School Climate & Safety

The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Ross Brenneman — November 01, 2013 1 min read
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Halloween aftermath, two-strapping backpacks, and the value of a name—here’s what you might have missed in news and thoughts related to student engagement, school climate, and the world that affects them.

1. “The costumes are gone, but now overtired kids run around on sugar highs trying to sneak even more candy into their mouths.”

—Teacher Lily Jones, on being a Halloween Grinch

2. “In spite of linguistic and cultural differences, the main character, moody, self-absorbed and curious, will remind many American girls of themselves, their friends and the heroines of the young adult novels they devour.”

—The New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott, on why he’s letting his 14-year-old daughter see the NC-17 movie “Blue Is the Warmest Color”

3. “Jessica Winter, no fool she, didn’t shrug. She slipped her arm through her dangling backpack strap and, from that day forth, wore both straps.”

—Slate columnist Forrest Wickman, in the search to understand when it became cool to wear both backpack straps. (OK, quick story: In the first week of high school, I was a two-strapper. But some senior males, offering genuine, random constructive criticism, warned me that my straps were too tight, and should be looser; quantity and quality both count, people.)

4. “I didn’t give him a lecture on Eurocentric socialization and how it often makes us feel our very being and existence is inferior. I wanted to tell him how much I loved his name, and that he should love his name too, but I am patient, and I comply.”

—Teacher Okaikor Aryee-Price, on the value of a name’s cultural heritage. (Here’s some more food for thought along those lines.)

5. “It’s surely not, in my book, virtuous if one aims only to get a step ahead of ... someone else’s child.”

—Deborah Meier, about socioeconomical inequality’s role in education, winding down her most recent conversation with Mike Petrilli on the Bridging Differences blog

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.