Monday, August 07, 2006

Five Education Thoughts, One Random Thought.

Thought One:
This Hartford Courant article caught my attention. I lean towards accepting the idea of merit pay, and allowing my superiors--administrators--evaluate me in terms of my merit. But, without all of the facts, this story is what ultimately leads me away. There are just too many self-important, spineless, administrators who would treat staff this way.

Thought Two:
After a trying year for residents of New Orleans, I wish its students a successful year. There are still many potential issues that could hinder a positive education this year--threat of more hurricanes, funding, poverty, and less than effective leaders--but, if the students of New Orleans can find a way to work through the trials and maintain focus on what is most important, they will be models for the rest of the students who have far less troublesome issues (even if they don't see it that way).

Thought Three:
I enjoy teaching one of these additional R-classes. At the same time, I also lament the loss of electives for these students. I wonder why our system has failed to teach them these basic skills while passing them along to me. In terms of academeics, there is not much out there that breaks my heart more than a 9th grade student who doesn't know how to pronounce the "r-e" letter combination at the start of a word.

Thought Four:
We are currently Re-WASL'ing, and I am a proctor. Thousands of students across this state have glad... no, smartly given up summertime sun for the classroom flourescent. I wish these kids great luck on the re-take.

Thought Five:
If you are a parent and don't believe this report, just go to your daughter's or son's Kickoff Dance this fall. The sexual nature of current pop culture has dangerous influence over our students. It is a difficult world to navigate for a teenager whose left to their own devices. Parents have a responsibility to monitor what influences their child. This does not mean we should hide out in a cave, avoiding all contact with the outside world; but it does mean that we ought to be prudent. I fear the culture I will have to help BabyTate navigate.

Thought Six:
I am tired of people not getting along--even in the presentation of news. It is hard to imagine that, God, Allah, Buddha, YEHWEH, Jesus, or whoever you happen, or don't happen to worship, doesn't cry over such things. It is no wonder that our world leans towards secularism when so much violence is done too often in the name of religion.


At 6:12 PM , Blogger Booklogged said...

Enjoyed reading your blog and the newspaper articles. You are quite insightful. I've asked myself that question about religion many times. It's a sad state of affairs.

At 6:52 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I enjoy your blog and find it very thoughtful.

That all being said, I just wanted to add a note of caution to your thought #5. There have been a lot of discussion about that report, but they all seem to have the same correlation = causation problem. Yes, there is a connection between kids listening to sexual explicit music and having sex early. However, why do we assume that one caused the other? Maybe the ones that are interested in sex choose to listen to more sexually explict music?

I am more making a comment about the media coverage than I am about what you have to say (since I do agree with what you have written). Those headlines do bother me.

At 10:20 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Mr. R,
Very true. But we cannot deny the powerful influence that music has on the human psyche. Though I am not all that musically inclined, I certainly have been affected by lyrics, rhythm, and a well-played guitar rift.
I wouldn't necessarily say that, should a student listen to sexually explicit lyrics, he or she will then choose to have sex earlier.
But we would be silly to pretend that sexually explicit lyrics do not have a powerful influence over how one perceives a sexual culture.

At 11:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never understood blaming religion for all of mankind's violence as we don't have any idea how violent a world without religion would be. For all we know, without religions mankind might be much more violent. Though I'd guess we'd have been just as violent, only justifying our acts differently. Just an idea.


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