After the dance, I joked that maybe we could have a contest, one that would be sure to get me fired, a Dignity Contest. At the start of the dance, all students would be given dignity pins. If a student did something that made a chaperone feel icky all over, the chaperone could seize that student's dignity pin. Any student who still had their dignity at the end of the night would be entered into a drawing for a really fantastic prize, like an ipad or something equally awesome.
When a dance is over, most kids can return to their age-appropriately dignified selves. The chaperones' opinions of those students are forever altered, but as long as that student isn't hoping for a recommendation from said adult, their opinions probably don't matter.
If the momentary loss of dignity was limited to the dance floor, most students recover damage free. Now, thanks to social media, students, recent grads and adults are losing their dignity and leaving bad impressions on people who are important like employers and other relations.
After reading some ridiculous tweets about a recent grad's relationship status that's on/off in five minute intervals and a vague whiny post by an adult complaining about life (in middle class suburbia) being hard,* I felt compelled to actually do something that makes me feel better, even if it doesn't change anyone's behavior.
I have drafted a new, relevant and practical standard of learning for VA high school seniors and anyone over the age of 18.
12.9 a. study examples of job loss as a result of melodrama, explicit photos, or crude language
12.9 b. evaluate relationship deterioration as a result of melodrama and public airing of dirty laundry
12.9 c. find contentment without constant, vague sympathy baiting
12.9 d. accept that once something is online, it is not private and it will always be online, even if it has been deleted
12.9 e. discontinue griping about rights to privacy on free social media sites. Analyze the definition of social and media
Truly, the worst offenders are adults because they should friggin' know better, but I see this crap every time I'm online.
I will absolutely post these in my classroom.
Should I add this one?
12.9 f. expect creepy, deranged rants to be used against you in court by prosecutors as evidence or to demonstrate lack of character
...and now I'll hop off the soapbox and stop ranting ('cause it's not dignified behavior..)
*I'm not heartless to the suffering of others. I know people who seem to have it all can have a bad day, but constant whining for attention and still not revealing the cause of your anguish after several people ask "what's wrong?" is just narcissistic behavior and extremely undignified. Back to the relevance of language arts: Ask yourself... would Scarlett O'Hara tweet this? No, she would not, nor would Harry Potter, Thor, Iron Man, Spawn, Thorin Oakenshield or any other fictitional character you might admire. Bilbo Baggins might... yes, he might sympathy bait a little.