Well I did live in the ne Ohio snow belt for 20 years, so I did get acquainted
with shoveling snow, scraping ice, dead batteries, walking in a blizzard,
and 20 pairs of identical black "galoshes" with no names all sitting
in the hallway dripping snow melt! :^>
We had about 3 snow days built in the school calendar, and if we
went over those 3, then days were added on in June.
I was not a bit sad when it came time to move back to California.....
now I can drive 30 miles and play in the snow and come back to dry.
There are worse places than Ohio in the winter, but I'm happy you are
enjoying your California home and weather. To be honest, I prefer a four
season climate with occasional snow in the winter that melts in a couple of
days. Our winters gives me a period that I can stay out of the yard and
think about what I want to plant in spring. We did have a couple of
unusually warm days about a week ago (upper 60's) that drove me to clean out
winter weeds from perennial beds. Today we had a high of 42, which allowed
me time to sit in the sunroom and work on seed orders without feeling guilty
about neglecting something outside. :)
As a former teacher, that is an EVIL thought. If we had closed schools every
time the thermometer reached -10 in MN, we would have missed at least half
of January and part of early February. The one day schools were closed
because of extreme cold (-40 state wide), we teachers were required to make
up the time on a Saturday.
When temperatures reached -20 or lower during the years I was teaching, I
made it a point to walk the mile to school because it was too much of a
hassle to worry about my car starting. Everybody had a set of jumper cables
in the trunk, but there were times when vehicles had to be towed to a heated
garage in order to get them started when gas lines froze.
On 1/17/04 11:35 PM, in article email@example.com, "B & J"
Hey - want to come teach in NH? We could use you and its warmer here!
Seriously, there a lot of cases of frostbite the previous two days - kids
just weren't dressed properly for the cold and lots of buses ran late 5-10
minutes. I can imagine between that and the heating costs (there is a
constant stream in and out of all the buildings), it was the wiser move.
It really comes down to proper dress - if you have it you're fine, but
heaven help you if you have no clue.
On 1/18/04 1:40 PM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org,
I see the parents as being at fault there. Let the kid go out in shorts and
its -10 and 35 mph winds; not even transfusions of common sense would work
Letters did go home on proper dress for winter did go home at least once
this year, three times for the kindergarten.
It's not the schools - it is the parents. You have to have training and
get a licence for just about everything except for what is most important to
our society - being a parent. I was appalled a couple of years ago to see a
young girl (at most 7 years old), standing outside in sub freezing weather
waiting for the bus wearing a short skirt with light tights and shaking with
the cold. The mother was watching warmly from inside the house. They had
recently moved in next door and had lived in Florida. What do you do at
moments like that? Pull over (was driving to work) and say "this isn't
Florida and your child needs winter clothing you idiot"?
Precisely why schools need to teach things like this. There are
classes on having a baby, but after that parents are on their own. If
they didn't learn something from their parents, or haven't learned it
on their own, how are they going to pass it on to their kids? I agree
that parents should teach their kids, but they can't teach them
something they don't know.
This also gets to a discussion on what's the purpose of a school and
an education. If its just to study academic courses (read'n rit'n 'n
rithmetic) then it doesn't belong. However, I've heard that the point
of a school is to prepare kids for life. In that case, teaching kids
how to prepare for a bitterly cold day in New England is in scope. A
lot more useful and practical then memorizing what year Columbus
sailed the ocean blue.
Yep, you are absolutely right - I lost sight of that in my rant. I wasn't
thinking in terms of parenting classes. I was thinking in terms of the
schools teaching children how they should dress... I don't see dressing
taught as a class (well it could be part of the health class) but any
teacher who notices a child that is not dressed for the weather should
certainly investigate and deal with the cause (not enough money to buy
close, parents don't have a clue, etc.)
I'm a very strong believer that parenting classes be required in schools and
that there is head start for those children that come from disadvantaged
homes starting at as early of age as possible. The formative years are from
birth to 4 years of age and by the time schools get some kids it is too late
for them to ever catch up. I had a friend who was doing research in the
city and had mothers in with their babies from different areas of the city.
One young mother who obviously cared about her baby enough to be involved in
the study noticed another mother talking and interacting with her baby.
Later this mother asked the researcher if she was supposed to be talking to
her baby. Kids having kids think their babies are dolls that you just put a
bottle in their mouth, change them when necessary and that is it. They
aren't "bad" parents. They just don't have a clue and we are so isolated
from one another in society now that there is no one there to show them.
People are so penny wise and pound foolish. They don't want to spend
pennies to make sure children are educated properly and then they spend the
pounds to build prisons and cover the cost of crime.
Thanks for the invitation, but no thanks. I subbed in the school where I
taught for a few years after I retired, but after we moved to our new
location that ended. After thirty-five years in the classroom, I found the
last ten years far less pleasurable than the first twenty-five. This latter
period was when students gained court ordered rights, which meant keeping
students in my class no matter how disruptive they were, and cutbacks in
school funding increased class sizes (35-40). The things that kept me going
were the many great kids with which I worked and the fact that I was never
bored. I guarantee that it wasn't the salary!
That definitely is a parental responsibility, and often it's the parents and
the kids who have not clue, particularly in the lower grades. Vanity does
cause frost bite to some kids, particularly junior/senior high girls.
On 1/19/04 12:21 AM, in article email@example.com, "B & J"
Ah - the entire reason I never chased that Masters in education, the pay
would be ok, but the powerlessness to discipline would have driven me nuts.
Amen to that. I heard through the grapevine someone had frostbite on her
belly and the piercing there was affected. (man the things that go flying
Now - how the parents can have no clue when multiple letters come home via
backpack express and it's on the news and in the paper, it completely beyond
Where did you teach? And what level? A friend in Nevada teaches 3rd
grade and says her normal class size is 20-22; this year, due to
transfers, she's down to 16. I swear I remember 28-32 from my (long
ago) public school education.
Where in Nevada? Las Vegas has a great deal of money and the rest of the
state is very rural where class sizes are still small. Most of the U.S. has
serious problems right now with class size. My son a couple of years ago
had his home room in a closet. Literally - no joke. Most classes now have
30-40 students in them. What we are expecting out of our teachers is
criminal. It doesn't help at all that the W education bill on manditory
testing requires schools to spend $500/student when they are only given
~$90/student. This has meant our already very high property taxes have to
be raise and many of the things our students previously had have been cut.
It is well known that a 2nd language must be taught before the age of 12,
that music taught at an early age helps develop the brain to enable it to do
higher math later on, that the best thing you can do for a childs education
is to keep classes below 12 children/teacher. These are the first things to
go now. It is such a crying shame. I have never seen such irresponsible
spending by any Federal administration in my lifetime and I'm 55.
Whoo I'm glad I live in Houston where its a pleasant 68 F ith a high of 70 F
today. Of course we have a flood warning until 6 am Saturday but hey it's
warm :) My mostly wild rose is starting to bloom again.
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