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 How do we decide a persons worth? 
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This question that was asked at the end of our last class by Dr. Turner has stuck with me. It seems to be that people we have been reading about only think that human worth can be measured. That it can be revealed in tests or determined by a social status. It seemes to be something that humans have wanted to have a definition of for most of our existence. Is it our place to determine this? Think of the trouble it has casued us in history to decide who is better than others. Think of the Holocaust...Hitler determined who was worth more and who should be excuted. In fact almost a whole continent caught on to his belief. And as we found out about our state, determining who has more worth is close to home as well.

I don't believe that this question has an answer. I don't believe it is my decision to decide who has worth and who doesn't. In my eyes everyone is created worthy of respect. But I guess it is apart of human existence to want to decide who ranks higher than another.

In schools we need to be sure to teach tolerance to our students. That NO matter who people think you are, you are only as worthy as you believe yourself to be. Think about the people in history who defied gravity by not beleiving what was said about them and going forward anyway. As teacher we must be the leaders in setting the example for our students.

To me NO one has the right to decide something has more worth than another...but somehow it happens. Are you willing to stand up to it?


Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:29 pm
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Jenny I think you have it- It is part of human nature to want to know someone's worth. We see it in our students, in our colleagues, in ourselves even- the desire to be individualistic and better than another. To be better than another requires you determine someone's worth. This is just natural. We must be aware of this and do our best to teach respect, worthiness, tolerance, etc. We can be the best role models for our students. I think the best teaching on this comes from discussion and role modeling for our kids.

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Erika M. Nelson


Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:01 pm
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Jenny, I agree. Every human being on earth has worth no matter where they come from or what they do for a living. As an upper grade teacher, I feel like the students I have in my room now have been made to feel like they are not worth anything. I have students who in the first month of school have shut down and quit, because they feel like they won't pass anyway. I think that is sad. I am trying so hard to help them feel that they have worth, but the feeling of failure has been drilled into their heads so much they don't want to try to begin with. However, I think we as teachers should not give up on these students. We need to try to get them to come around, because you never know how much you touch their lives without even knowing it.

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~Raye Lynn


Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:20 pm
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Jenny you are right. As we also learned last night Hitler learned his techniques from the US because of the way we treated the Indians. I have always been brought up to believe that God created all people. I strongly believe this. All people were created equal therefore no one should be determining who is better than anyone else.

As a teacher I also agree that it is our place to help children understand that all people are equal and that we should not judge others or think others are not as good as everyone else.


Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:39 pm
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Jenny I do agree that this question does not have an answer. It hurts my heart to see kindergarteners who are already questioning their self-worth. Whether it is from their family situations at home, encounters with other friends at school, etc., tolerance is an issue that must be taught.

I believe as teachers we will continue to see many more children with low self esteem issues, students who are told they must succeed and they are "the best," students who are not taught how to work out their differences...all these areas and more just breed intolerance.

The sad part is it does not start with the students it starts with the parents themselves, who were never taught tolerance. They are breeding intolerance and creating "monsters," who we are supposedly suppose to re-teach how to re-think and re-value the world.

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Jessica Denninger


Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:43 pm
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As a teacher of a very diverse population, I try to treat each of my students the way that I want to be treated. I try to instill in them a feeling of self-worth. The problem is that they go home to situations that I have no control over or understand. All throught history we have seen on race or another treated with disrespect and made to feel unworthy. I don't know how we can change the make-up of man or his/her need to feel superior to others.

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Debra Shook Manasco


Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:33 am
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Jessica, it also bothers me to see kindergardeners already valuing self-worth. I have a very competitive class this year. They are constantly stating who was done first with something. One day I had a child who needed some help with handwriting. When another child said "I did it right" the child started to cry and was upset that he needed help. We had a talk about making people feel good about what they are doing and also how everyone needs help, just with different things. Every single child deserves the most respectful, supporting learning environment a teacher can give him. They may not be getting this environment at home so the school may be the only place for respect and support.

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Melissa Ervin


Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:31 pm
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Melissa,
I also have a similar experience. My 2nd grade class has a few very competitive students. All year my math centers have been differentiated based on student needs. A few students have figured out that other students are working with harder concepts or bigger numbers. They wanted to try these harder centers. Of course I was excited that they were eager to try the harder concepts but the problem is they have not mastered their own center yet. Its very hard to teach students that they are different but all just as valuable and that learning is not a competition.

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Samantha Harris


Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:54 am
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