As I Hurdle Towards the Sweet Relief of Death.


I just had my 45th birthday.  At least I think it was my 45th.I Need This Car.

At this point, I’ve lost track.  And really don’t care.

My theory is any birthday from this point forward beats the alternative.

If I really think about it (and I try not to), my life is probably half over.

It’s probably more than half over, but I’ve convinced myself with advances in medicine, an occasionnal walk around the neighborhood, and only eating17 cookies instead of 21, I should live until at least 90.

Not that I want to be that old, but again it probably beats the alternative of a dirt nap.

Since the clock is ticking I should really get on with accomplishing something (anything) before it’s too late.

I shouldn’t waste my last few remaining good years watching TV, tweeting, mowing my yard, or even going to work.

I should be making the world a better place.

My time should be spent on charity work.  Traveling.  Maybe building a school for the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, I’m shuffling paperwork and worrying about mandated testing.

This doesn’t seem right.

I’m on the clock.  I have things I need to do.

And first on the list:  Mid-life crisis.

So if you need me, I’ll be driving way too fast in my brand new red convertible I can’t afford sporting a mustache and wearing a tight shirt unbuttoned two buttons lower than appropriate.

Once I get this phase out of my system, I can help build a school.

Or at least mow my yard.

*Note from editor in chief…aka…tech-geek wife or whatever it is you call me on this "blog"…ummmm…it’s 46 and no…just no…on the mustache and unbuttoned shirt that is…I am totally good with the brand new red convertible.  Maybe I am having a mid-life crisis too…after all I turned 39 this year.

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Teachers Have Power.


Testing.Shhhhhhhhh.  Testing.

It’s the never ending education topic.

I think we need testing, but probably not to the extent the government is shoving down our throats (and normally our government does a GREAT job!).

One day, it will be readjusted and we will test students just the right amount for their indivdual progress and goals.

Sadly, we aren’t there yet.

Everyone complains about the amount of stress testing puts on students and teachers.

Don’t even get me started on the billions of dollars being made by faceless companies who are part of the testing process.

It’s BIG business.  Really BIG.

Then there is the little secret no one ever acknowledges.  The intregal part of testing that is left unspoken.

Teachers are powerful.

Very powerful.

Without them, there’s no testing.

When teachers in individual schools or states decide they’ve had enough testing, we will see a change.

Can you imagine if teachers refused to test?

Up to this point, they have been very compliant.  Teachers usually are.

But one day, I think they may decide as a group they’ve had enough.

If that happens, things will change.  And change very quickly.

So it begins in Seattle.

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NCLB Made Us Better.


 

It’s true.

We don’t like to admit it, but it’s true.

In fact this may be the most unpopular position I’ve ever taken on this blog (although I catch a lot of grief when I call The Evil Spawn “Evil”.)nclb

Educators are bred to dislike everything that is new.

This is understandable because so much new stuff is dumped on us and most of it is easily recognized as junk.

Kind of like the new fall TV season (do we really need a new Tim Allen show?).

NCLB wasn’t thought out (surprise, surprise… when the government is involved).

It wasn’t good for kids.

It was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

And even with all of this, it made us better.

Yes, you heard me right.

Schools, teachers, and administrators  have improved significantly 10 years after NCLB was dropped like a big greasy bowl of school spaghetti in their laps .

We may dislike President Bush, mandated testing, and the Department of Education, but if we are honest with ourselves there is only one conclusion.

The world doesn’t need another bad Tim Allen sitcom (I haven’t seen it, so maybe it’s better than I envision… and his movies).

Sorry, there are two conclusions.

The second is NCLB demanded we work harder, pay more attention to curriculum, and made us all more accountable on the local, state, and federal levels.

It was flawed legislation and yet we still improved.

This makes me wonder how much better public education could be if the government actually had a clue about educating kids.

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Facebook is Bad News for Schools.


no-facebook1

If you are employed by a school you probably have some challenges.

The goofy kids.

Test scores.

Finances.

