Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another awesome letter found online regarding the education reform...

*This is not MY letter* It was found online.

There is a boy in my daughter's class, CamRan, who is taking 2nd grade for the second time.  He knows me because I join my daughter for lunch every few weeks and I make a point to talk to him.  I do this because at the beginning of the school year the two of them had an argument and I found out that he fights with other students quite a lot.  So I figured a few kind words from me wouldn't hurt.  He really likes to talk to me and asks me all kinds of questions about our lives, do I help Ellie with her homework, does she get spanked if she's bad, does she get a time out sometimes...

After studying the Chinese culture for many weeks, the children invited their families to visit the classroom where they shared their work with us.  I used vacation time to attend.  I wasn't going to miss it, it was the first thing the parents had been invited to all year.  As soon as I came in, CamRan saw me and his face lit up.  I went across the room to where he was with another classmate and put my hand on his shoulder and asked how he was.  He didn't answer.  Instead he said, "I wish my momma had come today."  I answered, "Yeah, sometimes it's really hard to get out of work even when you really want the time off."  CamRan replied, "No, she's not at work, she's at home on the couch."  I didn't know what to say.  I just squeezed his shoulder.

Monday the kids have a special project due.  I called CamRan's mom on Thursday and invited him to our home to work on it with my daughter on Saturday.  She didn't even know what I was talking about.  She hadn't read his homework packet or the three pages of instruction that were both sent home on Monday.  This was THURSDAY night and she was clueless!  She agreed to bring him on Saturday to work on the project, have lunch and play a little while.  She said she would call me the next day to finalize plans.  I never heard from her again.

Why am I telling you this?  Because she is the reason CamRan didn't pass the 2nd grade the first time.  She's the reason CamRan falls asleep in school all the time.  She's the reason he doesn't do his homework.  And she's the reason he is going to fail his ISTEP tests next year.  To me, this kind of parenting is appalling. I can't imagine not giving this boy the attention he deserves.  His life would be so much different if he had a mother who cared.  But he doesn't.  So let me ask you, why does it become his teacher's responsibility to make up for this mother's lack of caring, attention and support?  How can we judge this teacher's performance based on CamRan's performance at school?  The answer: WE CAN'T!  You cannot judge a teacher based on ISTEP scores or poor performing students who aren't awake or participating.

Next season on Survivor

Have you heard about the next planned "Survivor" show?
Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 1 school year.  Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district's curriculum, and a class of 20-25 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.H.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.

Each business person must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance, with annotations for curriculum objectives and modify, organize, or create their materials accordingly. They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, and arrange parent conferences. They must also stand in their doorway between class changes to monitor the hallways.

In addition, they will complete fire drills, tornado drills, and [Code Red] drills for shooting attacks each month.

They must attend workshops, faculty meetings, and attend curriculum development meetings. They must also tutor students who are behind and strive to get their 2 non-English speaking children proficient enough to take the SOLS tests.  If they are sick or having a bad day they must not let it show.

Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science, and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment to motivate students at all times.  If all students do not wish to cooperate, work, or learn, the teacher will be held responsible.

The business people will only have access to the public golf course on the weekends, but with their new salary, they will not be able to afford it.  There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to thirty minutes, which is not counted as part of their work day.  The business people will be permitted to use a student restroom, as long as another survival candidate can supervise their class.

If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials before, or after, school. However, they cannot surpass their monthly limit of copies.  The business people must continually advance their education, at their expense, and on their own time.

The winner of this Season of Survivor will be allowed to return to their job.

Pass this to your friends who think teaching is easy, and to the ones that know it is hard.