I recently received an email from the school board I have been retired from for six years. It relayed the county’s need for one hundred substitute teachers and asked if I’d be interested in completing an application. This prompted my search to see what fulltime instructional needs the county had. They were plentiful.
We live in a time of low college admissions for future educators. The high school graduates’ desire to become teachers has been in steady decline over the past ten (or more) years.
Recently, despite the rising Covid-19 numbers in 39 states, the White House Administration is calling for in-class instruction to begin in August. “The rule” as Betsy DeVos frequently cites, is to return students to “normal” classroom settings. How unfortunate that these politicians feel better equipped to determine the needs of children than teachers, administrators, and parents.
To be clear – there will be no “normal” classroom setting in the time of Covid-19. No one knows this better than classroom teachers and administrators. No one knows better how much stress children will experience staying seven hours in a classroom under the proposed Covid-19 changes than teachers and parents.
What is happening in your community? How do you feel about it? How much Russian Roulette are you willing to play with your children’s’ lives and the lives of those, including yourself, that your children will come in contact with throughout the days, weeks, and months to come should they return to school?
Posted in Back to school, child safety, classroom safety, Covid-19, ESE, exceptional education, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, learning and Covid-19, normal classroom setting, school systems, teacher safety, teachers, teaching
Tagged Covid-19 Classroom Safety, Covid-19 Classroom Stress, Covid-19 Classrooms, K through 12, normal classroom setting
Day in and day out I hear people ask “Is there no adult in Washington who will stand up and speak truth to power?” All indications revealed there was no one to do it – that is until articulate, knowledgeable student Emma González presented the following amazing speech. If politicians think they can get away with the same stale excuses they give for not passing common sense guns laws they are sadly mistaken. Emma’s generation is speaking up and they are fast becoming of voting age. I am impressed by hearing so many of these students speak up for themselves in the absence of so many lawmakers unwilling to do so. I am proud to know that students like Emma will soon become the adults in the room who “speak truth to power.” If you have not taken time to listen to Emma, consider doing so. It just might leave you feeling better about our country’s future…
I used to think of my classroom as a safe place for my students and told them as much. So many students these days need to experience a stress-free environment even if only for a few hours every day.
Yesterday, hundreds to thousands of students went to their supposed safe place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen of those students lost their lives there. Still another fourteen experienced physical trauma from gunshot wounds. The emotional scars inflicted on those who survived will remain for years to come.
Today, politicians offered their well rehearsed lines – the lines they have uttered at the hundreds of other school shootings since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Tomorrow we will probably hear elements of blame placed on reasons for why still another school shooting happened.
There has become a pattern of violence and insincere resolution in our country perpetrated by those having easy access to guns that have no earthly reason to be on our public streets and those who allow them to have access to them…
- Tragedy – shootings
- Political condolences
- Blame game
- Gun issue debate
- Debate drags on
- People forget
- Brief respite from shootings
- Another tragedy
There is no one reason on which to place the blame for these senseless crimes but rather a myriad of reasons that need to be discussed in a rational way without political affiliation or money generated concerns to guide ethical decisions. That said, it’s obvious that present administration politicians cannot satisfactorily meet en mass to discuss anything pertinent to the health and well-being of the people of the United States without adding a political bent to it. It should be obvious to all that after hundreds of school shootings since Sandy Hook that nothing will change unless the American voters start speaking up. Speaking up is done in any number of ways but the two most easily accessed is phoning and writing your representatives and senators. Be mindful that just one letter or call won’t suffice. If you want to be part of change in this country you have to be persistent.
To contact your elected officials find them at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
If you’re not convinced your voice will make a difference – consider this quote by Margaret Mead…
… and take a look at the statistics below…
Posted in child safety, classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, guns, guns in classroom, life lessons, making a difference, school shootings, Schools, Students, teacher awareness, teacher responsibilities, teacher safety
Tagged Florida, life lessons, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
Not just in Kent! My goodness! This has been going on forever! When I was in fifth grade I remember a very mean boy punching my teacher in the face. Working as a teacher, the first time a child threw furniture in my classroom was in 1997. No one knows what teachers’ work involves and until politicians and others step inside the classroom and spend time with teachers no one ever will. Then again, those spending time in classrooms might not even admit to what they see. We might call this “feigned ignorance” or “an easier way to blame teachers for all of the ills in society and education”. It’s time to wake up and admit that all of us have a great deal of work to do! Parents, guardians, teachers, politicians, and others. Not only are society and our political system collapsing – education is too! So – is teaching all bad? Heavens no! I wouldn’t trade a moment of my experiences – good or bad – for anything! Every experience in life is a lesson learned. I am not blaming! I realize that all any of us know is what we’ve been taught to a given point in our lives. It takes an effort to change experience for all. While we can’t change the past, we can do something about the present and future. It takes courage to speak up and out. Will you?
Posted in child safety, classroom safety, education innovation, Everything old is new again..., Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Schools, teacher responsibilities, teacher safety, why teachers leave
Tagged classroom safety, classroom violence, speak up, student safety, teacher safety
Sadly, this is not the first time I have written about a senseless act of gun violence. Having been a near gun victim myself, these events always stir in me a sense of helplessness against the blasé indifference of far too many politicians and gun enthusiasts who refuse to see the need for a major overhaul of gun laws and the mental health system our society is crying out for.
The purpose of this post however, is to praise the two teachers hailed heroes for having the presence of mind to save many more lives at the Grand Theater Complex and to remember the victims. Teacher Jena Legnon Meaux jumped in front of her colleague Ali Viator Martin taking the bullet headed for Ali. That action gave Ali the chance to pull the fire alarm prompting all theater goers to evacuate.
My first thought when hearing this is that their actions were not out of the norm for teachers. Split second decisions, but decisions that teachers train for. How can I save as many students as possible if I need to? Teachers are always aware of surroundings and thinking ahead in any arena.
It will come as no surprise to me if both Jena and Ali say they knew exactly where that fire alarm was. If fact, it will be no surprise to me to hear them say they chose their seats on the basis of where that fire alarm was.
Though their instinctive actions could not save the lives of two beautiful young women that night, their actions did save the lives of many more who might have unwittingly fallen prey to the shooter’s troubled soul.
Thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragic event – those killed, those wounded, and their families and friends. Hopefully, we will all remember the lesson that teachers Jena and Ali so artfully taught us – to always be aware of our surroundings in today’s increasingly uncertain world.
Second on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is safety. Children thrive on structure, stability, and freedom from fear. Knowing what comes next in their daily routine makes them feel safe and secure.
- Set clear boundaries and learn how to say “no”.
- Maintain a calm, cozy home.
- Keep activities outside of school spaced and simple.
- Be sure your child is supervised and not left alone.
- Check that purchased products for your child meet national safety standards.
- Children love to explore. Check your home often to eliminate items that could be potentially hazardous.
For more information on preventive measures, check the World Report for Child Injury Prevention at…
Posted in child safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Maslow, nurture children, parent involvement, parenting
Tagged child safety, Maslow, parenting, safety prevention