Charters Won’t Help

Okay, let’s face it. As parents, as educators, as administrators and as politicians we are concerned with the state of education in America and in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods.

Here is my take:

1. Class sizes in these areas are TOO BIG. That being said, I will concede that I grew up in large cities that bussed and we had large class sizes. There were thirty plus kids. So, what is making this a problem today? Teachers? Parents? Kids?

a. Parents are not parenting. Kids are not being taught to be respectful and follow rules at home. Why would we expect them to do so at school? When I call a parent about their child swearing and the parent swears at me for “bothering” them I understand that I now have to ‘parent’ the child at school. When did it become my job to raise other people’s kids?

b. Teachers are picking their battles. We do not want to punish kids. That is not why we are here. We chose this profession, this art, because we love working with kids. It is ingrained in who and what we are. BUT. Yes, a large ‘but’ has to go in here. BUT, we cannot do it all. We cannot compensate for every child’s lack of appropriate parenting. We cannot financially compensate for a child’s unpreparedness. We cannot be in ‘loco parentis’ (in place of parent) and educator, too. Large classes of students who do not follow direction and behave poorly impacts teaching and learning. Teachers must give and follow through with consequences.

c. Kids. Kids will do what they are taught to do or let do. Without guidelines and rules children will mimic what they see and hear. If they are allowed to scream at home, they will scream at school. If they are allowed to cry and get their way at home they will attempt the same at school. If parents do not give consequences for inappropriate or, yes I will use the “B” word here, bad behavior then children will not understand consequences at school.

d. Administrators MUST support the classroom teachers as well as the parents and children. When a teacher has attempted to correct behavior and parents have been involved but refuse to support the teacher, administrators must take the firm hand. At time, it may be the child is suspended for a lengthy period of time. Parents my need to be inconvenienced. Put the education and parenting back on their child. Require the parent to attend with the child and make certain their child does what he/she is supposed to do. THAT would cause a bit of an uproar but you would see parents pushing their kids to behave better in school. Administrators should substitute. I’d love to see a middle or high school principal sub for me for a week. I’d love to have the superintendents sub for me for a week. I think school board members should sub as well. That would change perspectives. Many of these have either never been in a classroom or it has been so long since they were in a classroom they have no clue as to how students really behave and how parents do not support the teacher.

e. Politicians. Come do my job for a week. THEN you can talk about my job education.

I am really tired of feds, state officials and parents talking about how educators and the educational system is failing them, failing children. This is not the educational world in which you and I grew up.

My daughter looked at my old 3rd grade school picture. She counted the students. “Mom,” she said “there are thirty-two kids in your class. They are all sitting at their desks and smiling and looking well behaved. Didn’t you have the ‘class-clown’ or the ‘bad kid’ in your class?”

“Yes, we had them. However, they knew if they misbehaved of clowned around when it was time to do work or get pictures taken they would be punished by the teacher and their parents.”

“Teachers spanked kids?”

“Yep. Not often because we knew our parents would do it a second time when we got home. We did not do things to make our teacher spank us. It was rare.”

“Wow.” My daughter contemplated that concept. “Teachers need to spank now.”

“I don’t want to spank someone else’s child.” (Grammar withstanding our conversation) “I want parents to parent their kids so I don’t have to spank their children. I want them to understand about consequences in school and at home. I want an educational partner.”

This is what teachers want. We want involved parents.

Throwing money at schools is sometimes frowned upon. But as a teacher of large class sizes I can tell you that I would benefit from an extra adult body in my room. That takes money. I would love to see smaller classroom sizes at the PreKindergarten through second grade levels. We can teach them manners and appropriate behavior if we have smaller classroom sizes.

😀 This is my rant of the day. Thanks given to Fox News for setting me off.


Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) by Janet Evanovich

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) by Janet Evanovich.

I really like the characters in the books. They are fun and quirky. This particular episode into the life of Stephanie Plum actually made me laugh out loud. Stephanie is a skip tracer/bounty hunter who seems to have the worst luck and the best friends. Lula the ‘ho, Uncle Vinnie, Ranger, Connie, Morelli and her parents round out her crazy life. She is constantly torn between two men and her morals aren’t particularly strong. She just wants to do her job, get paid and maybe make up her mind about which guy she wants to become monogamous with. Fun books to read for a laid back summer.

Little Joe by Michael E. Glasscock III

Little Joe became an orphan in an instant. His grandparents were nearby and so he went to live with. This is his story of life completely different from the one he led before.

