What a day!

So, I was back in the teaching world again today. I won’t say where, and I really would prefer no guessing here. I just want to comment that education in general is not what it once was, and I am so tired of the people who blame the teachers. Let me just say how annoying it is to see so many students who do anything and everything to disrupt learning for themselves and others. I am beginning to see some of them as frustrated, but there are two ends of frustrated. We have those who are incapable of handling what is presented so instead of trying or asking for help, they disrupt to avoid. Then we have the opposite end where there is one or two who are so bored, but they don’t engage enough to find that they could rise to the next level and really learn something. I am beginning to be of the attitude that school should NOT be compulsory, and that the parents should have to deal with those who don’t want to cooperate.

On a similar subject, I just read an article in our local paper about how a school in the area has implemented a program that no longer tolerates missing assignments. Students are not allowed, or shall I say teachers are not allowed to put zeros on assignments that are never handed in. Instead, there is after school time where students and teachers spend another two hours working together to get the assignment finished. So, what do we learn?

When we skip work, or lets say we don’t get the crop planted or we don’t give the calf its food or the cow assistance when it is having trouble calving, we just come back another day and finish the job when we feel like it? Because I didn’t feel like changing the semi-driver’s oil and he wasn’t able to deliver the load of fresh fish to the market on time, I will just do it when I have time, and so what if the load is spoiled. When is someone going to get this picture here?

Wait, I have a better story, a personal one. When a man comes into the emergency room with stomach cramps after taking a knee to the back, do I run the blood test later after I have had my break or maybe in two days when I feel like catching up. This happened to my husband, or well almost happened. The doctor drew blood and handed the vial to the lab tech, who put it into his basket and set the basket on the counter and said, “I will run this as soon as I get back from my supper break.” I was ready to panic, but the doctor took one look at him and said, “You will run the test first, and then we will see about your break.”

Perhaps it is time the schools in America begin teaching our young people some real life skills. Perhaps they begin to find out at an earlier age that living in this country is about being a good citizen who contributes to society rather than just makes trouble for the others who are trying. As I reread this, I see that I am sounding a bit like a socialist or something, but it is really annoying.

As I was fuming and fussing tonight trying to tell myself that kids now days are just different, I started thinking back. As a young teacher in Eagle Butte, I remember having some training sessions with out counselor. He was trying to teach us about time out and how effective it is. The sophomore English teacher volunteered to role play with him. She even said that she was going to be one of the boys from her class. I will call him “Fred.” Well Fred only came to school to socialize and he made that perfectly clear. He would much rather have stayed home and worked cattle and been a cowboy. His parents made him go to school. Well in the skit, the teacher as Fred was put into time out and the counselor turned to us and explained just how easy that went, while we were all cracking up in our chairs. While he was talking to us, the teacher as Fred continued to role play. She was standing behind the counselor making faces and gestures to him behind his back. Guess what we learned? Take the student out of the room, he is disrupting learning. Go figure. It is still happening today.

Now that I am started, I realized that my own dear classmates were even worse. I don’t remember learning very much in some of my classes because the students were forever getting the teachers off task or acting out. I am now realizing how fortunate some of us were able to learn in spite of all those problems. Perhaps home schooling or on-line schooling is not such a bad idea in those cases. But that is not what I had planned for today, I just got onto a bad tangent.

Today I want to share some books and ask what you are reading. My first book is the one that I have finally gotten into a bit. It is Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata. It is based on the experiences of Japanese Americans just before and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Such pain done in the name of keeping the country safe. Gee, am I contradicting myself here with some of my ideas? I am not sure.

Weedflower

Weedflower

Now these two books are next on my list of to read. I will probably do the Lauraine Snelling book first simply because it is from the Linton Public Library and I should get it returned soon. It is Valley of Dreams and is the first of her Wild West Wind Series. I have read so many of her books and I just love them. Most of them are set in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and are about the homesteading experiences of Norwegians. This one appears to have a Black Hills of South Dakota setting. There is a Christian flavor to these books and the plot line is not unlike the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder only on a more adult level. I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys frontier literature.

Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling

Finally I really need to read this next book, Mrs. Kennedy and Me. This is Paulina’s book that she had to read for an English class this year. The author, Clint Hill, was the Secret Service Agent assigned to Jackie Kennedy and is originally from North Dakota. He was on the campus of Bismarck State University a few weeks ago, and it was quite a treat for the students to hear his story in person. I am sure that I will enjoy the book, but I just need to get to it. I have a tendency to put books like that away just the way I stash chocolate. I think I am saving it for a special time, and then I never get to enjoy it. Perhaps at my age it is time to start enjoying before the clock runs out.

Well that is all I have for today. Hope you weren’t too bored, and I would love to hear what you are reading right now, and as for your education experiences…if you have the answer, please share with the world, we all want to know.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kat at travelgardeneat
    Nov 20, 2013 @ 22:51:05

    I saw a cartoon that often is circulated, but it had the row of different animals being told they were all going to be tested on their ability to climb a tree, and then the quote attributed to Einstein was noted: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Sometimes I think the idea that we all have to be able to successfully climb trees is failing us (as reflected by the “missing assignments are not tolerated”) — not that I would ever want anyone tracked too young without giving them the opportunity to grow and spread their wings, but by the time you are in especially the upper level of high school, providing more opportunities for students to excel in areas where their skills and talents lie seems to make more sense than trying to repeatedly jam that square peg into the round hole.

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  2. paxami
    Nov 20, 2013 @ 21:13:23

    I echo your comments. I’ve been a tutor for 25 years and it is scary what is not learned. One thing t hat just amazes me is the lack up curiosity–especially about the past, and certainly we as women need to remember that a mere 100 or so years ago those Quaker gals (and others too) were getting force feed and trampled by horses so we can be Secretary of State and CEOs or whatever our hearts’ desires. Maybe it has something to do with the “entitlement” mentality, but when you need a doctor or lawyer or an Indian chief, I believe it is safe to say everyone , including those slackers, want someone who came to class and learned a thing or two.

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    • lucindalines
      Nov 20, 2013 @ 21:39:53

      Well said. I appreciate the comment. I did tell one group this year that I don’t want the likes of them taking care of me in the nursing home. Actually in that regard I may have to adopt my mother’s attitude about a porch a rocking chair and a gun when someone says it is time for me to go to a nursing home. Ha! Anyway, thanks for taking time to read my rants.

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