I just ran across this great article. What an amazing teacher. What a wonderful way to help combat the feelings of isolation before they turn into something destructive. I specifically agree with the belief that the source of outward violence is inward loneliness. After Columbine, after Sandy Hook (only a few miles away from where I live), and after countless acts of violence among children and adolescents, I truly belief that the root cause is loneliness.
This teacher has created a way to be in the “know” about her students. Not just their grades or reading levels, but their inner feelings and the clicks that they may not even be conscious of. And she did all this without having to ask them. I can see this working so well in an elementary classroom.
But how would this work in a middle or high school class? How do we, as secondary teachers, pinpoint the inner loneliness in our teenage students? How do we work within our classrooms to combat those feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and feelings of being lost to a group of humans who by definition are all dealing with those feelings to some extent? How do we as teachers stop the violence before it even begins?
I will keep thinking. Every day. It’s important.