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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Noble Profession

In February, 2012, an English teacher was suspended from her post for writing critical comments about her students on her blog. She expressed that they were lazy, rude and disengaged whiners. It seemed that those same lazy, rude and disengaged whiners were at least engaging enough to discover her blog, plus there was a photo of her for all to see. In her defense, she didn't mention the school or the names of the kids she was talking about.  Was this an exercise in free speech or arrogance?

When the school got involved, she admitted she was not sorry for what was said. She meant it and is standing by her comments. I am fairly certain being a teacher these days may be challenging, but if a teacher is in the classroom to enrich the minds of our children, it seems to me that negative comments could and should be reserved for private conversations. At some point she should have discussed her concerns with her colleagues and they in turn could have persuaded her to rethink what she would later write. How can you teach students if you don't respect them? It would be difficult for me as a parent to think that my child was not being given the respect or opportunity to be the best he or she could be. As parents, our expectation for those who instruct our children, is to have their best interest in mind as a motivator to have them succeed. Sometimes our teachers don’t meet our expectations and we need to voice our concerns to school administration, so that we have the best educators for our children.

Sure, it is normal to complain about your job and the people you work for or with, but that doesn’t mean you need to blast those feelings publicly in such a way that it will compromise your integrity and livelihood. Somewhere along the way there was a disconnect, whereby respect and humility was lost. These days some use the school as a dating service and for targeting our children for sexual exploitation. Especially in these instances, we must fight collectively to prevent such atrocities against our children.

“Back in the day”, school teachers were given the utmost respect and they returned it by making sure our children met their educational requirements. Back then, a teacher was held in high regard, just like the preacher, and if the preacher and the teacher were married, they would be considered a “power couple”. During those days teachers not only taught what was in the books but gave you some life lessons to help you on your journey.

 So do me a favor, thank a teacher if you can: Read, Write and have some basic understanding of Arithmetic.

Thank you, Pinkie, (my fourth and sixth grade teacher) for teaching me the joys of reading.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Your child does not belong to you, and you must prepare your child to pick up the burden of his life long before the moment when you must lay your burden down—James Baldwin

The problem comes if we have not done our job well as parents and, as the burden shifts to our children, they are unable to Manage it with ease.  They may fumble, they may get into the habit of grumbling about its with; they may make excuses and cast blame for their inability to carry it well. 

One big thing we can do is encourage and nurture their academic success; lacking that, our children can be tremendously frustrated as we push them out of the nest.  Along with opening doors to college and career, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they can apply themselves and succeed.