Thursday, March 20, 2008


“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” -Shel Silverstein

While the adults continue their discussion about the Australian Order for Closure of Al Upton's miniLegends blog and the forced resignation of Jabiz Raisdana, the Intrepid Teacher, students have begun adding their voices to the conversation.

From Jabiz' Students in Qatar:

We will all miss you in our own special ways. Even if we don’t cry on the outside we will be crying on the inside.
I will continue posting on my blog regularly. You won’t be able to read my posts, but they will be inspired by you. -Natasha

You’ve opened my mind to a whole new world and perspective I never looked at. You were the only teacher to knew and understand me well. In my head, I felt all of what happened was unfair, but I knew it was for the good of….umm…something I don’t really understand at the moment.
Humanities was a class I really looked forward to in the beginning of the day. Global Issues Club was something I became very passionate in. Everything you taught was something new and interesting to learn.
Most of all, Thank You for teaching me and believe that we could do anything if we put our minds into it.
I believe that you deserve a second chance..We all do.. In my will always be the inspiring, kind, caring and fun teacher you are… -Nabila

You made Language Arts class more fun, and more interesting. We didnt sit there and read text books, or memorize vocabulary… you taught us about life. And how to educating ourselves is the most important thing. I want you to know that you have taught me alot. And even though you are not teaching at our school anymore, i will always think of you as my teacher, no matter who they replace you with. -Kelly

Out of all of my language arts classes ever, I truly and sincerely think I learned the most from yours. You didn’t teach us about grammar and puncuation. You taught us something more important, how to learn, and how to be a better person. -Randa

When I first saw you I thought that you were some loony computer guy that was inspired about how cool programs are on the computer, but now I look at you as a man who didn’t care about grades but on how we could succeed throughout life, a man who encourages growing awareness on all the world, someone who knows that everyone is ignorant including himself but tries his very best to find out more, a person that strives for cooperation, not competition, and last but not least a man that knows exactly who he wants to influence people. -Will

From Al's Students in Australia:
When I found out that our blogs were closing down, I felt confused, sad and angry. I felt really sad because I felt that all Al had taught us had gone to waste. We had a vote on a name for our new forum. The new name for our forum is Article 13. It means Rights for the Child. I felt better with my blog in many ways.
>Writing and reciving comments.
>Cammunicating with other people.
and lots of other reasons. -By mini22

Hi Al when I heard that the blog was closed I was sad because the blog was like everything in my life . But now it is closed so we just have to do samething that is like the blog . The blog was great and fun I loved my blog it was like my home . And I like are fourm name. -mini2

when I found out my blog was shutdown
I was so so sad.
I did not feel safe at all .
I really wont to have my blog back.
I love geting new friends on my blog.
I Love the work i did. I love geting dots on my map. -mini27

I felt very sad and unhappy and it was horbl and was it’s save and sabe .and it’s is fun and it is not fun with out my blog and it is horbl when you need the thing you need. -mini3

Mr. Crosby's class, Sparks, Nevada, offered some cyber safety tips to the miniLegends:

Al: When my 5th graders heard about what was going on with your class they really wanted to help. Most of my students are second language learners … originally spoke Spanish or Vietnamese so blogging is a great opportunity for them to work on their English. I hope they kept their comments on a positive encouraging note and that in some way their words help with your situation. -Brian Crosby
I heard they blocked your blogs, that is too bad!!!! That has happened to us for like eight hours. But the reason they did it is because they are doing it to keep us safe and keep bad people away from our information. We can learn many things from blogging like getting better at your post because you find the mistakes, learn how to write stories, find mistakes and learn where people are blogging from. I have improved in writing my stories, reading comments and editing my writing. Be safe by not putting your information like not putting your last names, where you live, don’t put parents name, don’t put phone numbers and don’t put what school you go to OKAY!!!!!We hope you guys get your blogs back so we can blog. -Karla

I know that your class and ours can’t blog no more but we could try to vote for blogging I know that your kids are disappointed but you just got to tell then to not put there last name in there story or they will be endanger. They are not supposed to tell in there story want time there friend get out of school or how they say with or want is there phone number is or there friend last name. Like one of the kids put the first and last name of someone in the class and that can tell some bad guy some information and if they see him they can tell him thing that are not true then the bad guy or woman can kidnap them and that’s why I think they block blogging. -Victor

I think that your blogs getting blocked is not cool but I think your blogs got blocked because people worried that somebody was going to find out stuff about you. I think that your blog should have not gotten blocked because it helps you in alot of subjects like reading, writing and punctuation. -Everth

I’am a 5th grader in the USA I have something to tell you so here I go. People want your kids to be safe on the internet. People want your kids not to give away any information. I think your kids should have a right to blog because they will learn how to read, write,spell and what ever you wanting right in front of them and you are taking that chance away from them.
PS. As third graders I hope you get your blogs back because you might never get another chance like this. -Jazmin

You can hear the passion and commitment in the voices of these pre-teens, as they honor a teacher who "didn’t care about grades but on how we could succeed throughout life" and discuss their newfound ability to connect and communicate with other people while still having fun.

One young mini cuts to the heart of the matter when he/she comments "when I found out my blog was shutdown I was so so sad. I did not feel safe at all .I really wont to have my blog back."

Safety was supposed to be the crux of the matter, the overriding concern that compelled parents to demand that steps be taken to ensure the welfare of their children.

The American students have obviously been carefully taught "not to put there last name in there story or they will be endanger." Yet their responses contain the town and state where they live, their first names, grade level, and teacher's name. Does this increase their online vulnerability? If, as many studies suggest, the real danger is not from adult cyber stalkers but rather from cyber bullies, does this, or any, type of identity screening offer adequate protection? What do children need to learn to remain safe while becoming competent, confident Internet users?

Mini3 says "it is not fun with out my blog and it is horbl when you need the thing you need." Jazmin notes "As third graders I hope you get your blogs back because you might never get another chance like this."

Adults are depriving these students of the chance to learn and grow. We can't shelter them from every danger, but we can help them to acquire the knowledge they need to protect themselves. Schools and parents should become partners in cyber safety education. Otherwise, we leave our children confused and vulnerable, unprepared to function in the world that they already inhabit.

"Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time."
-Chinese Proverb

"Oct_06_085" by heymarchetti


Sue Waters said...

It's so cool to read the support from these kids and hear them speaking up. It was lovely of Brian's class to add their voices.

Al was telling me a lovely story how miniLegends have always had their own informal network where previous groups of miniLegends all network with one another. He says it's lovely to watch them chatting and connecting with each other.

Intrepidflame said...

Thanks for this....

diane said...

While the discussion continues in Australia about the miniLegends, the Intrepid Teacher has resumed blogging and reflecting on the state of education.