As an adult I have control over a great deal.
I retain control of what I attend to, especially in this hyperactive news environment. The truth is, I just don’t do it very well. The current news cycle can highjack my morning routine, car rides, and unstructured Internet usage.
It turns out that many adults are caught-up in the same cycle. The frequency of reporting drives us to not wait until the end of the day, but to monitor events live and find out what responses are from others in real-time.
We accelerate the news cycle.
Chances are you have witnessed some name calling on social media around this last political election. And the idea that you would read a post by a “friend” and then lash out harshly should feel like you are skipping a step. Talking to that person and finding out what they are thinking seems to be the missing ingredient in the current situation of adults, but we have accelerated past that. We need to take some of this conversation offline, check out this intervention, A Trump Voter And Facebook Insulter Talk It Out — In Person.
Adults are learning, or not learning much, in front of our students.
And it is exhausting us all.
If we cannot choose wisely for ourselves, maybe we can be inspired to better behavior by asking what control do students have in this?
How can we show students a variety of productive ways to engage in life, right now?
Instead of engaging in endless online activity, model taking meaningful breaks from the virtual. Do real things together outside and offline.
Instead of valuing an online knee-jerk pithy post, show how to have the hard conversations, and disagree civilly in front of our students.
Adults seem to do better at learning new behaviors when students are watching anyway. Let us refuse to accelerate the news cycle and model ideal behavior for our students.