Online, you know when the line of civility is crossed, but it’s tough to define sometimes.  You’re in a group phone or video conversation and the tone shifts.  Someone responds with a brick-headed comment or message is designed to be offensive to another person. We’ve all been there in the Valley of the Trolls.  And there are some solutions out there to help you in the process

But what if that same situation occurs in a face-to-face environment–your classroom, or a teacher meeting?  One thing you cannot easily do is ‘block the user,’ who, after all, is a human being assigned to your charge or your building.  What will you do?

The solution, to me, seems embedded in the literacy standards of the Core, under the heading of Claim-Evidence-Reasoning. There are literacy standards that range from science and technical reading to speaking and listening skills.  Repeatedly, the phrases ‘cite evidence,’ ‘identify the central idea,’ ‘attend to date and origin’ come up.  There are a wealth of resources out there for ScienceSocial StudiesMiddle SchoolInformational Text artifacts and processes.  What I do not find as much of is the emotional practice opportunities that ensure lines of civility are not destroyed.

How will you work this year to teach others to respectfully disagree?  

As you gear up for the new year, how is this effort for civil society in  going to gain traction in your classroom?  How will students need to know and do to show respectful discourse?  I’d love to hear your strategies.
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