Politics with Brian

My thoughts on politics, government and social problems.

Latest Posts

How can teachers and students easily find compromises in disputes?


Teachers and students can sometimes have disagreements with each other. Reasons vary, but it is usually about grades or a debate in class. There are rare instances when the reasons are personal, but rules are in place to prevent that from happening. But what can you do when you are in that position? How can teachers and students easily find compromises in disputes?

How disputes play out

Disputes happen between teacher and student when they encounter a problem that is caused by one of the parties or happened out of chance. For example, a student may complain about a grade they received. The teacher could also complain about a student’s actions within the classroom or school. They could also be arguing and end up needing someone to moderate their dispute.

How are disputes handled

When the dispute occurred inside the school, it must be handled by the dean or chancellor. However, there is a way for the student and teacher to reach a compromise to avoid any incident reports that could tarnish both their records.

Still, they would need a mediator if they cannot arrive at an agreement. A mediator will serve as an impartial judge to the student and teacher’s arguments. It would be the same way as with the dean or chancellor.

The only difference is that when the school is involved, they will judge the dispute based on the rules of their handbook.

How can they reach a compromise

A compromise is simple. Each party must give a little so that they can reach an acceptable agreement. There are times when the student and teacher cannot agree with each other. That’s because it is an innate need for a person to be right, even if it’s against a superior like their teacher. If you are a teacher, it is even more important for them to be right, lest their credibility be undermined.

The truth is that when people cannot agree on one thing, the resentment at each other can fester and turn into a full-bodied war of the words or minds. That is where the mediator comes in. A mediator will help the teacher and student find a solution that will agree with both of their agendas.

The mediator must be skilled in the art of negotiation, but he or she must also know the details of the dispute. This way, they can provide an objective solution that will benefit both parties. Although they will not get what they want, they can still leave the table with only a few losses.

What about a personal dispute?

Personal disputes, which can be emotional or physical in nature. This is why institutions discourage teachers and students from having personal relationships. It can also mean that teachers are not encouraged to promote close friendships with their students and vice versa. It helps avoid personal disputes that can hold the school accountable.

Have you ever been in a dispute with a teacher or student? How did you arrive at a compromise? Share your tale and solutions with us in the comments below.

Why Don’t Students Trust Their Parents


We all have either experienced it or have seen it, not just in real life but in movies and TV shows. There is always a clash of some sort between students, particularly teenagers, towards their parents.
Most of these can be blamed for hormones. As teenagers hit puberty, they have sudden mood changes, that even small, petty things seem big, big enough to have a confrontation and arguments with their parents.

But another reason this is happening is that as teenagers reach a new chapter in their lives, they experience new self-awareness about themselves, and by doing so, they want their parents to see them in this new image they see in themselves- or want themselves to be. That is why they tend to challenge their parents in most things, they want their parents to recognize and respect them for their new selves. For parents to trust them in their decisions and choices in life. That they are not the children their parents knew them anymore.

To a student’s/teenager’s point of view, their parents are trying to restrict them to become who they want to be. They think their parents are trying to mold them into someone they are not, into who their parents want them to be instead of who they should be. While in the eyes of the parents, they just want to steer their children to the right path, especially since they have most likely been in those situations. It is a tricky, sensitive relationship to be honest, and both should learn to be extremely cautious not to go overboard during heated arguments.

Here are the common reasons why students/teenagers have arguments and mistrust towards their parents:

  • House Rules.
    • Parents want to implement rules in the house. Teenagers want to break them, and sometimes for no reason at all. Teenagers feel like their freedom is being challenged, while the parents just want to teach their children discipline and responsibility. Rules like curfew time or household chores are common issues.
  • Always going out.
    • Another issue that causes a clash between parents and teenagers. Its normal for teenagers to hang out with friends, but sometimes overdo it, worrying the parents in the process, and the teenager forgetting responsibilities at home.
  • School performance.
    • This is a very common issue that almost all of us experienced at one point or another. Parents tend to put pressure on their children by expecting high grades, but for most teenagers, as long as they get a passing grade it is enough. This is another reason why teenagers think their parents are just trying to restrict their happiness.
  • Smoking and drinking.
    • Most people experience these, especially during their teenage days. Even the parents who are against it. Of course, as parents, they know the dangers these habits may lead to and cause. But to teenagers, it is part of life, part of growing up. So when parents try to tell their teenagers not to do it, the more the teenagers want to smoke and drink.
  • Setting an example
    • If parents don’t act accordingly, kids will use this as a defense whenever they do something wrong. They might say that if the parent does it, then why can’t they do it, too? That is why this argument can be the most complicated of all because there is no defense when you, as a parent, are doing something just as wrong. That is why it is important for parents to set an example and vice versa.

So yes, it is very normal for parents and their teenagers to argue and distrust each other. Aside from hormones and mood change teenagers feel, it is also an age/generation thing. The good news is that in most cases, teenagers who drift away from their parents in terms of their relationship, tend to fix it as they mature and grow old. It is a normal thing, but something both parties must be sensitive about.


Benefits of Teaching Controversial Political Issues to Students


Politics represent an essential part of a healthy society. Whether we like it or not, political happenings often dictate the development of other civil spheres all around us, making the topic unavoidable in the process.

