Friday, March 06, 2015

If you agree, please sign this petition.

Click HERE to go sign the petition.  Thanks.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Another Rally at the Capitol

For anyone who is worried about the state of Public Education in this state, and the valiant effort our Legislators are putting for at dismantling it,

There will be a Pro-Education Rally at the state Capitol next Monday (March 9th).

Sponsored by the Utah Parent-Teacher Association and the Teacher's Union (UEA)

Everyone who is concerned about the fate of Public Education in Utah is encouraged to join us up there on 
Monday, March 9th at 5:30 pm in the Capitol Rotunda.

Plan on getting there early and parking far away - or take TRAX downtown and then just walk up the hill.  I've been to several rallies at the Capitol and they can be very interesting and amusing, and:

The more people that show up the more the Legislators will understand that the bullshit they are pulling on Public Education will not be tolerated.

Please be there if at all possible.

More details from the UEA email can be seen HERE.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Albino Brain Chiggers

It’s been so long since we’ve seen snow in the Salt Lake Valley that when I saw this outside my classroom window, my mind went straight to an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

The first time they saw snow, Harry freaked out thinking it was Albino Brain Chiggers, which would eat their brains.

Try explaining that reference to a bunch of 13 year olds.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cow Porn Continues

I know it probably does exist out there on this here interweb thingy, but, no, I haven't been checking it out.

For the back story to this, head over here.

Here's the latest two that group of students brought to my attention:

This first one was from a couple weeks ago.  One of the kids said it looked like a Klu Klux Klan'sman with 4 penises.

After showing the second one to me, one of the kids said something about it getting ridiculous, and made the comment:
"It's like '50 Shades of Moo'."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some guy’s view on education.

I don’t know who Don Gale is*, but as I read his commentary in the Tribune today (Let’s not reduce education to mere data transfer) I saw him echoing something that I have felt for years.

“The CEO of Yahoo ordered employees to come into the office rather than work from home via computers, not because they can't do their work at home but because they work more productively and more creatively when they interact with others in the hallways and at the company cafeteria.

All of us, beginning with state legislators, must realize that information transfer is not the only purpose of education. In fact, it is probably a secondary function. The primary purposes are social. We throw young people into classrooms so they might begin to sense from classmates and teachers the importance of education . . . so they might be exposed to different disciplines . . . so they might see the value of multiple viewpoints . . . so they might learn to appreciate those different from themselves.

The highlighted part is what I’ve been saying for years, the rest is there to keep it in context and because I liked the Yahoo story.

High School drop-outs are created long before high school.  I’ve seen this many times in my middle school classes and thought that if we, as middle school teachers could just get them to see the importance of education, and maybe even encourage a desire in them to learn anything, they would be more likely to stay in school.  A lot of times this is where all the extracurricular subjects and activities that are getting thrown by the wayside by the hyper-emphasis on the core subjects come into play.  For a lot of students, these activities are what make them happy to come to school.

Even in the core subjects, the micromanaging and over-testing make it harder and harder for me to find the time to help students see the beauty in mathematics, to learn to like the challenge and satisfaction of figuring things out on their own.

* The Tribune describes him as “a long time fan of computers, books, education, newspapers and wisdom.”