Archive for the 'politics' Category

28
May
11

Slam!

I made my students do a Poetry Slam. I forced them to watch one done at the White House by a very talented young man and told them to write a poem. What they turned in was crap and I told them so (in nicer terms than this). So I made them watch a few more videos (all COMPLETELY appropriate for the classroom), gave them a lecture about poetry not being all about rhyme scheme and repetition but about a visceral connection to yourself and your emotions. And I made them do it again.  They did, so I did 🙂

I love teaching.  I LOVE teaching and every day I see teachers who don’t.  I see teachers who have lost sight of the student, who are just coming to a job.  I see teachers who blame 16-year-old kids for not giving a crap about their education without stopping to discuss the clear fact that NO ONE in this country gives a crap about their education, sometimes not even their parents.  I see teachers who are more worried about the terms of a contract than the needs of a student.  I see teachers who use all their sick days and personal days, too.  I see teachers who get pissed off when they know they’re going to be evaluated because it means they actually have to teach something.

And I see teachers who are moving from sub job to sub job because they dared to move mid-career or decided to spend a few years at home with their children.  I see teachers with experience and degrees left on the sidelines while recent college grads get the few contracts available because they’re cheaper.  I see teachers trying to find a way to reach growing classes due to a shrinking staff and juggle the modifications from 15 IEPs.  I see teachers become mediators, nurses, counselors, mothers, and disciplinarians all in the span of 60 seconds and hear them turn boys into men in less than a sentence.

I see an industry in serious need of reform on every level and a country that can’t see its way to doing anything other than blaming the teachers.  I see an industry that is ruled by politics and not be knowledge, more interested in money than books, and more occupied with answers than with questions.  I seen an industry that no longer serves the public in the way that it should or could and must be changed NOW.

And most importantly, I see the student, the child waiting to be lead in the right direction.  I see the student whose search for knowledge survives even the worse teachers in the worst schools in the country.  I see the student who finds his own books when his school has none and the student who gets up before 5 AM and rides the bus for over an hour to get to the charter school across town and NEVER misses a day.  I see potential.  I see the future and I DEMAND to be a part of it.  Give me a job!

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20
Apr
11

Tea “Party”

I think it’s a little unfair that the Tea Party gets to categorize themselves as a third party when all of their candidates are running as members of the Republican Party.  If they want to call themselves a party, the need to see if they can stand on their own and win on their own.  I don’t think they can, and I think they know it.  I wonder why the media has not called attantion to their differences from the GOP while mentioning that they are still running AS the GOP.

07
Apr
11

Discuss…

How do we convince people who do not derive power from it or lose out as a result of it that the White Male Privilege does exist and that it would be almost universally beneficial to eliminate it?

09
Mar
11

Violence

One of my students was shot and killed yesterday just standing on the corner with his friends.  He was dedicated to turning his life around after making some bad choices as a very young man. Violence is a real problem in America. I believe education is the solution, but I’m open to other suggestions.

01
Feb
11

Walk Like an Egyptian

I marvel at the courage of the Egyptian people.  Granted, their courage is spurned by 30 years of oppressive rule, but it is more than a little impressive.  Mumbarak has no hope for continued rule, and I can’t imagine he’s doing more now than trying to find a way to save face while stepping down and trying to maintain order, but the political repercussions are not what this post is about.  I am awed by the power of people, any people, to stand up to something much greater than themselves and refuse to back down.

So many times as people we have a “can’t-win-don’t-try” mentality that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We bend over and take all kinds of crap from invasions of our privacy by advertisers to the most corrupt of politicians and continue to do nothing about it.  Even when our nation’s government is completely deadlocked due to the inability of a few “men” to reach any type of compromise we sit back and simply chalk it up to “the-way-of-the-world”.  It’s ridiculous!  The Egyptians and Tunisians demand change in oppression that did not come overnight, but crept up on them slowly over a number of years as they watched their freedom erode and their government grow more corrupt.  Sound familiar?

17
Dec
10

Indirect Censorship

The Parent’s Television Council has decided to “scold” various TV shows for their representation of teenage sexuality.  Most of the shows they chastised were geared towards adults, shows that young teens shouldn’t be watching anyway.  Of course, whether or not a child should be watching a particular show should depend on the maturity of the child and the decision of their parents, not a Parent’s council.

Indirect censorship groups are gaining way too much power.  Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are censoring the release of Jon Stewart’s new book, Earth, for unknown reasons.  Blockbuster and other video stores decide what they want to release to the public, and it’s usually based on the owner’s morals rather than actual inappropriate content.  The rating system for movies in the US has absolutely no rhyme, reason, or rubric.

American’s are allowing their information, their books, their TV shows, and their movies to be censored with no knowledge of why or how.  They put bling faith and trust in an agency without knowing the true purpose of the censorship.  I’m so tired of being told what to watch, what to read, what to think…  Even though I choose not to listen to these agencies, I find it more and more difficult to gain access to the information they don’t want me to have, even if it’s just a little sex on Glee.

14
Dec
10

Effin’ SCOTUS

10 years ago this week, SCOTUS made one of the worst rulings in recent US History with Bush v. Gore. Things have only gotten worse from that day, and it is continually proven to us by our political and judicial leaders just how unimportant we actually are.  I think that’s all that really needs to be said today.




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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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