Posts Tagged ‘Lady Gaga’

Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl

February 8, 2016


I am not a Lady Gaga devotee, but her rendition of the national anthem was simply sublime. It is interesting to note from a teacher’s perspective, that a music teacher was by her side during that stunning performance:


If you are watching the Superbowl Sunday, you will likely see a Westchester music teacher accompanying Lady Gaga as she sings the National Anthem.

Alex Smith, who teaches at Yorktown Heights’ Soundview Preparatory School, will be at the piano with Lady Gaga when game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m., the Journal News said.

Smith can also be heard on Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s album, “Cheek to Cheek.”



Click on the link to read A Profession that Truly Cares

Click on the link to read Connecting With Your Students is the Key to Teaching Them Effectively

Click on the link to read Teachers can Make a Real Difference!

Click on the link to read Meet the College Professor Who Doubles as a Babysitter

YouTube Turns Bullied Teen into a Hero

December 11, 2011

There is a simple reason why the video confessional of a bully victim goes viral overnight. The amount of children bullied around the world is horrifying. Clips like the one made by Jonah Mowry certainly cuts at a raw nerve.

A bullied 14-year-old has stood up for himself in an online video – and has become a national icon.

Jonah Mowry’s heart wrenching video was made at 4 a.m. It starts out simply as a teenage boy telling us his name, but it quickly turns into an emotional confession.

With tears in his eyes, Mowry tells people watching that he’s been bullied since the first grade because he is gay.

The video was made in August before Jonah started school and in the video he says he’s not ready to go back because he’s scared the bullying will continue.

The video might have remained buried on YouTube, but last week, Perez Hilton blogged about it and then it went viral.

The video has now been viewed more than 7.4 million times.

Jonah got tweets of support from celebrities like Nick Jonas, Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Lynch and anti-bullying crusader Lady Gaga.

On Friday, Jonah appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America”. He told those watching that if you’re being bullied, don’t be afraid to tell someone.

“You need to tell your parents, even if it will make it worse maybe. You need to tell someone because keeping it in just makes it a lot harder. If you tell someone, it’s a big weight lifted off your shoulders,” said Mowry.

Jonah says once his story became a viral sensation, he was called into the principal’s office.

“He told me if anything happens, that he’ll do his best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, when I came back to school, everyone was very supportive and very welcoming and nice,” Mowry said.

His final message to other kids being bullied is that it will get better. You can be happy. You just have to try.

The positive ending to his message will prove extremely heartening to victims of bullying who can see no end to the constant persecution in sight.

Schools Should Become More Involved With Cyberbullying

October 8, 2011

At present schools have been able to turn a blind-eye to cyberbullying.   As the offence occurs out of school hours, schools have been only too happy to handball the problem to the parents of the bully.  Whilst I believe that parents are ultimately responsible for the actions of their children, I ask that schools do more to help deal with this ongoing problem.

The reason why I feel schools should involve themselves more actively with this issue is that most cases result from pre-existing schoolyard bullying.  Having started in the playground and classroom, the bullying then gets transferred online.  Whilst the school isn’t liable for what goes on after school, the problem is often a result of what started during school hours.

To me, the best schools are the ones that work with the parents in a partnership for the wellbeing of their students.  For a school to excel it needs to show that it cares about its students beyond its working hours.  That is why a teacher or staff member that is aware of cyberbullying must be able to do more than discuss the issue with the class.  They must be able to contact parents, impose sanctions and actively change the situation at hand.

We also have to understand what cyberbullying is and why kids do it.

I disagree with ABC online columnist, Hemu Nigam, who is of the view that cyberbullying is about “hating” others:

Suicides from cyberbullying are extreme cases that draw attention. Media and government attention are creating a panic around the wrong issue. The issue isn’t so much that a child killed himself because he was cyberbullied. He did it because he was subjected to hate crime — harassment based on sexual preference, race and the like — couldn’t get it to stop, and felt hopeless, eventually leading to suicide. Thus, the attention needs to go to the source. How do you teach young people to be kind, open, or at the very least accepting of kids different from them?

If we are to ever put a stop to bullying — wherever and however it takes place — we must step back for a moment and think of what we have done for many years before “cyber” became an indelible part of our language.

I am reminded of this lesson my father taught my brothers and me as we were growing up. Like many kids do, we would say we “hated” something or someone. Perhaps it was a certain food or a person in our school. My father always reminded us not to hate by not allowing us to use the word “hate.” We could simply express our feelings by talking about what we didn’t like about a thing or agree with about a person.

As we adopted this house rule, we found ourselves talking about things and people we liked more than the things and people we didn’t like. Today I find myself sharing the same lesson with my own children. I am hearing them talk about things they like about a person or thing without mentioning hate. The lessons that strengthen tolerance begin in the home, “cyber”-connected or not.

It is my belief that cyber-bullying is often based on “dominance” and “popularity” rather than “hate”.  I don’t think most cyberbullies hate their victims.  Instead, I think they see them as stepping-stones to wider acceptance from their peer group.  Often the victims are minorities or outcasts.  The pressure to be in the “in group” has always been high.  For an “in group” to exist there needs to be a clearly defined “out group”.  It is often seen as a sort of right of passage for someone seeking popularity to kick the easy target.

If my theory is right, there is even more reason for schools to see cyberbullying as a problem that they have a significant share in.

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