Tag: Education

Thoughts from a TeacherWriter

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Articles, Politics, Writing

MFA Confidential: Thoughts from a TeacherWriter by Jessie Morrison (Writer’s Digest)

I’ve been hearing more and more from teachers about how sick they are of hearing people complain about them and the effort they put into their profession. To hear them tell it, it sounds like they have a legitimate complaint. Fixing the public education system isn’t going to be a quick and easy solution like simply replacing teachers.

It’s going to require effort at each school across the entire bureaucracy and an even more concerted effort by parents to make a system that teaches kids things, rather than tests to see if they know things. Our education system is flawed in that it has been a growing system that has had no clear direction. Parents, educators, government officials have all dipped their hands into the toilet or flushed it a few times but nobody has thought to take a brush to the grime. Nothing like a toilet metaphor to push home the point right?

I’m not sure what the answer is but the more I hear about the problem, the more I think we need long-term fixes rather than short-term firings or fundings.

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Medicine Keeps Student Out Of High School

by on Feb.15, 2011, under Articles, Opinions, Politics

Teen’s medical marijuana fight escalates as school says he cannot come back to class after going home for medicine by Scot Kersgaard (The Colorado Independent)

To summarize, a student at a high school is diagnosed with a disorder which causes attacks that are easily treated with THC. THC by its more common name is medical marijuana. As noted by his doctor, the student suffers no side effects from taking the THC lozenge during his attacks but thanks to the zero tolerance initiatives put forth by school districts across the country, the student is not allowed to even register his medication with the school nurse and have it administered like normal protocols. Instead he has to go home to take it.

This caused the student to need to transfer schools so he could be closer to a school that would allow him to easily walk home to take his medication. Only recently the school district informed the student and their parents that the student would not be allowed back into class because:

“They say if he takes his medicine it is ‘internal possession’ and he cannot come back to school,” the teenager’s father told The Colorado Independent. The boy attends Sierra High School.

Internal possession is a new one for me but seriously? The school district and/or the state of Colorado didn’t make allowances for THC when making their policies? Do Colorado schools allow their students to walk around with prescription drugs? I remember my school requiring I register and hand over prescription drugs to the nurse and they kept them locked up. Why is that not an alright solution for THC?

Anybody think up reasonable explanation as to why this child is being incrementally forced out of public school for the medicine he needs to take?

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Thoughts From A Teacher: Bullying has Never Just Been for Kids

by on Jan.26, 2011, under Articles, Opinions, Politics

The following is an article written by a teacher who has worked for several public schools in Texas. I asked and received permission to re-post their article here on The Singularity because I found the entire point of view insightful and informative. I would link you to the author but they have expressed wishes to remain anonymous for personal and professional reasons. I’ve taken the liberty of doing some copy editing and adding commentary and reference links  subject I feel readers might not be familiar with.

Thoughts From A Teacher: Bullying has Never Just Been for Kids

So I’ve been thinking about this entry a lot, since bullying hit the media big time early in the fall semester and school districts everywhere took the brave initiative to create anti-bullying internet notices and letters home to parents. The furor has already started to die down and I think that’s just as annoyingly frustrating as the initial reactions that came from the adults who run schools.

School leadership reacts to bullying as if they have nothing to do with it and the media lets them get away with it. Some news affiliates may put an obligatory line or two about parent/student claims to a school’s lack of reaction but few major news outlets seem to look into the tacit ways in which schools actually encourage the ostracization of certain sets of students, especially gay/lesbian/transgendered/bisexual/etc. students.

Now let me first contextualize myself and my experience. I’ve only been teaching three years. One year at high school on the east side of Houston, TX and two more at a middle school in central north Houston. Both are Title One schools. [A Title One school is a school that receives funding directly from the federal government due to their students being at risk of failure and living at or near the poverty line.] I grew up in a school in Northwest Houston. My experience with the public school system stem from this history and working as a teacher in the Texas school system. So perhaps life is different in Austin or Oklahoma, or Los Angeles  but I doubt it differs too much considering the wide range of places that have recently made headlines with teen suicide related to bullying. Here are my problems with the current approach to bullying.

(continue reading…)

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Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

by on Dec.06, 2010, under Articles, Videos, Visual Media

The following are two videos of the same talk. One is animated and brief the other is the full talk.

(Animated Short Version)

(Full Talk)

The summary being this: Current education systems need a drastic overhaul in order to advantage of the advances in human knowledge we have made in the last few decades. That the education system over-standardizes, squashes creativity, and is too economically focused.

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