More goofy kids.

Parents.

Parents of goofy kids.

Goofy parents of goofy kids (although personally, I’ve never had any of these).

Since there have been schools, there have been administrators.  Which means there have been challenges for administrators at school.

It’s part of the job (Note to new principals:  not everyone is going to love you… sorry you had to hear it here first).

And the truth is, without problems, most of us would be without jobs.

This is why I consider the challenges at school to be job security (most days, I have a LOT of security).

But as I grow older (and I seem to every day), I’m starting to see changes for school administrators.

Yes, I’m turning into that person who pines for the good old days of 2006.

The biggest 3 changes I’ve seen since I started in this profession are:  mandated testing, finances, and decaying of good will towards teachers.

None of these are good.

The worst one is probably how our country feels about teachers (it’s sad really).

But even with these tough hills to climb, there is something I see as possibly an even bigger pain in the caboose (I think I just dated myself with my reference to train cars that no longer exist).

It’s Facebook.

I hate Facebook.

And I know less about Facebook than I do about trains. 

And I don’t really hate Facebook because we’ve never officially met.

I’m sure Facebook has good qualities.  Just like the goofy kids (they do grow out of it… eventually).

The challenge I see for school administrators isn’t with students and Facebook.  It’s with rumors and Facebook.

People like excitement.

People like rumors.

And people really like exciting rumors.

Facebook makes it easy.

When I first started working in schools, if people didn’t like you or a decision you made they had to express themselves in person.

In your office.

Or on the phone.

Maybe an angry letter in the newspaper (again… the good old days).

Now they can do it on the interweb using Facebook.

And the worst part, it doesn’t have to be true. 

People can say anything.  Or worse, they can type anything.

The more exciting and untrue, the more interesting  for others.

This isn’t good.  Especially when people are typing at 2:30 in the morning (never good…never ever good).

In fact, it’s bad for school administrators.

It makes a difficult job almost impossible.

Maybe I will see the day where people type nice things on Facebook in the middle of the night.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Because the goofy kids of today will probably be the Facebookers of tomorrow.

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My Son is a Dog.


There are a lot of things I just don’t understand.Bud

How a plane gets off the ground.  Microwaves.  The unbelievably cold temperature inside of movie theaters.  Why every pencil I’ve ever used is a #2.

How copiers work.  The complex engineering system known as an intercom (I have no idea which button to push).

And last but not least, mandated testing.

Oh, and I almost forgot… junior high boys.

But my greatest unsolved mystery is why humans can’t get along with each other, but they are capable of falling in love with other species.

I’m talking about dogs.

We love them.

At least most of us love them.

All the people I trust love them (I just don’t get you cat people).

We absolutely love these animals  and they walk on four legs and have brains the size of golf balls. 

They also use our yards as restrooms (when you think about it, this isn’t really socially acceptable).

They tear stuff up that’s not theirs (someone owes me 12 bucks for my shredded undies).

We even overlook the fact they seem to have a dysfunctional relationship with the UPS guy and his big brown truck (Buddy and that driver really need some counseling).

They eat us out of house and home and then belch about it.

If you really think about it, they’re sort of disgusting (breath… bad).

And yet we talk to them like they understand.

We spend hours petting them and taking care of their every want and need.

We exercise them when we don’t have time to take care of ourselves.

We hold them like babies (not me and Buddy… other crazies).

We even treat them better than our own children (sorry, Evil Spawn).

And they are dogs.

Dogs.

Not humans.

Dogs.

We seem to get along better with them than we do with our relatives, coworkers, or neighbors.

They become the center of our lives within minutes of meeting them.

Now, if you are a dog person all of this makes perfect sense.  If you aren’t a dog person, you probably think I’m weird.

But I don’t care.

Nor do I have the time to convince you Buddy the Dog and I have a special bond you will never understand.

Plus, I have to go.

He needs his belly scratched and you have no idea how grumpy he can get when his belly is itchy.

Maybe I should be an administrator of an animal school.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.