A Letter to Administrators on Schooling

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It has been an excellent experience working with this district, but I don’t think that the problems I face can be solved only at the District level. There are too many programs, too many solutions, and too many mandatory tools. Furthermore, I’m prohibited from allowing the students to teach themselves in a hands-on manner, through self-directed study. They cannot pursue their own interests during class time, they have to digest the often unsavory unformation of schooling. I say unformation because instead of informing them, it often un-forms the students: destroys their potential and their creativity. Ask Kevin Robinson if you don’t believe me.

I am not the only person who feels this way. My co-workers agree that teachers are weighed down by too many rules. Get rid of Mastery Connect. It is just one more good idea that weighs me down, wastes my time, and takes away from the students. I already work extra hours to maintain grades, update lesson plans, and satisfy EYE requirements, yes I’m a new teacher. Teaching is very satisfying work, but doing the “Administrative” duties required of me by the State  and this District is an unnecessary encumbrance. “Because I have to” is not a worthy enough reason for me to continue subjecting myself to competing state and district policies. This setup is like going to college all over again, where each professor thinks that all of my, the student’s, time should be used for their class, paying no mind to the workload given by any of the other professors.

I frequently ask my students “Why do we come to school?” and the answer I most often hear is “because we have to”. They are astonished when I tell them that if they didn’t come, or have to come, schools wouldn’t exist. I believe that schooling should be designed to help students to succeed.

Success is different for each individual. For this reason, I strongly object to standardized testing. Standardized testing is not a valuable skill for the students nor does it contribute to society as a whole. Success is not the ability to pass a standardized test. I advocate independence, new ideas, creativity, invention, love, moral values, patriotism, and religion. These are the most valuable and rare attributes in our society. No standardized test ascertains their presence, nor has any curriculum I’ve seen explicitly advocated their propagation. What an ominous mistake.

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George Washington Gomez

I wrote this on the writer’s blog. I’d recommend reading “George Washington Gomez” before reading this blog post: http://www.kenyonreview.org/2015/12/i-am-george-washington-gomez-on-works-of-significant-worth-and-importance/

“I enjoyed your story. It made me feel, once again, that we are all God’s children and sorry for some of my own countrymen who think that foreigners need to conform. Most have forgotten that this country was once a great “melting pot”. God be with you.”

A Birthday Poem to Mom

It’s my birthday and I’m thinking of you.
You had four awesome kids, but now you’re through.
You gave me life twenty-six years ago.
I’ll soon be a Dad; my wife is prego.
To friends we give gifts on the day they’re born.
But forget mother, inaction forlorn.
It should be you who receives them each year.
Our bond is special, my mother, most dear.
For your hard work while I grew in the womb.
You let yourself stretch, for me you made room.
At birth, you pushed my large head through your hips.
Then hugged and kissed me, a kiss with your lips.
Later, you taught me to walk with my legs.
I fell once, or twice, having many goose-eggs.
Then with my body, the cookies to reach,
You taught me good words, my first uttered speech.
Right when my tongue could do more than just taste.
You taught of Christ, so my life wouldn’t waste,
To make wise choices and make them posthaste.
Then I grew older, and started to yell.
My all-knowing nature, at that time, hell.
But I grew up and I taught for our Lord.
On my mission I was less than, say, board.
I returned early, my mind had gone blank.
I could have withered away; shriveled, shrank.
But you and Dad nursed me back to my life.
I soon recovered and married my wife.
Yes, I’ll soon be a parent, just like you.
I’m glad that you taught me what I should do.
“Keep learning and working, and  walk in Christ’s light.
And you’ll soon meet God, having fought a good fight.”

Review of Vivitar VIV-DKS-4 Small Camcorder Case

This case was extremely affordable (I spent 8.99) and met the needs of my camera.  (Nicon Coolpix L330). It has padding all around the compartment and two side pockets for batteries or memory cards. It also has a Velcro divider, which would be useful for a smaller camera with lenses, but I don’t use it. I gave this item 5 stars because of its great value for such a low price. Includes an adjustable strap for carrying.