Have you asked any good questions today?

Did you ask any good questions today?

Have you ever thought about how many questions you ask a day? How many questions have you answered today?

As educators starting another school year you are bombarded with information and questions. Some useful, some new, some necessary, some not.

Every day we are receiving messages. Phone, texts, news, social media, and more. How do we decipher all the information and messages?

When my son was younger, I would ask him, “How was your day at school?” He would respond, “Fine” or “Okay.” So, I would probe asking, “What did you learn today?” And he would respond “Nothing.”  

I decided to change my tactic. I began asking, “Jacob, what good questions did you ask today?” Most days he would answer “None.” But after I continued asking him that question day after day, he started coming home telling me what questions he had asked at school. One day, when he was in third grade, he answered my “Jacob, did you ask any questions today?” with this response: “I understood the math lesson today but I could tell the other kids didn’t. So I asked good questions for them.”

It was a proud mom day. Jacob had come to understand the reason to ask questions, and had developed an awareness of those around him.

I went to El Paso to visit Jacob and his family in August. He is a Major in the Army, stationed at Ft. Bliss. I asked him if he remembered the questions story because I had been using it as I talked with members and at new hire meetings in school districts across Nebraska. We had a great discussion about the need for good questions. As the executive officer for the General who is the Senior Commander of Ft. Bliss, Jacob knows when to ask questions and when not to question.

It is our responsibility to ask good questions and answer questions factually. And right now, there is a great deal of blatantly false information being spread by anti-public school zealots regarding our public schools and public school educators.

It is clear that we must question the validity of a video entitled “Mind Polluters” that has been shown in a several towns across Nebraska. It is replete with false information and allegations disparaging our public schools and public school teachers.
NSEA members have been and must continue to respond to this video’s spurious allegations and propaganda. I encourage you to review the details below for additional information.

Q: How do I, as an educator, respond to the false allegations in the “Mind Polluters” video?

A: First, establish your personal credibility, e.g., “I taught for ## years and I assure you that our schools and teachers are focused on keeping children safe and helping them learn.”

  • Note that the video is pure propaganda and outline the true facts: This so-called movie is completely untrue and it is a distraction from the real issues our students, teachers and schools are facing.
  • Teachers believe all students must be provided the opportunity and resources to learn and achieve so they can unlock their dreams and become productive members of society.
  • Parents know their child’s teachers and they know our Nebraska teachers are dedicated, caring professionals who have chosen this profession because they care about children and their education.”