Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's that dreadful time of the year again. "Buck fever' is running rampant in the school with over half the high school students gone for the day. This terrible virus is such a deterrent for education when it is so highly contagious.

I could argue policy - should we, like so many other districts, close school for opening day of deer season? It seems a waste of 'education' to hold school. With a majority of students gone, most classes are 'free time' or 'study hall' today, reluctant to go on to new material. Is that in itself part of the issue? Do we create an atmosphere where it is ok to be gone today because students and parents know teachers will allow it to be a slough day?

With deer season such a economic boon to our state's economy, with nearly 700,000 hunters predicted to hit the woods, each estimated to spend nearly $1000 each, maybe need to embrace the tradition and call today a statewide holiday!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

We've spent a lot of time lately, as a staff, talking formally and informally, about insubordination. By and large, we are in agreement that it doesn't matter if we are talking about hats in school, computer usage, or simple directions, students have decided they are in charge and the rules may or may not apply to them.

I'm not sure how this change occurred, or even exactly when... But I see a pervasive digression in simple compliance. Maybe it is something each generation of educators feels/perceives? Does it actually exist? I'm not sure. I do know when I was in school, I would have never dared to speak to a teacher the way these students consistently talk to adults. I would never have dared challenge their authority when asked a simple directive.

But now, students have the audacity to refuse to comply, think nothing of saying, "Don't talk to me" to a teacher, or walking out of class or the building when things are not going their way.

Do we, as the adults in charge, hold part of the blame? I think so. We've become more lax with our own adherence to rules as well. Teachers show up late, don't have their grades done on time, don't take attendance regularly, skip meetings, etc.... We've backed down from our stern exteriors my teachers had, the unbending, black and white rule enforced I was taught by, trying to make school more 'student centered', make rules more 'student driven'. Have we gone too far down that road?

We can talk all we want about core curriculum and increasing accountability but until we change the climate in our schools, none of that will matter.