Each year, Minnesota government schools close for two days (just before the weekend, of course) so teachers’ union members can gather at a conference organized by their union.
It’s meant to “inspire teachers,” EAGnews.org reported, and the conference includes a session titled, “Using Persona Dolls to Promote Social Emotional Intelligence and Acceptance of Diversity.”
The union describes it this way: “Used around the world, persona dolls are lifelike dolls with personalities and stories you create. The dolls become members of your classroom community and children learn by empathizing with the dolls and giving them heartfelt advice on the same kinds of situations they struggle with daily in the classroom and on the playground.”
That’s weird. Teachers are taking time away from the classroom to learn how to play with dolls?
The conference also includes a workshop on how to teach about Islam. The union says about the session:
“An expert panel will present information on teaching about Islam in the context of social studies and world religion. They will share perspectives on how educators can help improve intercultural communication and well-being for immigrant and refugee students and families from Muslim countries.”
That sounds nice. Who’s betting they won’t hear anything about the September 11, 2001 hijackers’ jihad or suicide bombers blowing up American soldiers or Israeli children? And why the focus on only one religion?
And of course no teachers union conference would be complete without a session about the importance of the upcoming presidential election (it will become an Obama rally), and a discussion about how education reform efforts are misguided and dangerous.