The book was well written and in the beginning the tragedy drew me into the story. Unfortunately, it really did not do much for me. It was well written and a good story; however, I kept waiting for something to happen. There were small incidents along the way but no real climax to the story. The grandparents were a bit surreal. Little Joe received punishment for bad behavior but not in a realistic fashion for the period in which the story takes place. It just felt like someone telling a brief story about their past but there wasn’t really anything interesting.

I just felt it was kind of  … flat.

I am saddened

I am saddened today by what I have read in the news. I am disheartened by the behaviors of my fellow man. I was not there the night Zimmerman shot Martin. I don’t know what took place and neither do most of us. What I do know is our news media sources are tainted by the drive for sensationalism. In that drive they modified the 911 call and incited a nation to hate someone they don’t even know and “love” another unknown individual.

I know that political entities jumped onto the case without full knowledge of events. I know police officers did their jobs. I know most of what we know isn’t the whole story because those who should know kept it locked down while investigating and prosecuting.

I want to believe that all of those involved, including the jurors, know more than you and me and made the right judgement. I want to believe our system works the way it should.

I am sorry a child lost his life – for any reason. I am sorry his friends and family are in such pain, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to lose my child.

There is something else I know. I know we must put race behind us and accept others based on their behavior not their skin. My daughter grew up in a neighborhood where most of our neighbors were not “white” or American by birth. She played with children who were born in Africa, Japan, Pakistan and South Korea ,as well as, the US. They were just children, like her. When a new family moved in next to one of our friends and began mistreating them, my daughter came home crying. Thanks to that person I had to explain racism to my eight year old. Thanks for that. She did not get it then and she does not get it now at twenty one. You know what? I don’t get it.

I am a Euro-Afro-Asian-American mutt. I was born here. My dad’s people came over in 1732. He immediately became a trader with native Americans. His people never owned slaves. Many were abolitionist. My grandfather was a sharecropper. And yes, we are from the southern part of the US; Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Texas. We still don’t care about the color of your skin, just the strength of your character.

My husband has a saying. “Ass-holes come in every color.” True.

We will never be done with racial tension, racism, whatever, until we put it on the back burner.

My question to everyone, regardless of ‘color’: Is the color of your skin the only thing that defines you? Is it the ‘thing’ you want me to use to define you?

I don’t. Because what you see is not always what you get.

Is our president black or white? Yes.

Is Zimmerman white? Depends.

Why should I focus on just one aspect of a person to determine his or her worth? I guess I still don’t get it.

From what I have read on other posts/bloggers many of you don’t get it either. So why are we still here doing the same things we have always done expecting a new result?

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling (Photo credit: Gwydion M. Williams)

I wanted to read this book to see what kind of a book J. K. Rowling would write for adults. I actually did not finish this book. I am giving it four stars because I think the writing is, as usual, flawless and the well thought out.

So now you are asking why I did not finish? I am not in the ‘mood’ to read a book that is coarse. The story is rough and coarse. Maybe too real for me right now. Sometimes, not always but at times, I am not in the mood to read a book that has the “F” word on nearly every page and talks about kids masterbating behind closed doors or feeling-up girls.

Casual Vacancy – One must understand the meaning behind the term. J. K. Rowling does give us “yanks” a definition in the front of the book.

The story starts with a death and branches out to those impacted in one way or another. Some are sad, as friends and family should be, but others are jubilant. Others become reflective, for better or worse, about their own lives and what this means to them. It shows the darkness inside of people. I am not in the ‘mood’ to read abut this right now; however, I did want to post something about the book. Some may find it invigorating to read about the angst of everyday life and may wish to pick up this book as a result. Some may choose to hold off, as I am, until at a point where the book will have its most impact to the reader.

Still gone….

Kerr Place

Kerr Place (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

not fishing. 🙂

I am still in the little bay side town of Onancock, Virginia. I am really enjoying the flow here. It has been enjoyable just hanging around after I finish working on the archives. Yesterday, while it was raining – just a shower really, I walked to the convenient store to see what they stocked on their shelves and to the Market Street Grill for dinner. It was nice because the main street in town, Market Street, is only two lanes and no lights. Really, I am loving it. To and from the restaurant was 1.4 miles. It was nice to have a little walk after dinner.

The Market Street Grill is the farthest from where I am staying. My husband comes in town tonight and we are hanging out “down town” to enjoy the festivities. It is a nice friendly town. I would not mind retiring here. I say retire because there aren’t any jobs. The school district is huge but no openings. The town has openings but nothing I am qualified to do and the next town up only has deli and fast food jobs available. Good that everyone is either working or retire here. Bad because there are no jobs.

So, retirement it shall have to be. I’m okay with that.