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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm going to be doing my final Student Teaching semester this fall, in a 3rd grade class. I'll graduate in december, and I was just wondering what kinds of issues, if any, the other veggie teachers out there have faced by being veggie. Do you tell your students? Explain it to them? Do you piss off the parents? Do you try ot educate your students about veg*anism?
 

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Heh, I bet some parents would want to, proverbally, kill me if I accidently 'converted' their kids. By the way, I'm not a teacher.<br><br><br><br>
I don't recall ever having an outspoken veg* teacher either..
 

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I taught music at the Junior High level - i did 7th, 8th and 9th grade band. the only time being veggie came up is during lunch - I ate with the other teachers and they noticed that I usually brought my lunch instead of eating the normal cafeteria food (eww!) I just explained that I was veggie for health reasons and everyone pretty much left it alone. I was pretty careful about not rocking the proverbial boat with my students on any issue because I was just a student teacher and trying to make a good impression.<br><br><br><br>
ETA - good luck with your student teaching experience - I hope that it goes well for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I really don't see where it would ever come up unless a student asked if you liked a certain kind of meat or something. Even then, there would be no reason to give more than a very brief answer, e.g. "I don't eat animals." I think saying anything persuasive would be inappropriate. (I'm not a teacher, either.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm a high school English teacher -- mainly seniors, some sophomores. The subject came up one day (I think they were trying to get me to buy a BBQ plate to support their club and I told them no thanks I don't eat meat) and mainly they were just very curious.<br><br><br><br>
I explained to them that I had just decided one day that I didn't want to eat meat anymore, which of course boggles their minds since they can't imagine eating a meal without eating meat. But we just briefly talked about what I still do eat and they were okay with that.<br><br><br><br>
My advice would be not to bring it up to your students unless they ask. They will probably think you're strange if you do mention it. If you try to "educate" them about veganism, it could backfire on you, much like when a teacher tries to bring his/her religion into the classroom.<br><br><br><br>
Good luck with teaching and let me know if I can help you in any way!
 

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I see nothing wrong in bringing it up...as when you introduce yourself to the class "My name is Ms. Smith and I like to ski and I am a vegetarian..."<br><br><br><br>
I think it is good for vegetarians to make themselves known.<br><br>
Yet, as far as the morality of it, I don't think you should mention that to your students. You could just say my reasons are private or "for ethical reasons"
 

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I'm an aide in the classroom and I tutor students. I supervise students during lunch. Sometimes, when I am there all day I eat with them at lunch. Sometimes the kids offer me food and I say no thanks. They ask why and I say I don't eat meat. They were really curious about it mainly curious about my veggie sandwich w/out cheese or meat in the middle. They thought it was weird having only veggies between bread slices. They are very understanding about it though. I haven't had any parents come and talk to me (and the parents at this school are very vocal abou things they don't like) so I don't think its been a problem. I didn't try to force my ways upon them or anything I just told them I don't eat meat, so I don't see why it would be a big deal.
 

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It could actually come up in grade school. At least here it would. My kids were "taught" the food pyramid in school. If I were a veggie teacher I would have big problems teaching my kids that sort of thing. It's like free meat promotion for the US government.
 

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Hey! Good luck on your student teaching! I'm <i>so</i> glad that's over! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I teach high school and I think at this point all of my students know I'm a vegetarian. It came out the first time I had students in my classroom working on a project after school and we were all sharing the food we'd brought and they noticed I wasn't eating any of the meaty things. I didn't mind chatting about it since it wasn't class time, but I didn't get <i>into</i> it, really. They asked me what I ate, and I told them some of the things that my meals centered around. That was it.<br><br><br><br>
It comes up now and again if they're in at lunch, and it's spread, so when my students try to distract me during class (often) they try to bring up things they know I like talking about outside of class (politics, college, food, dance, music... they've got it down), but it doesn't work. Can't blame them for trying, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
They're pretty cute about it, actually. ("You want a stick of gum, Ms. --? There's no meat in it I <i>swear</i>." or today after class as I was getting my lunch out: "Ms. --, are you <i>sure</i> you don't eat chicken sometimes? Eight years is a long time not to have chicken." and such). Really, they're not interested in the fact that I'm a vegetarian, just the fact that I have a life outside my classroom. They'd like to know why I'm not married yet, what movies I've seen, what bands I listen to, how old I am, etc... Anything that has nothing to do with the subject I teach. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> I don't tell them as much as they'd like to know in most areas, so they just have to deal with talking about music & food. I do <i>not</i> in any way try to "preach" or "educate" about vegetarianism. They can see for themselves that I'm healthy, and that's as far as I'm willing to go with that. The last thing I need is some parent calling me up saying, "You told (student) not to eat her dinner! You (censored)..." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Have fun with the little ones. I have lots of respect for elementary teachers -- I could never handle that myself.
 

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I brought it up (I tutor uni students, it's quite a bit different). Mainly because I was talking about why people join online communities! LOL And I used myself as an example, recently turned veg and had no veg friends so I found some online, etc etc. Mskedi, that's funny, my students will also try and distract me by asking about my dogs, Big Brother, anything they know I'm interested in... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> It obviously doesn't change with age!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by shewolf</i><br><br><b>Mskedi, that's funny, my students will also try and distract me by asking about my dogs, Big Brother, anything they know I'm interested in... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> It obviously doesn't change with age!</b></div>
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I've found, in high school at least, that they get more skilled at it as they get older. My eleventh graders last year were successful at getting me on a few tangents. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
What age are yours?
 

