Tender Teacher

Sharing stories about my personal and professional life as a teacher.

Posts Tagged ‘United States

2) A Little Bit of Nothing

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It’s wonderful outside this morning at a crisp dry 66 degrees.  By the time I watered the flowers on the porch, the sweat that I had worked up while riding my husband’s stationary bike had dried in the friendly, mild breeze.  So, I’m delaying my shower for a bit, because I have a thought weighing on my mind, and I want to “throw it out there”.

So much has been written about our public schools, and how they are failing, and what to do about it.  Just had to take time to comment about this from my perspective.  When I was a child there were many children who grew up without an education.  An older relative of mine never went to school more than a few days, because she kicked the teacher, and wasn’t able to learn like the “other children”.  She was considered unfit for school.  There were many many children who were handicapped because of behavior or mentality, and they never attended school.  I don’t know the statistics of how many lower-functioning children did not go to school in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but I do know that all of these children would be in school today.   This is fortunate for them, their families, and our country, because they have a chance to become contributing citizens.

What seems to have been forgotten is that a lot of these children (who aren’t the best test takers even in ideal situations) are now included in the test results in most states in the US.  When I went to high school just the students in the College Preparatory Courses took the SAT.   Now, I understand that most high school students take the SAT.  How can we compare these previous scores to the scores of today and get accurate comparison?  Also, in most of the countries, who we compare our scores with, special education is either not available, or is just developing.  Again how accurate is that comparison?

There are so many variables when comparing test scores, not to mention the drastic changes in our society that have affected our children.  I think we should give up considering our teachers, and public schools as “failing”.   That’s a defeating and negative attitude.

We want our schools to be the best they can be, and we should ALL work towards that positive goal.  We all want our children to have the BEST education possible.  Let’s accomplish that by further implementing  what has been proven to bring up scores in the last eight or more years.   We should help our teachers with accommodations such as: more teacher aids, after school/summer programs, and better teacher education.   These accommodations/programs have improved the test scores of  schools in academic failure.   It just doesn’t make sense to take away the very programs that have improved our children’s education/test scores.  I wonder if the accommodations/programs were available for all schools, all the time, not just the “failing” ones, if our country would soon excel when compared to other countries.  Makes SENSE to me!

I’ll go take my shower now.

Written by kjskjp

September 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Forties – Hobos

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Two hobos walking along railroad tracks, after...

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Growing up near the railroad tracks, a water tower, and  a tie yard allowed for more than just the excitement of the coming train.  There were hobos who knocked at the back door occasionally.  Mom called them tramps.  She said that they were harmless, but on the other hand, she reminded us often to always come in the house if any adult came into our yard.

I only remember the knock at the back door happening a few times.  They asked for a bite to eat.  The ones I saw looked pretty unkempt and sad to me.  Mom would offer them a cup of coffee, and a plate of whatever food we had on hand, usually beans and crackers, and she would quickly lock the door.  They would eat outside on the back steps, and leave the dish and cup on the porch.

Most of them hopped back on the train.  However one time, I remember overhearing people talk about a tramp “hanging around “, and talk of whose house he had begged for food at last.  Word spread fast in those days.   People were very aware of what was going on in our neighborhood, and they alerted everyone nearby.  It was your “civic duty” to look out for your neighbors.  I heard from my older cousin about a hobo she thought was sleeping in the tie yard.  Somehow that was pretty scary for me, and even though mom had said that they were harmless, she wouldn’t let us go outside and play for several days.  I knew what was going on, but knew better than to ask “too many questions”.   In the forties it was the custom that children were kept “innocent” as long as possible.  Innocent and protected.

Written by kjskjp

September 14, 2010 at 12:19 am

1) A Little Bit of Nothing

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North Carolina Sunset

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Today is one of those lazy days of summer, even though it is September the 8th.  The temperature will be in the 90’s again today, and the land is dry and parched.  It has been hot in most all of the eastern states from the north to the south of the US since mid June.  In Ohio where many of the schools are not air conditioned the students and teachers have been melting in the temperatures of 80’s and 90’s.  I remember days like that, so, I am happy today that I am sitting here in my air conditioned North Carolina home.

The past three years since I retired have flown by.   I truly miss the satisfaction of seeing children learn to turn on their own self control, and to be able to accomplish a lot more than they thought was ever possible.  I miss most of all seeing the “light bulb” of finally understanding concepts shine brightly in my children’s eyes.  However, teaching was on my mind twenty four hours a day (My dreams were even about teaching.), and because of political pressures the stress level built more and more each year, especially for dedicated teachers.  So, I’m fortunate to be able to give my time to my family, who were sorely neglected, during those 28 years that I gave totally, the year around, to education.  HEY, there’s even a little bit of time left for me.  I got a manicure and a pedicure for the first time a few weeks ago!  AND here I am enjoying blogging.

School has begun, or is about to.

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Excitement is in the air whether you are a mother, a father, a new student, a teacher, or a former student!  That’s probably about everyone.  I bet when you went to your favorite store you bought something new from the school supplies department.  Didn’t it feel good?

Don’t forget those nutritious lunch snacks!  They are fun, and something to look forward to at school.  OH, and the after school treats, low calorie, but they are special for boys and girls with good school reports.  This is just the beginning of making school enjoyable.

Written by kjskjp

August 28, 2010 at 5:46 am

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