This is doubly true if you are a professor of civil, legal or political courses where students have more questions than your average youth. But what are the benefits of actually involving political issues and social questions into your curriculum without making it sound subjective or detrimental?

Social activity

Students that have an active exposure to current and controversial political issues have a far better understanding of the world as a whole. Their need to know more about politics leads them to a far greater social activity in the process. It’s true that the youth we teach today will carry the world on its shoulders tomorrow. Why not teach them about current happenings and how they ripple throughout society, for better or worse?

They learn to develop personal opinions and participate in social happenings in a more engaging manner than they otherwise would. This means that they will be encouraged to take up volunteering opportunities; work harder in school and all-in-all focus more on their career development.

Political literacy

Teaching students about politics and its more controversial subject matters allow for a far greater political literacy on their part. Participating in conversations, events or even voting activities throughout the year is nigh impossible without proper knowledge of what is what in politics.

The untaught youth is open to manipulation and abuse as a result, meaning that political parties can easily influence them into doing something that might be considered wrong by the country’s majority. Prevention is the best kind of treatment, which means that increasing overall political literacy can have great results in shaping the future of a country.

Developing objectivity

Whenever we look at the current state of global politics, we can see an overall lack of objectivity and personal stances. Students who are about to step into adulthood should be taught to differentiate selfishness from good intentions, and what better way to do so than through real-world political examples?

Objectivity can be developed through careful examinations of actual examples that have happened throughout history as well as recent or current events. Keep in mind that the professor’s role in the matter should be absolutely objective and without personal bias.

 If the person teaching the students is unbiased and focused on passing knowledge and information, the students themselves will have the freedom to shape their own thoughts on the matters at hand.

Political participation

Lastly, teaching students about politics inevitably leads to some form of political activity on their part. It’s far better to face the issue head-on and talk about political activity and events with everyone involved and in a controlled environment than avoid the subject altogether. Teaching politics is difficult, however – it requires absolute objectivity on the teacher’s part since even the slightest lean towards one side of the argument or another might impede the message you are trying to convey.

Students should be taught about the processes involved in political activity, their benefits, and detriments as well as the possibilities of developing a political career. If any of them decide to go down that route, so be it – your job as a teacher is to inform them of the ramifications and possibilities of such decisions and nothing more.

In Summation

There are too many benefits to teaching politics through actual and controversial examples to simply discard the idea. Make sure to stay within the territories you are comfortable with and sufficiently informed to convey a proper message to the students. Ignoring the matter or refusing to talk about it will only raise concerns with students and shake your authoritarian stance towards them – be the bigger person and face the topic head on.

Problems a Student Face During the First Year of College


New beginnings and experiences depending on the person, can both be stressful and exhilarating, college is no different, especially during the first year. For most of us, the sudden change of environment, school culture, and responsibilities can be a bit overwhelming. It is one of the most challenging aspects for a freshmen student, and in fact, one of the most stressful things throughout the whole college life for many students.

As freshmen, we enter college not knowing what to expect. We are only equipped with what we heard or pieces of advice given to us, but to actually experience them first hand is a different thing.

Here are the common problems student face during the first year of college

  • Adjusting to a new school environment
    • This is always hard in any situation. We do not know what to expect and just hope for the best. It is particularly hard for students who are used to their high school lifestyle so when they finally see their world suddenly changed it may cause stress, loneliness, and even depression. And to many people who suddenly live away from home, the adjustment can be harder. Budgeting your money for your meals, staying with new people, missing your family and friends back home, it can be overwhelming indeed.
  • Finding new friends
    • Another thing that is hard for freshmen is finding a new group of friends to belong to.  This is harder for introverts who tend to be shy and picky towards friends. The good news here though is everyone in freshmen class most likely have no friends too, so everyone is trying to find new friends.
  • Trying to excel and do everything by the book during the first year.
    • When you are in your later years in college, ever noticed how freshmen really seem serious about everything? Well, during the first year, we really want to do our best, we try to impress everyone. We are there on time, we never miss a class, and always do everything in time. But in the later years, we tend to be relaxed as we learn the ins and outs of college life. So yes, freshmen years can really be stressful for most students as they strive to really not disappoint anyone.
  • Peer pressure
    • As stated earlier, most freshmen tend to impress everyone, trying to get validation from others. Add to that that most try to fit in and find new friends, a lot of students can easily give in to peer pressure just to belong to a group, and though this may not be a problem, to some people it can lead to some self-destructing habits.
  • Time management
    • Most new students who are still adjusting to college life will have a hard time balancing their schedule. Studies, social life, personal time, and sleep. It can be hard and stressful, usually leading to lack of sleep. Of course, this is something most of us experience and can adapt to sooner or later.
  • Completing assignments on time
    • This is not high school anymore. The more you study, the more exams you get. The more you listen in class, the more reports and essays are requested. It’s a huge change, but it’s the best challenge you will ever face in your life. All you have to do is manage your time wisely as mentioned above.

There are other challenges for new students out there, and it also depends on each student’s personality, but those stated above are the common obstacles freshmen face. Are you starting your first year of college? Are you ready to face up the challenges given here? Don’t worry about it because the hard part will be over before you know it.