Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Professionalism post for forum

This was something I posted last year on a TPRS forum after noticing that teachers are not always civil to one another... I am posting it here to remind myself of the exact same things.

First allow me to say that I am a long time member, very infrequent poster of the forum and that this forum has been invaluable to me over the years to help me learn about ideas of others to try out in my own classroom as well as remind me I am not crazy for using CI / TPRS methods in my classroom instead of more “traditional methods”.

With that said, I have noticed over the last year that this forum has become a place where bullying is tolerated.  It seems as though when someone offers an opinion, others are quick to jump on that and show intolerance.

Would we accept this behavior in our classrooms from students?  Certainly not.

Why do we in turn do it to one another, as we are all professionals?

I believe it's because we are so used to being the experts in our classroom, that our egos can get in the way when talking to professionals.  We forget that we can learn from one another and are all in this together.  And teaching is a journey where we all start in different places.  While I have been trying my hardest to teach with TPRS / CI for five years, I don't believe my first year can compare to the last year. I have grown a lot.

But if we compare the teaching with TPRS / CI to the church for example, do we expect people to be perfect as soon as they start coming to church?  Unfortunately, many do, and it turns people off. But ministry is a messy business with people from all walks of life coming, exploring, changing, backsliding, etc.  It is through the patience and love of the church members that people can continue learning and growing.

Allow me to add that every single person that posts in this forum has an intrinsic worth by simply being a human being.  Their ideas have value.  Their thoughts and opinions have value.  Whether you agree with those ideas or not, it is not your place to lash out at that person in an unprofessional manner.

I remember seeing pictures of poster’s in Martina Bex’s classroom that say:
“Is it true?”
“Is it kind?”
“Is it necessary?”

I believe that this should be something we should keep in mind before posting.

Just because you CAN post a quick quip to someone, in essence tearing them a new one (all for the sake of TPRS and CI), should you?  Is that the best way to dialogue professionally about them?

On my Youtube videos, I am constantly being told incredibly inappropriate things by disgruntled students who hate watching my videos, or simply think it will be funny to hurt my feelings.  Sure I would love to respond, and in the immediacy of the internet age, I COULD so easily respond.  But what do I gain in responding with more hostility?

I used to tell my students a quote I once read, “There’s more to knowing than being right”.

I understand that when we feel as though our beliefs are attacked we tend to fight back, but maybe before you click on the “send” button, wait for 5 or 10 minutes and see if you still feel the same way.  Or why not wait for an hour before responding to allow your head to think about it in a more civil way.

Please, we are all hurting in one way or another and have areas of difficulty in our lives. When we attack others, we can open wounds we aren’t aware of all from the safety of our own home.  Would we say those same words to the person’s face, knowing how that could make them react?

And before you assume that someone is saying something that goes against your beliefs on here, before lashing out, maybe ask them to clarify their thoughts before assuming that they are attacking you or what you believe is right.  That's how we can act professionally.

Again, before posting, I implore you to take some time and then think about the following:
“Is it true?”
“Is it kind?”
“Is it necessary?”

And now, feel free to react, insult me, and lash out at me before taking time and asking yourself or me, "I wonder what he means by that"?


Jeremy Jordan
(aka Señor Jordan from Youtube)


  1. Well said! Love your helpful videos! You are in my classroom almost daily!