Posts Tagged ‘do’
I’d fill you in on the details of the meeting that decided I was to redo — depending on how you view it, do in the first place — the TaskStream busywork, except a certain unnamed source specifically requested that I not quote him.
Not that I’m bound by his ultimatum, legally speaking. Any first-year law student could tell you that truth is an absolute defense against libel, the tort most commonly used in cases involving the written media. However, I’ll honor his request.
After explaining to the makeshift committee about my conviction that, for some reason, everyone involved with student teachers I’ve ever met excepting one has decried the “uselessness” — their word and mine — of credential programs, the committee was unconvinced.
I hadn’t taken that TaskStream stuff seriously. After all, all these credential programs lack merit, I quoted. Paraphrased, their response:
Not this one.
There was, admittedly, one quite convincing personal protest by he-who-shall-not-be-named-or-quoted, but I won’t name or quote him, even though it does him an unfair disservice. I’d much rather quote him, to be honest, and if he revokes this stipulation I shall do so willingly and without hesitation.
Suffice it to say that the committee wasn’t amused by my complete lack of regard for the documentation component of my student teaching semester. Expletives had been involved, and I hadn’t bothered to do more than what I thought was the absolute, bare-bones minimum. In effect, one observed:
What kind of teacher only shoots for a two out of four, for barely passing?
My mind flashed back to 15 pieces of flair, and the rot at the center of the maggot.
This meeting was last week.
As of 13 hours, 52 minutes ago, the first half of my student teaching project was officially redone. Mind-gaggingly painful, headache-inducing sadism. Only Russian has strong enough words to describe the pain of my self-imposed misery.
Screw this, he wrote in a moment of undirected anger and frustration. What’s the big deal with teaching, anyway? Why can’t I be a pilot, instead?
Yet I know I’m going to actually do the assignment this time, and do my God’s-honest best. Hell’s bells.
Local teacher Cynthia Brickey is as mad as hell, and she’s not going to take it anymore. If the taxpayers are going to blame her and other teachers for the performance of all of her students, she wants to know what she should do with her desk warmers.
I’ve pep-talked, pleaded, cajoled, called home, sent them to detention — nothing works. Sometimes I wonder if they come to school just to hang out with their friends. Here we are in the last weeks of school and these desk warmers all have a 40% or lower in my class. A few are in single digits. …
What do you think I should try? I figure you, the readers, are educated and interested in issues that affect you. Our state now pays more than 40% of its budget for education. What went so wrong?
Should I concentrate on the “good” kids who are doing the work and give them all my attention? I have some fabulous kids this year: four sections of sophomore English and one section of junior/senior world literature.
Should I just forget about the desk warmers/oxygen-deprivation machines? What do you, the taxpayers, think I should do? I know if I have this problem, then all high school teachers must have the same problem.
Parents aren’t much help with her desk warmers.
I have some parents who show no interest at all in their children’s failures. When I call home, they just throw up their hands, “What are you gonna do? They’re kids.” Other parents blame me for their kids’ failure to do any work at all. Educational think tanks have actually said, “If kids don’t do their homework, it’s because it’s not meaningful.”
Meaningful? How many things in life are meaningless, but we do them because we have to — like cleaning toilets, changing poopy diapers and paying taxes? Some parents think if their child comes to school, that should be enough. I had one parent write me this note: “He belongs to you people all day. At 3 p.m., his time belongs to me.” Uh, OK.
I think she confuses “meaningless” with “tedious, boring and unpleasant,” but that’s a matter of semantics. The context makes her point clear: Life requires unpleasantness, and so it helps to develop a tolerance.
Education has spent the past 20 years trying to get every kid to go to college. A lot of kids go for six weeks. After the first midterm, they drop out. It’s too much like work. They never belonged there in the first place. Example: Many junior colleges now have two levels of English labs the student must take and pass before the student is eligible for English 1A.
Work. That’s where I believe these oxygen-deprivation machines belong, at work. The ODMs (not my expression, my science colleague’s) belong at work. We finally got a grant … to improve our auto shop — fantastic! What about all the other non-college professions? Machinists, construction, heating and air-conditioning, plumbing, cement design, interior/exterior painting, esthetics, culinary, health care. The list is endless.
Why aren’t we preparing these dropouts for work and not welfare? In some inner cities like Baltimore, the high school graduation rate is 30%. That’s deplorable.
What do the taxpayers want us to do? I believe they have the answer, not us.
She finishes by asking for feedback, but not before blaming families and parents for students’ failure. Classy.
I don’t disagree that the family life can affect the academic success of students, ending the letter like that will invoke the wrong kind of reaction.
What’s the role of ROP education, and vocational electives? Is it wrong to encourage students to go to college at the expense of the unmotivated?
Imagine that’s the weekend. I’m writing this post during the weekend, so it’s probably a lot easier for me to imagine this than for you.
This particular Saturday evening comes after three enjoyable, one passable and what might as well have been nine horrid weekdays worth of unshaven, unwashed and sometimes disinterested high school sophomores.
Imagine that this week has just passed you, belligerence and all while still imagining that it’s the weekend. Please try to do imagine with your eyes open. I don’t suppose you’d be able to continue reading if you closed them.
Stressed, you need to get away from, with or to everything. What do you do? I’m just 21, myself, and I haven’t yet cemented my favorite pastimes or prejudices. So far, I simply know what I don’t do.
I don’t go to bars because I don’t drink. I don’t go to clubs because I’m cheap. I don’t go to friends’ houses because I’m paralyzed by a fear of intruding.
I rarely go to movies in part because I’m not so sociable that I feel I must and in part because most movies sustain only my disinterest. At least, until Rotten Tomatoes tells me otherwise. I do go to all Tim Burton films, and all second sequels at a midnight showing. Both types are few and far between.
Instead, and just recently, I go to bookstores.
My town has the glory accorded to it by not one but two major nationally franchised bookstores. If you’ve ever been able to hock one across a six-lane boulevard and its median, they’re also within spitting distance of each other. I choose which store I attend by whim, or to mix things up.
I find that our Barnes and Noble’s bright lighting is fine for looking for though not reading books, and that it usually has better prices and a better selection of my favored genres. Not to be outdone, Borders’ sitting-and-reading-books-but-not-paying-for-them area is far superior, with dimmer lighting and far more comfortable armchairs.
I’ll spend a whole morning into an afternoon into an evening at exactly one seat in one bookstore. Usually, I’m leafing through something with pictures and word balloons. Heavier reading — don’t get me wrong, as some comic books are pretty heavy — is right out. Wherever I sit at either bookstore, not-Muzak’s faux flamenco and synthesized trumpets seem to blare above me.
I have Barnes and Noble’s playlist memorized from hearing it so often, so Borders again has the advantage once I return with my literary conquests.
When the intercom stops trickling out its vocal arrangement of Holst’s Jupiter to announce not the new Starbucks honey-mocha-blend Frappuccino™ but that the store will close in 15 minutes, I beat the rush and simply wobble up onto my legs.
My eyes have trouble adapting to focusing beyond 10 inches once again, but once the fuzzy people get sharper, the routine out is easy.
I make my way out to my car. I drive back to my dorm. I wait seven days. Again, I get away from it all.
Out of the house, what do you do for fun and leisure?