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Anywhere from 17 up. Average age is between 18-22. A few 40yr olds, some 30yr olds but mostly twenties or high teens. The good thing about tutoring is that if they muck up in class I can tell them without worrying that they are just wasting my time and their money. And if they don't want to be there they don't turn up. Generally, those who do turn up are the most interested and will get better marks for it. I'm 24 myself so I get on pretty well with them all.<br><br><br><br>
What subjects do you teach Mskedi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm still in highschool, so when you posted this I started trying to think if I knew if any of my teachers are veg*n or not. I can think of two that I know of from Jr. High, but both of them were (and still are) good friends of mine, so I only knew because I go out to lunch with them every month or so. I think it came up with one of them in the middle of class, and they just told the kids who were asking that if they wanted to stick around after school, they could talk about it, but then wasn't the time. This seems like it would work pretty well. If a student was really interested, they would take the time to come in and discuss it, but it keeps the kids from using it as a way to kill time. I've never really seen a problem with teachers sharing their personal opinion on things, as long as they're not presenting it as propoganda.<br><br><br><br>
As far as actual teaching, I can only see it coming up if you were teaching nutrition or health. In that case, I would stick to the "some people choose not to eat some or all animal products for a variety of reasons, such as moral, political, religious and health." And maybe that would be a good time to explain the different types of vegetarianism. Just treat it as subject matter, try to be as unbiased as you can.
 

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My daughter just turned 5 (yesterday) and goes to a little private school. We were able to enrole our kids in a program called "stretch and grow", which teaches the kids some basic food, health and exercise info. I called the woman who teaches the classes and was thrilled to find out that, even though she had never been exposed to Veganism, that she was very willing to read the info that I sent to her, and to teach that sometimes people don't eat meat and that that is OK and can be healthy. I'm so proud of her attitude. My daughter doesn't like meat and will probably end up veg*n someday. At least she'll know at a young age that it is OK and healthy!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by shewolf</i><br><br><b>And if they don't want to be there they don't turn up.</b></div>
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My kids have the same philosophy except that, in their case, it's not legal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/tongue3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":p"> It's all part of the fun of inner-city teaching.<br><br><br><br>
I teach 9th grade English and Reading. I <i>love</i> that age for some insane reason. When I don't like them anymore it will be time for me to move on to teaching college, I think, though I don't see that happening anytime soon. Sometimes the 10 year gap between my 15 year old students and me seems pretty big, but most of the time we get along all right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I guess the main thing I'm concerned about is teaching about the food pyramid and nutrition. I want my students to know what a vegetarian (and vegan) is, and I want them to know that just because it shows a bunch of meat in the "meat group" (or protein group, which I prefer), they don't have to eat meat. I was planning on trying to be as unbiased as possible about it, and just explain what veg*anism is, and why people choose not to eat meat. I'm just worried that some kid is going to go home and refuse to eat dinner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You can just say the truth - there are several ways to met the protein group - lean meats, legumes, nuts, soy - and then leave it at that. You don't need to discuss which you consider best, nor open a debate.<br><br><br><br>
If someone asks a specific question (Is soy as good a source as chicken, for example) you can answer it with your knowledge and leave it to them to make up their minds.<br><br><br><br>
Be fair to all sides. There are healthy meat eaters, as well as healthy vegetarians/vegans. On the flip side, there are unhealthy meat eaters AND unhealthy vegetarians and vegans.
 

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Students at least knowing their teacher is veg*n could be a benefit because many kids have it hard if they are veg*n (I've met some when doing Animal Lib stuff that have a really difficult time due to their family). So a veg*n teacher could be support/understanding.<br><br><br><br>
shewolf, re: students wasting your time and their money...... I take some TAFE (NSW) classes and one of my teachers was saying today that they can't make students leave; they can tell the students that they can leave if they are bored or disruptive (she has some bad ones). Apparently even "asking" them to leave isn't allowed.<br><br>
The courses I am interested in have advanced streams for people with real-world experience, and so they never have recent school leavers (thank goodness).
 

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Kurm, it's pretty simple, if I felt like they were wasting my time I would nicely point out that they don't have to be there and I would prefer that they weren't. Uni is a little different to TAFE, we don't have to answer to the govt directly as TAFE does. I guess it gives us a little autonomy. Also, if I feel the other students aren't getting their money's worth I feel I'm entitled to point that out to the student. I must say though I have never had a really bad student, just some cheeky ones (and I like the cheeky ones). One of the other tutors told her class if they were going to abuse her she wouldn't teach them. LOL<br><br><br><br>
Mskedi, English was one of my fave subjects. A good English teacher is a must! So you're a similar age to me then!
 

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I teach high school and I let my students know I'm vegan (usually on the first day of class in my little intro). It's not a big deal. We discuss it very rarely in class, only when a student brings it up. But if I feel like bringing it up, then I will. It's called free speech and yes, even teachers have that right.<br><br><br><br>
I'm sure I'm the only vegetarian that most of my students know.<br><br><br><br>
It's no big deal. Anyway, I think it's a good thing to challenge my students' beliefs and make them think. I WANT to be an influence on them.<br><br><br><br>
A side note: I hear teachers and counselors bringing religion into the classroom OFTEN. In U.S. schools, it is generally accepted for teachers to speak about their religion if they are Christian. The only way any parent would complain is if a teacher spoke about atheism, then the parents (at least at my school) would go nuts.
 
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