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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Civil Disobedience BY CHRISTY STEVENS

The title of this article could just as easily have been "creating community with your students" or "the way teacher's really get compensated ."

Christy Stevens article touches on many of the points we have discussed in class, while at the same time, bridging our discussion towards that of socio-economic inequities, and the challenges of teaching students with emotional, learning, or behavior disorders.

Teaching in an alternative setting, and working with students who remind me of those mentioned in the article, made this article personal for me.  In my practice, I have found students who are working class, and especially those with additional academic challenges, can get overwhelmed with the idea of fairness.  To read this article and see how they responded when faced with a substitute who broke the norms they had created within the group, really hit home.  I empathize with how let down they must have felt, and am inspired by the way they rallied to protect one another.

The most heartening paragraph was when the teacher was so supported by her administrator.  I am sure all the hard work felt justified at that moment, not to mention the feeling of having tangible evidence that some of the lesson you work so hard to advance, have taken hold.  These are the moments we teach for.  Despite the fact that her students had to go through a difficult day, what they were able to accomplish as a team, and how much closer they must have ended up as a result of the eventual outcome seems a pretty fair trade to me.

here's the link:

civil disobedience


  1. Wow. I just read this article while covering a study hall, and now have tears streaming down my face. How courageous of all of these students and this teacher to put so much faith and trust into their learning. I think what I absolutely loved about your reflection of this reading was this: "these are the moments we teach for." Indeed they are, and here's hoping through all of our discussions and conversations that we are now brave enough to have with our students, that we can someday write about these moments too.

  2. Brain, I can see how this article really hit home for you. I also agree that the community that you create with your students is so important. I also know how hard it is to leave students in the hands of a substitute teacher, who does not know your classroom atmosphere. I also would be incredibly overwhelmed as this teacher was at the depth of her class community and their reaction to someone not following the norms.

  3. What an experience for the teacher and especially those students! Thanks for sharing. In reading so many of these Rethinking Schools articles I would also really love to hear the students' voices - not just in quotations, but as narrators of these great lessons. I am also really curious about where these students are now (or where they will be in a few years). How do these experiences affect them in the future? How will those Legotown builders apply what they learned about power and ownership? How will these students stick up for others in their communities?