The title of this post may sound simple, but if you would like to reply, there are three points to reply to. Not replying to all of them is fine, I don't mind, I really would simply like some advice-- yes, straight forward, critical advice. Keep in mind I am a science teacher-to-be, and have a reputation for being, "the person you call when you need to hear the truth no matter how hard". So--

Point one, as the youngest of three, I am at a point in my life where my relationship has with my siblings, older sisters, has become incredibly strained; with one in particular. (I suppose people with siblings answer this one if possible.) Should I cut ties? I admit that I would be almost completely comfortable with it. She has done nothing my entire life but reinvigorate a sense of WHY I need to become a science teacher, and has also done nothing except ridicule and ha-rang me for what would seem to be very basic concepts. I have simply grown tired of it. If I could maintain a good relationship, I would consider the option, I just don't know how possible it is.

Second, I am a 'former' college student who had to move back home because of the recent economical hardships coupled with vehicle trouble, etc, etc. Living with my family at an age where I truly consider my partnership with my girlfriend to be lifelong, (we are 300 miles apart right now), and also living with a very conservative family who seem interested and respectful of science but seem far more worried about wishful thinking than critical thinking-- again, I plan to be a science teacher but have been an active artist for 10 years, what are some good options? (Warning, I am a very contemplative person and have considered many paths, most of which have been met with, "this is my house and you won't criticize my beliefs like that.")

As a future educator, how should I tackle students with similar mindsets? I plan on being a teacher that allows for bi-weekly discussion, assuming lesson plans are met and time allows, on modern topics. Any topic that the students wish to discuss, because as a teacher, I find much more of an obligation to teach my students HOW to think but critically analyzing stories and information.

I appreciate any feedback-- especially from people with similar family issues. I have left out a lot of information and been very vague, so if ANY specification or clarification is needed, please, ask.

Views: 12

Comment by Loop Johnny on November 12, 2010 at 9:22am
I do not make out any concrete questions from your post. I understand you are a science teacher that is having a hard time with superstition.

Tips for a science teacher on superstitions:
( superstition includes religion )
1. Never engage in a superstitious conversation. Just let others ask you.
2. Do NOT be an asshole.
3. Do not explain any superstition using their body ( do not disprove the Bible with quotes from the Bible -> theists get around that pretty easily )
4. Whenever someone is perplexed by "Why don't you believe?" point out the obvious scientific points.
5. Teach the scientific method first and explain to your students how it works and how can you use it to validate a claim ( how evidence narrows down the uncertainties etc. )
6. Point out the obvious and let them think for themselves.
7. Do NOT be pushy. They have to think. You cannot force anybody to be an atheist.
8. When asked clearly state: "I do not believe in superstitions or myths."
9. For those who are unfamiliar with science point out that science works, while superstition does not.
10. Earn a reputation without divulging your disbelief, so that after you come out your students will know that "My teacher is a very intelligent person. He doesn't believe in God." ( and then they will start to ask questions why )
11. Teach curiosity. Yes. First comes curiosity then comes the science. If something is interesting I love to learn it.
12. Be funny. Be meticulous in thought. Be tolerant. Your students are, somewhat, forced to be in your presence. You have to stand as a good person.
13. State facts. Support them. Ask a question. Let it unanswered.
Comment by Gaytor on November 12, 2010 at 11:02am
I wanted to respond earlier and I'm still short on time. The short answer that I would give is don't write off your sister yet. Sometimes age eases the importance of the small issues. I have friends that are Young Earthers. We know that we disagree fundamentally, but we don't need to discuss it on a regular basis. And when we do, it's best to not get worked up. Nothing is going to change on either side, and there are a lot of good old times to smile about and families to watch grow up. The details about 300 million years ago and what they believe about that time seems insignificant. But then again, we aren't close and together a lot.

As you settle into adulthood and find yourself only seeing your parents 10 times a year due to distance, you'll find that you only see your siblings that often as well (obviously from my life) and for the most part, it's pretty nice to see them then. Hopefully by then she'll be fixated on kids and the husband and your beliefs will no longer be an issue because she won't be able to wait to tell you about this one time... and swim class...
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on November 12, 2010 at 8:10pm
"There is in every village a torch - the teacher; and an extinguisher- the clergyman” (Victor Hugo). Teaching the Scientific Method is important. Teaching people to think for themselves is enough. If you have an agenda - either atheistic or religious the students will see through it.
Comment by Ethan F. on November 12, 2010 at 9:22pm
Thanks all-- lot to consider and more to just vent off.

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