Thursday, October 19, 2006

Classroom Moment

I teach in an orthodox Jewish high school.

A couple of days ago I was presenting next-week-end's assignment to my ninth grade Honors World History class. A pair of readings in Buddhism and Christianity. I checked to make sure they had covered Buddhism in seventh grade (the answer: more or less) and then addressed the issue of reading the texts of other faiths. They were alternately huffy at the implication that they might be troubled by an assignment to digest the beliefs of others and relieved to learn that they weren't expected to understand it all on their own.

"Ms. C," asked one of the girls, "is your religion like, really meaningful to you? I mean, are you, like, totally into your religion?"

"Yes," I responded.

"That's so cool," she said. "That's the most important thing of all."


Kathleen said...

Not surprised that you teach Honors World History. Religion and spirituality are interconnected, yet often not defined. To express and teach fundamentals and personal devotion to a religion encourages others to embrace their heritage, rituals and culture-specific expressions of spirit. Yes, "that's so cool"

LightYears2Venus said...

What a great group of kids to be offended that they might be thought closed to the idea of studying other religions. What a mature and open-minded young lady to recognize that there are other meaningful spiritual paths. Sometimes people who have been persecuted are just as prejudiced as their persecutors, but these students families seem to have cultivated an attitude of tolerance. If only everyone who is devout were as accepting. Sigh.
(When I first tried to send this, an error occurred & I'm pretty sure it went off into cyberspace, so hope it doesn't appear twice.)