about me." generations. There is a prevailing social sickness that resides somewhere between Selflessness and Selfishness; both of which are toxic to the Human Condition.

"Pride" is much like "honor, integrity, etc." and all represent learned behaviors. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when attempting to instill in people a sense of something like "personal pride" centers on vested interest. Before anything is presented in terms of behavior modification it is in the presenter's best interest to clearly model how each person addressed is personally vested in the behavior, e.g., what "they" stand to gain. I learned this valuable lesson while working with the Gamaliel Foundation on a 4 County project several years ago.