Saturday, April 16, 2016

AAAARRRRGGHHH or I can't make this S**T Up

Six weeks ago I told an administrator something a student had told me - that his English teacher had not given a test all year. (which can be verified in the gradebook) Let that sink in a minute. No tests. All year. Six weeks out of a school year that only lasts 36 weeks. OK?

In less than 2 weeks we have our state comprehensive tests.

1) The teacher has still given no tests. (which can be verified in the gradebook)

2) She has done no review for the upcoming state tests.

3) Guess who is going to teach how-to-take-a-test and (hopefully) the rudimentary parts of passing a test in a subject I am not certified in?

There are only a few class periods left and I have to assume something is better than nothing. And - they are my students even if it is not my course.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Should your life be defined by the worst thing you have ever done?

There is a Blue Bloods episode where a father shoots (and doesn't kill) the man who, as a teenager, accidentally shot his daughter - who ultimately died from the shooting. Erin makes the comment something like, should your life be defined by the worst thing you have ever done?

I think we do that too often.

When I was in high school a young man killed a stranger, someone who had picked him up hitchhiking because the student wanted to steal the older man's truck. And the young man, sentenced to a life in prison, was let out after about 40 years.

More recently, one of my ex-students, in a moment of stupidity, did something that resulted in a dishonorable discharge form the service he intended to donate the rest of his life to.

My ex-classmate has returned home and is living among his former friends, attends his childhood church, and appears to have made rehabilitation.

How to help my former student see that this doesn't have to be the rest of his life - that it will not be what he planned, but he can recover?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You can't teach them to care

How would you teach your students so they could pass this test?

A Chik-Fil-A manager has developed a quick test to determine whether he wants to hire someone. He puts trash on the floor before the interview and watches what they do with it.

How do you teach students to be aware of their environment and to care?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

When professions do not police themselves

Talking with friends - well, gossiping, because it has been a long week and telling teacher horror stories was somehow relaxing - and the story of one PE teacher came up. He was caught having sex, at school, with a student teacher. He was escorted off the campus, arrested and fired. I looked up his certificate. It is active and shows no ethics violations. What?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Emory students traumatized by graffiti - no, chalkings - of TRUMP 2016 on the campus.

I heard about this on the way home today. The talk show host referred to the students as "Emorrhoids".

I cannot believe that this institution - which has had a reputation as a good university - would seriously humor these kids.

Makes you want to grab some chalk and strike fear in the hearts of the college students.

Sheesh.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Let someone else be in control

I do not understand people who keep wanting to give more control to other people.

A friend posted on facebook that he wanted to share The Sweary Insults Colouring Book pages with his "younger friends" but didn't want his "older friends" to be insulted so he wanted facebook to come up with a filter by age.

OK.

That presumes that only young people would like those pages or that no young people would be insulted by those pages.

Rather than giving someone else control, let;'s see. He could assume that his "older friends" know enough to hit a delete key. (OK, in FB it isn't called a delete key but you can hide a post if you find it insulting.) He could assume that people can ignore what they are not interested in. He could send a private message to those people he wanted to see these pages.

Why (and when) did it become someone else's job to filter things for me? Am I so lame that I cannot filter my own?

I want to be in control of my own life and be insulted or not without someone else protecting me.

If allies are strong with power to protect me
Might they not protect me out of all I own?

(A Puzzlement, the King and I)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Do Not follow DUMB Advice

We tell students and our own children all the time to think about the advice they are following - or at least I do.

"If someone told you to jump off a building, would you do it?"

A friend was forced out of the profession this week for following, you guessed it, dumb advice. The administrators (or at least one wack job) lectured us in a meeting that if students say something that offends us, we should repeat the same word/phrase back to them so that they see how offensive it is.

Right.

Most of us realized this is an unsustainable piece of advice. I mean, I don't know what your students say daily but I know I am not repeating what mine say unless it is writing it on an office referral.

Friend had a student ask if he was the "only n***a" required to do something and she told him, yes, you are the only n***a. Sorry, most of us cannot say that word without penalties. Her penalty was her job.

Don't get me started on how THAT word needs to go away.

But, to go back to my point, it was dumb advice to begin with and it was dumb to follow it.

Shaking my head - you can't fix stupid.