Religion in the public school system has always been an interesting topic of discussion for as many years as I can remember (and in week two of this class it is no different). I was always under the impression that religion had no place in the public school system and it must be avoided at all costs. In this weeks studies, I have learned that religion can actually be discussed in class in the instance of topic in topic in world cultures or social studies. I must remember, however, to state the facts, stick to the curriculum, know my topics well, and do not single any students out about any particular religion. I remember chaperoning a trip to Paris for a Jewish Day School. Though the topic of religion is permitted in their day school, there were many questions asked of me upon arrival at some of the most historical Catholic cathedrals in Europe. A pluralistic school that thrives to recognize other religions, teachings and cultures, the topics of Catholicism, French architecture, and interpretive art were not covered prior to this trip.
What I am still a little bit edgy about is the “role model” aspect of the teaching world. I can absolutely understand having to live an exemplary life in order to show others how to live prudent lives but when do we draw the line. For instance the discussion of a teacher out with friends having a few drinks, then good night shot and cheering or being a little bit loud when all of a sudden she notices students (some of her own) eating in the same establishment. To not be a bully, to not be a murderer, or to not be an abuser is one thing, but when does having your private life completely scrutinized become the right of anyone. What if the teacher was drinking ginger ale (knowing they have class in the morning) and laughing along with their friends and their antics. Will it be assumed that the teacher is guilty by association and projecting the wrong model of behavior? Is this teacher really doing anything illegal or unethical? Where exactly is the line drawn on this?