Most parents do a fine job. They get them to school every day, then pick
them up or get them on the bus. You expect more?
What I also found amazing was the attitude of many parents. We had various
programs such as class mothers, Home & School Assoc, a bus committee, etc
and all were open and requested as many parents as could to join in. The
same handful of parents participated but all the ones that did not accused
the participants of trying to run the school.
You're kidding, right? I'd start with basic respect for others and
discipline. And then perhaps an appreciation for learning,
non-disruption of classes by hooligans. Had these problems to a lesser
degree even when I was in primary school. Many times, a trip (or the
threat of it) into the hall with the vice-principle and his paddle
cured many ills - at least on the surface.
Most assuredly varies by demographics. And I'm not talking racial
factors. I've heard from local teachers about bitching parents who
complain about the treatment of their "special little Billy". If he's
so damned special he can't behave in school, send him elsewhere. (Sub
"she/her" where appropriate.) Not to mention law suits, guns, drugs,
bullies, alcoholic parents, etc. It can be a nerve wracking job.
Slow I could deal with, malicious deserves to get it's ass kicked.
And then there are the time-outers. Kids pitching a fit in public,
screaming vile things at the top of their lungs, while the parent(s)
stand there watching and essentially talking to themselves. Not an
unusual occurrence in modern Yuppyland. Further south they get their
butts yanked. Guess where the most suicide/murder shootings take
place? Then there are the lawyers and politicians kids... Gag.
You nailed it. Of far greater importance than fancy schools and highly
paid teachers, parents who spend time with their kids, and have an
interest in what the kids are learning, IMO. My mother started school
in what was effectively a one room school house, but her parents
helped her get and keep an interest in learning. The local high school
was larger and more modern, but kids back then got away with zilch in
school. She went on to locate a nursing school that paid a small
stipend ($15 a month) plus room and board, and got her RN. This was in
1928, and her studies contined on for three years, culminating in a
job with the Feds that paid $1,100 a year, which was pretty decent
money in 1931. Parental involvement.
That RN license allowed her to keep our family afloat when my father
was unable to work: all of it traces back to my lightly educated
grandparents wanting their kids to better themselves. Out of 12 kids
who lived to be adults, there were athree RNs, one high school Latin
teacher, a contractor (probably made the most money of the lot), an
exec for, IIRC, Hechinger lumberyards (granddad had a farm and
sawmill--shades of the Waltons and same area, but a whole lot sweatier
lifestyle), one was an auto mechanic (taught by my father) who ended
up as a teacher of auto mechanics at a local junior college, one guy
who worked in a machine shop, an assistant postmaster in
Charlottesville, VA, and on. All got away from the farm, or mostly
away. My auto mechanic uncle always raised a huge truck garden,
filling his own family's needs, and giving the rest (about 70% most
years) to local elderly or disabled people. One aunt married a farmer--
he died last year at 92, but she's still going, as is the former Latin
teacher and the assistant postmaster.
If a kid doesn't want to learn, sounds like a failure of the teacher
to properly communicate and motivate to me.
If a kid gets a chance to spend a few days mucking out chicken houses
when the temps and the humidity are both about 90, hopefully the kid
will learn something like maybe they don't want to muck any more
If they are also informed that without an education, they will
probably spend a lot more of their life mucking chicken houses or
other similar unpleasant tasks, they will probably get a real big
chunk of motivation along about then.
Communication and motivation are tools that work almost every time out
of the box.
Know someone who fits the above like a glove.
Today he is middle aged, full blown rocket scientist who put himself
thru both undergrad and grad school with full scholarships.
As a 14 year old kid, stole his father's car, totaled it, and damn
near killed himself in the process.
It was a defining moment in his life.
I have 33 years experience in education. How about you?
I may have used a pretty broad brush for purposes of brevity, but I am right
on target in stating the major problem in education today.
Can't you see that Swingman has it right? The sad truth is that too many
parents have relegated their children into being "hewers of wood and drawers
of water" and their isn't enough money or knowledge of what to do that will
It is sad, but never the less we can't allow those who don't want to learn
to disrupt those who do.
We've discussed this before, back in August of last year:
I still like the idea of the old "Tripartite" educational system I saw back
in the UK in the mid 60's ... read the above for details.
I would find it difficult to measure 'motivation'. Opens the doors to way
too much confilct (lawsuits when you segregate based on subjective
measure?), which Iguess could be mitigated with lots of time and money which
would be better poured into educators than more bureacracy, which is what
the conflict mitigation would be.
Ahh, now we're getting down to why some want our kids in private
And of course those same "some" think government should pay for it by
issuing vouchers, releiving the parents of the cost of getting their
child out of the "undesireables' " schools.
Now, when we take money from Peter (the public schools) to help Paul
(the parents who don't want their kids to go to the "undesireables' "
schools) how does that improve the already underfunded public
Well it sure isn't the interest from savings. The government at this
point is akin to a crack head nephew with your charge card and PIN.
Correct again. One major factor - bloated, bureaucracies stuffed with
favor passing cronies - at least around here. Many weak contenders
who can not make it through elections consider it an alternate
stepping stone to public service. Even when failing to reach that
goal, you should see some of the ridiculous salaries - many of which
the pubic is unaware of. School superintendent - $238,000 a year.
Not a major city, just an outlying country. School board attorney -
$420,000 + "bond referral fees" which add up to hundreds of thousands
more in some high growth areas. And yep, it's all your money. Wasted.
And in the Houston area those high paid officials, running our schools, and
making hundreds of thousands of dollars are "obviously" the lucky
beneficiaries Affirmative Action.. To tell you the truth the last
superintendent of HISD sounded/spoke like he had a 5th grade education.
Forgot to mention that the salaries I mentioned are from 15 years ago.
They've gotten worse. Apparently GA wasn't much better than Houston
last time I noticed. I moved to Florida and ironically enough, the
same clown they ran out of GA ended up in the Pinellas County school
system - along with his perv son who tormented the locals with
helicopters and such over property tax foreclosures on "postage stamp"
properties near housing developments. I wonder if they are related to
the Detroit Mob Toccos? Nevertheless, he is another Rove/Bush tool. I
wonder how these folks rationalize these behaviors with their rolls in
Lucky you, he is now in Fort Worth, Texas.
2004 salary - $314,212. His daily pay rate for 2004 was $1,309.20.
No longer the superintendent of Ft. Worth. No forwarding address.
2005 salary was $376,000.
Gads, if we all got raises like that the economy would be booming - if
it weren't taxpayer money, that is. Not to mention the outstanding
lifetime health care and retirement programs - at your expense. If the
average American knew what these guys and their pals in the judiciary,
house.and senate voted for themselves, there would be pitchforks
aplenty headed towards DC and severed heads lining K-street.
Screw the tea in Boston Harbor.
And you have to wonder at the layers of administration: naturally
enough, some teachers head for the admin area because of the pay.
Around here, a school principal gets about double what the best paid
teacher gets, while his assistants (of whom there are anywhere from
three to six) get about 75% of his pay.
Is that a sad disparity? Probably not as bad as the CEO who gets 5,000
times the 10 bucks an hour his lowest paid employee gets, but that CEO
is not paid from tax dollars. I wouldn't have either job these days,
teaching or admin, but it does seem to me that at least SOME teachers
in the system should equal or surpass the principal's salary. I recall
a few years ago having a guy who owned a furniture factory at that
time telling me he was delighted when all of his sales people made
more than he did. Seems a sane attitude to me, and one that with
adjustment might be applicable in many areas.
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