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 Election 
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I was just wondering how you would address the issue of a presidential election in your class? Do you think it is wise to let students know what your opinion is and how do you deal with students who bring their parents opinions and views with them class?

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Kristen P. Helton


Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:54 pm
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I think you would have to address the election in your classroom because it is such a big issue that affects their lives. I also think that you can't ignore what opinions students bring into the class based on things their parents say. The difference however is how you address this with the different age ranges of students. For instance K-2 may not even realize that there is an election going on. I would explain the election and how American citizens vote for a new president. We could even discuss the names and let students see the pictures of the candidates. I would not go into any further detail about each candidate's platforms with them or with students up even through sixth grade. I think in middle school and high school it would be a great thing to talk about the different platforms of each candidate and then even have a mock debate and election in the classroom.

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Jessica Mundy


Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:03 am
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I agree with you Jessica. I think it is important that we discuss the elections in our classes. Its all in how you present the information. I would think that as long as the information on the elections is age appropriate students would be able to benefit and know more about how our nation works. I hope that we would be able to help inform students on things that go along with an election such as the candidates platforms and how an actual election works.

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Clay Moore


Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:55 pm
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Elections are exciting events that are unavoidable. I believe within our classrooms it is good to present both or all sides of the story. We all have opinions and biases and sometimes ours will be obvious to our students. Teachers should be informative but not force their opinions on their students. Teachers and other adults have a great influence over children/students. Kids look up to us and expect us to give them the answers. We should challenge our students, no matter what age they are. Teachers should have their students investigate and formulate their own opinions without the oppression of the teachers violent opinions.
Parents do influence children. To this day I am still influenced by my parents opinion, but I do not expect everything they tell me at face value. Again, teachers should not say parents are wrong, but teachers should expect students to think for themselves.

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Lianna Denise Beard


Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:38 pm
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I also think that it is important to talk about election and that we let our students know what our views are because if we expect them to share their opinion in an open and free environment we must also be willing to share our opinions too.

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Zach Yokley


Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:33 am
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I agree that we should throughly discuss the election in our classrooms. So many schools stress the importance of discussing current events to our classes, no matter what age they are. I also feel like many of you that we should teach/show children about the election in a non-biased manner. We should teach them how to formulate their own beliefs about our leaders. Also, by showing them in a condensed manner how our government works, we can show them how not only is choosing our president/vice-president important, but also our senators and house of representatives.
I had an experience in high school where my U.S. History teacher was so opinionated that she disliked you if you didn't agree with her political beliefs or chose not to have an opinion. I was a person who chose not to have an opinion because I felt that it was stupid to have a political debate with my own teacher. Further onto that experience, I think this has pushed me further into not voicing my opinion on politics. But, it did teach me to show my future classroom both sides so that they may make their own decisions.

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Kristen Bumgarner


Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:26 pm
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As a math person, I feel like I have a different outlook on this situation. I'm not saying discussions and debates aren't important, but I think that there are better places to discuss opinions than in a math class. However, I would probably teach about the mathematical aspects of the election. I think it is very important for people to understand how voting works, and this would be a perfect time to show students that math is important after high school.

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Kimberly Smith

"In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else."
-Lee Iacocca


Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:20 pm
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I believe that it would be very hard to talk about the election within your classroom without stepping on some toes. However, I also do believe that if some of your students are interested in learning more about the election you should do your best to provide them with correct information. I do believe that you could do this without having to go into your personal beliefs as well, and if they want to know them just let them know if you are comfortable with providing them with this information. My great-grandmother always said the two things that should never be discussed publicly are religion and politics and this is truly how I feel as well; especially within the classroom.

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Casey Davis


Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:44 pm
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I also think elections and politically controversial issues should be discussed in the classroom. As a teacher I think you bear the responsibility of presenting a balance of information. I think that begins with having a clear understanding of the issues and the major candidates positions. One way to do that is to actually read each parties platform. They can be found online at the national committee websites. I also believe as teaches we serve the role of facilitators. In this role we should challenge students to analyze why the think what they think. Family tradition and history are weak arguments. You should know why you believe or distrust something.

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Thomas Lloyd Walker


Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:08 am
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I also agree that elections should be discussed in school. I agree with you Lloyd in saying, "as a teacher you bear the responsibility of presenting a balance of information." I believe it is important for us as teachers to branch out from our subject every now and then and discuss current events happening in out society. This goes back to the notion of school being more then just a place to learn math, reading, and writing. It is important that at school students gain an understanding of how to function in todays society.

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katielewis


Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:20 am
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Elections being discussed in class is a good idea in my opinion. Even if the kids bring their parents political views into class, it will still open the doors of discussion for all of your students. Politics are a hot topic so you as the teacher have to be the moderator and keep your class under control during this debate. I feel that if you set some simple ground rules for the discussion/debate, politics can be a great topic of discussion.

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Cory L. Rycroft


Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:39 am
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I also think that election discussion is very important in the classroom. I found it interesting that Heather (I think it was Heather, maybe not) that talked about applying it to math and her subject. I agree with that completely. I think that open discussions are great when it comes to politics and elections, but I think it is even better if they are incorporated into the subject. Like she said, the statistical part of the election. For me, in english, I might have my students write a persuasive essay on a candidate of their choice, or I might have them do pros and cons to each candidate. I think that appropriating discussion by subject is the best way to really challenge students in to thinking about the election as a whole.

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Anna F. Gay


Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:27 pm
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I think that elections need to be discussed in the classroom. I agree with Cory that there need to be some ground rules for the discussion so no one starts to throw "cheap shots." I also think that the teacher can share their opinions with caution. We have to be careful not to try and change our students point of view, whether it be intentional or not.

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Maria Parker


Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:14 pm
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I would not tell my students my opinion on the election, however I would provide them with the important information/facts about the candidates (including the 3rd party candidate.). A lot of times students forget that there are more than two parties in the US, and I think this should be addressed also. Discussing the election would be a great opportunity to talk about the way our government works, and the differences in the elected branches.

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Jennifer Nicole Redmond


Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:25 pm
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