by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentoring Committee co-chair

As the saying goes, “There’s nothing common about common sense.”

Story in USA Today

I was reminded of that saying when I read the story in USA Today about an Alabama high school geometry teacher who used the example of assassinating President Obama to illustrate the use of angles.

The key issue raised in the comments and that I had thought when I read this story was: “Why use an example of shooting a person?”

With all the concern about personal safety in school, why give anyone an idea about shooting anyone — President Obama or a classmate.

From reading the USA Today story, I’m not sure if this example was part of the teacher’s planned lessonĀ  or if this example just came to him (as examples sometimes do) while he was teaching. Either way, this was very poor judgment.

“We are going to have a long conversation with him (the teacher) about what’s appropriate,” the superintendent was quoted as saying.

The lesson here isn’t just for this one teacher. I can see this being a “teachable moment” in working with our new teachers. A discussion of this situation can lead to the bigger discussion of selecting and using appropriate real-world examples.