Scroll to bottom to listen to the podcast.
[Update 3 August 2008: If you want a written version of the same story, I did my best here.]
[Update 2: I've copied Stephen Downes' comments about this post, and my own response to them, in the comments, if anybody is interested.]
[Update: I've added the podcast to my Teaching Gallery page, in case you come across a student who might benefit by listening in the future.]
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I was bullied for two years in high school. Every day.
I told the story to my grade 9 class last year – there was some stuff going on in the hallways that made me hope it might help – and recorded it as I told them.
And I thought, in the spirit of this season of good will, that I would share that story here. Here’s the enhanced podcast for download, with chapters for quick navigation.
But if you want to listen without downloading first, see the bottom of this post.
Most of the bullying content we see online tries to make bullying stop. It’s a nice goal. But this story does things differently.
It’s to the bullied.
It tells them that, for me, over 700 consecutive days of bullying in high school was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It just took me a couple decades to realize that. This does not mean those two decades were bad.
The audio quality is bad. Sorry about that. But I think you can hear it anyway.
It’s about 30 minutes long. My students still talk about it, a year later. And I’ve shared it with a few new acquaintances of mine recently – you may be reading some of them – and one of them said it was “as worth sharing as all the other drivel you read on edublogs out there.” (I loved that. And relax – it was a joke.)
It is a story. I tried to tell it well. And there are more than a few laughs along the way.
Call it my “Christmas Carol.” And tuck it away somewhere for that possibly tortured, possibly suicidal student we worry about here and there as teachers, as community leaders, as human beings. It’s really for them, again.
Here it is. Enjoy:
Photo credit: “the bully” by O Pish Posh