When I tell stories about the two years I spent as a public school teacher, I instinctively glance at my hands. I’ve learned to cover for it by stretching my arms out in front of me like I’m winding up to pitch, or sliding my hands into my pockets to strike my most casual conversational pose. What I’m actually doing is looking at the piece of graphite that’s still buried in my right palm.
… and regarding the Blackwater Devos model on steroids that pits privatization and weapons industry parasitic presence of guns and pyramids as an unspoken excuse to rape the future through infecting public education…
Credo action has posted a petition to Congress calling on all members to stop accepting ANY money from the NRA.
The time has come to say NO MORE!!! and this is just the beginning. KNOW that this the two-faced war that scorns “socialism” while practising it under the guise of necessity because the parasitic model of violence it has perpetrated does not know how to do anything else!!!
One option to explore… The Center for Dynamic Community Governance
Pre college teaching is probably the most difficult job on the planet…I recently saw a documentary about a one room multiple class ‘school’ in rural Europe that almost made me cry. It was beautifuly educational.
The best thing you could do to improve education and teaching at the same time is reduce class sizes. Hire more teachers. But to hire more teachers you have to respect them and the job they are doing and their pay scale is a reflection of that. Low pay in our society equals not valued and held in low esteem. Who wants a job like that?
For a student, having the teacher know your name and the time to give you some personal attention when you need it is huge. It’s something that finally becomes impossible when you have too many students.
My father was educated in a one room schoolhouse and he was far better educated than most students are today. He always said that by sitting through all the assignments for all the grades from first grade to eighth grade that by the time he got to eighth grade himself he already knew everything. From the one room schoolhouse he went on to finish college with an engineering degree.
when hired right out of college for my first year as a teacher in the kansas city suburb of concordia missouri, the principal apologized for my fifth hour sophomore english class. he explained most were the “unteachables” and had been corralled together away from serious students. i called this group of about twenty young males my “sweat-hogs.” you know what, though? i had a great time with this class! they enjoyed discussing the literature and some of them were very intelligent.
one afternoon the mother of the group’s “vinnie babarino” came to me for help. she explained that she is a single mom and her son hated school–except for my class. i felt honored.
we moved to oklahoma and i began substituting in the tulsa school system. teachers often requested me by name because as a certified teacher i actually studied their lesson plans and taught the subject. one morning i was called to a new school for me and the principal told me that the small class of five bad boys would be my students all day and to do whatever i can. “Your’re not going to teach them anything,” he warned, "all we ask is that you keep them from disturbing nearby classrooms.
so, i introduced myself and told the boys, "you’ve got quite a reputation and the principal says you too noisy! here’s what we’ll do. i’m her to teach so anyone who wants to lean can sit in the front row and any who don’t want to learn can sit in the back row and talk quietly among yourselves. fair enough? the class began with me and two students at the front and three chatting in the back row. i’m happy to report that in no time we had all five attending class. in fact i pretty much became their permanent teacher. doubt that this made a big difference. i suspect at least four of those ended up in prison.
now, would you like to hear about the time i took a class of incarcerated kids who had viciously attacked another student or teacher in public school?
anyway, my philosophy is that the student is the most important person in the system. education is a sacred responsibility from one generation to the next. we need to identify and encourage each individual’s attributes and guide her/him through the challenges. we want students to listen? well, parents and teachers need to set the example. listen to your students and they’ll tell you what they need most.
education should not be indoctrination!