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The Ethics of the Safe Space
There's a difference between teaching kids what to think vs how to think. By giving them different perspectives and using your influence as a teacher to get them to explore other points of view, this way they better find one to adopt rather than think the only one they've heard before (possibly from their parents or church) is automatically correct by default.
You sound like a very good teacher. I'm proud of you.
Schools should not be safe spaces for racism, bigotry, sexism, and other forms of intolerance. But children often exist inside an echo chamber. Being inside their parent's bubble is not their fault. It's not their fault if the TV is always on FOX news. Who else will tell them there's other ways to look at things except for their teachers? But if they don't and those views are never challenged, then the opportunity to make them less biased and more rounded is lost.
So I applaud you. I thank you. And I hope you continue doing what you're doing.
Kobos wrote: Hi all! So, this is something I am honestly at a loss for answers for.
For some context, I as an educator provide a safe space for my students (this applies to other situations, but this is the easiest for me to explain). They need to talk to me, they can about anything. Now a moral conundrum comes in here at a most basic level. I am required to report certain things (self harm ect.), does that make my room a safe space? Or am I betraying the trust the concept implies when I am obliged to report things?
Another moral thing I notice, and don't know if I am doing it right (though it seems to work now). I refuse to lie to a student for sake of their feelings. So, sometimes their world view is challenged, it makes some uncomfortable. As I tell most kids in this situation, I can only tell you what I see from my point of view they have to figure out their own, But I implore them to challenge their own world view themselves. Am I in the wrong to do that? Is the point of the safe space to ensure everyone feels good, or to be safe to talk about anything and expect a truthful view from someone?
I don't argue, I just give observations between my reality and what they see as theirs. I don't ask that people change their mind, only that they consider other points of view. Am I being reasonable to do so? Where do I draw the line on what is safe and what is not? Do I have that right/responsibility? I in practice have drawn no line, granted there are things I don't want to hear about, but I don't censor them, I simply don't comment, because I truly have nothing to say, that the person has not already asked themselves.
I know this is a loaded topic but an interesting one that I hope will find some good discussion on something that is quite relevant to all of us.
Much Love, Respect and Peace,
As a minister in the Temple and in real life - I’m right there with you my friend. Most Modern day Jedi I talk with have the same idea as well. We all understand that need for the safe space. I know to respect fire becuae I’ve been burnt numerous times. I strive to have those spaces in life for other cuz well- I didn’t have em. It’s a great thing when we become the change - understanding that as well - you may change - you maybe the only one. You may be the only one who does anything. You may be alone. Our every day liberties can sometimes be made by those who surround us. Be smart Konos - in the real world - y’all teachers got a tough gig and even richer trying to actually help. Know your limits - boundaries - safe zones - checks balances - know your rights rules laws and be smart. Know which to take and which to practice. That’s on you but people like you make kids like me become people like us.
From friend to freind
Keep your root
Always know where ya stand -
Also know the rules.
Jedi are smart.
It does me good to know people care. My hope is some day my family comes home and says I knew my teacher was Jedi ... smiley face or something.
Having a balance always benifits more than just us...
Generally, I have to agree with what you're doing is the right thing and that you're asking the right questions as it's what I've done and asked in those situations.
Do your students know that you have to report certain things, before they engage with you?
Kobos wrote: Now a moral conundrum comes in here at a most basic level. I am required to report certain things (self harm ect.), does that make my room a safe space? Or am I betraying the trust the concept implies when I am obliged to report things?
When I was in college I was a 'peer supporter' and I played a similar role to yourself (though I was a fellow student, rather than an educator) and we always had to tell people when they came us that we could discuss anything with them, but we would have to report certain topics. Most of the time it was evident from their response whether or not that was something they were wanting to discuss.
9 times out of 10 though, the fact that they are even speaking to us at all means that they already know it needs to be reported and will therefore be open to it with a little bit of a nudge in the place. In the magine that doubly true in your case as you're already in a position of authority within that relationship dynamic.
I had one case where a student was self harming and was initially reluctant to discuss that with me if I had to report it. In order to get them to admit that and ask for help, I agreed to sit on the information for a couple of days so that they could process that it was going to be 'out there'. Whether that was something I should've done or not, I don't know, but it ultimately led to them getting the help they needed.