It was 1980 that I read this interview, not the mid-seventies.
Here is the article that led so many places....
We bought all John's books that were then available. Unfortunately we
made the mistake of loaning them to someone and it was the last we ever
saw of them. We no longer loan books to anyone, other than our
The books led us to Urie Bronfenbrenner and others that I cannot
Here is wiki's article on John
A quote in the wiki article is one that influenced us greatly, John's
philosophy summed up...."... the human animal is a learning animal; we
like to learn; we are good at it; we don't need to be shown how or made
to do it. What kills the processes are the people interfering with it
or trying to regulate it or control it."
Lee and Billy spoke of this.
Thanks for the memories, Bill. :-)
Just like the cheap seats I can look about stored papers and find gold.
John Gatto !! Check the Youtube for sure
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
Neat place .. http://www.petersvalley.org /
I misunderstood the assumption and question. I remember John Gatto
*now* that you mention him.
"My brain is like a sieve" ~~Thomas Dolby
Charlie. winamp - "Aliens Ate My Buick" - Ability to Swing - 4:30 -
John Holt, writing in TMEN, in the mid seventies, was the catalyst that
propelled us into home schooling our sons. One of the better things we
ever did. They are aproaching thirty and IMO have their heads on
Not only that but a good deal of what they teach is just plain
_wrong_. The only thing they really teach people how to do is go to
school, which in the real world is about as useless a skill as one can
The thing that is frightening is that so many people, having gone
through that, then willingly subject their own kids to it.
On Tue, 20 May 2008 14:37:24 -0400, "J. Clarke"
Willingly? I dunno...lots of parents would love to send their
children to good private schools but can't even begin to
think about paying those prices. And I mean parents who
are willing to sacrifice, big-time! The only places that still teach
the 3Rs are the religious schools, because they get teachers
on the cheap.
Kinda shoots the argument that paying teachers more would result in
Actually, the reason private / religious schools produce better
products is that they are allowed to exact discipline.
As a frequent temp, I have that luxury in the public school. Students
act up, I throw them out.
"Where should I go" they ask.
"I don't care" I answer.
Then I get on with the task of the day to, usually, interested
Must be across the Pond. Temps in the U.S. public schools,
especially large urban ones, have a terrible time. A dear friend of
mine (now deceased) was a writer who eked out a living by
substituting. He reported spit balls along with every kind of
nuisance and disturbance. Subs like him generally wise up
and run a movie for the students while they read a book.
Not me, for various reasons; one stated. Classroom discipline, for
me, is not a problem. It is amazing how many of the other problems
disappear when that one is solved. I am in one of the most rural of
rural areas, in the Ozarks.
Sorry to hear that. Were I permanent faculty, I couldn't get away
with throwing the trouble makers out. However, as a temp, I have a
lot of freedom in means and method. "You don't like it, don't call
oz, who much prefers college level teaching where they come motivated.
it might. if the choice is between teaching, with a salery of
$40k/year (knowing that you have to supply your own classroom
with pencils, paper, chalk, hankies, hand cleaner,
supplemental reading books etc *and* pay off that student loan
for the required Master's degree) and a private sector job
that pays $75K+ per year, which would you choose?
well, more or less. a private or religious school can throw
out any student that they choose, so they can pick only
willing, non-disabled students. public schools can't do that,
and frequently public school teachers have kids with learning
disabilities, ESL or numerous other issues that take what
little teaching time they have after the bureaucratic
paperwork... it's a lose/lose game.
lee <my dad thought i should be a teacher. ew!>
Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
Ew? There is a satisfaction in teaching, at least there is until the
administration beats it out of you, in seeing a student "get it",
to read the implications, not just the explicit text. Besides providing
for the moment, what could be more important than preparing for
ew, because i could not be a public school teacher. i could
not teach only to the test. i could not restrain my enthusiasm
for knowledge. i could not simply turn out good little cogs...
and that is strongly frowned upon by the administration.
i did have a few good teachers (i can count them on one hand
with fingers left over). they didn't last long... not because
they couldn't teach, but because they couldn't, or wouldn't,
play the politics game.
i know that i wouldn't kiss ass, so going into teaching would
have been a bad thing for everyone (including the students,
because once you have a teacher that opens your eyes to the
possibilities of what learning *could* be, & then that teacher
is gone, well, then the same old grind is even more onerous).
what baffles me is there are public school grade school
teachers that completely avoid teaching certain subjects
simply because they dislike or don't understand it, including
math. how can that be allowed to occur?
Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
Never seen that in California. What I have seen is a class that is
shown movies, with no assignment attached to it, or the students
can just "hang". A recruiter from an technology school referred
to it as a dumping ground, although I've seen the same students
function (stay on task) in other classes. The teacher is studying
for his "Administrator's Credential" and the Principal does nothing
because they are pals. Criminally "wasted time" for the students.
Oh, and I'm not welcome to that school any longer.
On Tue, 20 May 2008 16:48:59 -0700, Persephone wrote:
What about accessability? Lots of parents don't live anywhere near
private or alternative schools. There are places other than cities,
you know, like out here in the sticks, areas which so many people
overlook and write off.
And furthermore, there are countless numbers of homeschoolers who
continue to teach the "3 Rs". Also parents and grandparents who
"supplement" public education.
The reason "religious" schools still teach well may be on account of
the fact they don't bite the federal carrot and don't accept federal
monies. Has nothing to do with getting teachers "on the cheap".
On Tue, 20 May 2008 20:39:20 -0500, Charlie wrote:
Wake up, Rip V.W. Let me count the ways in which our beloved leader
has subverted the U.S. Constitution by hacking away at the wall
between Church and State! Pandering to his supposed * "base" he -- or
rather his puppet-masters -- have been dishing out Federal dollars to
"faith-based" schools on flimsy pretexts for much of his tenure.
Religious schools DO in fact pay their teachers less than public
or private schools! I'm always reading protests about under-
paid religious school teachers. Of course in the case of the
Catholic Church, it's because they use (not exclusively)
priests and nuns.
* "Supposed" because "Bush's Brain", the sinister Karl Rove,
who thought the Reps would breeze through the 2006 midterms
again by pandering to their evangelical "base", got a rude awakening
when the Dems took back both houses of Congress. Shortly afterwards
he was handed his hat - officially. But he still lurks, albeit ex
Sounds horrible. I can't imagine a teacher doing that. You sound
like the student that all teachers are looking for. My experience has
been that a third of the students don't need the teacher's help
if the information is presented in an intelligent way that bridges from
the known to what is to be learned. Probably, another third need
a little help, and another third that needs support. And then there is
that 5% or so that defy you to teach them. I think most of them are just
afraid of failing, so they don't try.
Today's classes are too large, 20 students should be a max. And not all
students have a textbook that they can take home. Some classes are
taught from surplus magazines. Not enough money they say.
Teachers have become the dumping grounds for societies problems.
You can't hug a kid. If you see a bruise, should you report it? Parents
don't know about sex, so it becomes the teachers role to explain it.
Drug education is pure propaganda. Explaining the health consequences of
smoking marijuana when everyone knows that no one has ever died or
gotten cancer from a cannabinol overdose and that beer and tobacco are
legal and can kill you. Knowing this, the kids don't listen when you try
to tell them how bad methamphetamine and heroine is.
Wow, if I didn't know you wrote this post I'd have thought it was one
of mine. I completely stopped entering the doors of a school at the
sixth grade. The day I turned 16 I officially quit.
There was one teacher who gave me a little bit of inspiration. For a
short time I attended my English class. This happened because
everyone I hung out with went to class during that period, so I went
The book we were interpreting was "Lost Horizon." She said she was
not really a teacher, but she was from Utopia and we were given a
choice to make. We could stay here in this "reality," or we could go
back with her. The one thing was, we couldn't return. Once we went,
we went. I found this very interesting for a few minutes.
I grew up with people like Andrew Dice Clay. It was our highschool,
James Madison in Brooklyn, NY where we "cut out" daily. The time
period was when they were filming "The Lord's of Flatbush." It was
our school as the backdrop for the film. I knew the girl who lived in
the house where the Susan Blakely character lived in the film.
It's actually not Flatbush there, it's East Flatbush.
Anyway, I was bored to tears with school until I entered College where
I was with like minds with similar interests and I love it.
Pardon the rambling, I fell on my knee replacement leg today so I'm on
some interesting pain medication!
Our infotainment media keeps Americans pretty well insulated from
reality. I don't think most Americans have any idea about how
wasteful we are. There certainly is a percentage of Americans who
think we have a "manifest destiny" (even though it is beginning
to look like the same one the lemmings have) an entitlement to rule the
planet. Unfortunately for them, even relatively frugal western
Europe is going to have a hard time managing its' life style. Wars
certainly aren't the answer, India and Pakistan are highly populated
and nuclear armed. A war there would leave only a few humans to face
the fruition of our industrial age, based on fossil fuel.
Some do but most of the manufacturing jobs have been out sourced.
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