Sunday, November 29, 2009

Breach of security

I'm sure some say "it's an honest mistake" or "it was no big deal" but I beg to differ. When did it become ok for the president of the United States to be exposed to security risk? Whether at the white house or on the road. I don't remember too many times in the past when the last two president's were exposed to this many risks. I don't think Bush or Clinton had people sneaking into the white house or showing up to their rallies armed. It just doesn't seem right. Supposedly all of this homeland security is there to protect us from threats, but can it really protect me or you if it leaves the president exposed on numerous occasions? Just something to think about. It just concerns me that these security breaches are becoming more common now and it doesn't seem as though anyone is really making an uproar about it. I just wanted to put something out there to get folks thinking about the times we live in. Just think, you couldn't go to a Bush rally with a negative sign, but they'll let an armed man line an Obama rally stating he has a 2nd amendment right to bear that firearm. Very interesting....think about it.


Over this Thanksgiving break I've had a chance to get more acquainted with some of the services that google has available and it's far more than I realized. You can do a website through them, they have blog spots, you can look at books, it's an all around 1-stop shop. I think that's pretty cool that they are putting information out as well as making the internet a more user friendly place to work and navigate. If you haven't had a chance to check it out you should. Just thought I'd give a few lines about that. If there's anything you'd like to see on this blog please comment and I'll give my thoughts on it. Take care and have a great weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did. I was thankful that my family was able to come up and we were together for the holiday. I'm glad that I was able to host and show my family a good time. I ate enough to be satisfied and got some much needed rest. Hopefully this break will rejuvenate me for the next few weeks of school. I'm going to make the best of it. Thanks to all my friends and family for being a part of my life and thanks to those of you who take the time to read this blog. I wish you and your's a wonderful Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's take 2009 out with a bang. Good night and good luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is gonna be fun!!

My folks and my fiancee are planning out our wedding. I'm gonna have 2 weddings it looks like. One in Dallas and one in Louisiana. One for the Dallas crew and one for the New Orleans crew. This looks like it's gonna be epic!!! I'm looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted!!! I'm gonna be married. Man that's awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finally a break

Thanksgiving couldn't come quick enough. A break is definitely in order and hopefully I can use it to refocus and re-energize. Being that it is Thanksgiving I'll give my list of things I'm thankful for:
1.) My family, fiancee, friends and my dog (Chance)
2.) Everything else in life the Lord has blessed me with.

Yes folks it's that simple. I'm thankful for all of the people I have surrounded myself with and all of the blessings God has bestowed upon me. During this holiday season I plan to focus on the simple things in life and hopefully that'll rejuvinate my spirit to get back on the grind at work but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Have a safe and happy holiday season. God bless.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Come on Tigers....

After recooping from that unnecessary loss last night it's time to make some things clear. As Mr. Stallworth stated to me yesterday, "Maybe Les Miles is the guy folks said he was when he first got here. Maybe he was only winning because he had Nick Saban's players and some of his strategy." I would have to agree with that. I have to call in to question his play calling and game sense also. Do you really call a spike with 1 second left? Come on Les. Really? But, I must also lay blame on our lame duck QB. At which point do you stop being a lemming and call your own play? If coach calls a bum play and you see something better, then call it but Jefferson has even worse play making ability than Les so you really can't expect too much more from him. Honestly, any play would've been a better call than a spike! Oh well, here's my advice. Les start thinking about trying for the Michigan job again because the tiger faithful aren't going to take this type of behavior. Jordan, please do well in school. You'll need it in the future because the NFL is not looking good for you. Tiger fans, let's just hope for a better season next year, hope that the kinks get ironed out and hope that our passion and fire doesn't get squandered again next year. With all that's going on I'm still proud to be a tiger and there's no place like Baton Rouge Saturday night!! GEAUX TIGERS!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What was I thinking???

No inroads were made. What was I thinking yesterday that I would actually be able to change something? Teachers know what I'm talking about and now I'm going to share it with you. It's common to think that you have the ability to effect change of some kind, but not in this case. I'm still grappling with that truth. I can change me and that's about it. A kid or two may decide to get their life right, but I can't make it happen. Just like I can't make a kid learn. I can put it out there, but they don't have to take it. With that being said I'm going to just carry on my way. If you're between the ages of 25 and 35 just know that in the not so distant future you are going to have to care for yourself. Don't plan on society helping you out and sure don't plan on people helping you out. It's becoming ever more clear to me that people can't help themselves and the epidemic I'm seeing in the classroom will eventually spill over into everyday society and it's all downhill from there. I'm not sure who actually reads this, but if you're a responsible student or a responsible parent or a responsible citizen I want to say Thanks for being you. Other than that...get ready folks. The storm's a comin'. I'm going to keep doing the best I can and being the best me I can be and we'll see what happens from there. Don't forget to follow or share this with a friend. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maybe I'm making some inroads...

Today I had my boss come and see first hand what we are dealing with in the classroom. I think it may have given her a truer look at the conundrum we are in as teachers. I don't know what's going to come of it if anything at all but I'm glad that she got to witness it. What it really opened me up to was how hard it is to get the winds of change to start to wisp in your general direction. I wish I had all of the solutions so that I could just write a book and get rich like ALL of these other educational writers, but I digress. I'm hoping today's episode will allow us to start moving in the right direction because the way we're going now is clearly not the way. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your time and feel free to follow me (scroll down to the bottom) and leave a comment.

who dat?

This post is simply a shout out to the hometown New Orleans Saints! I just want to know who's a believer, got that who dat fever in da Superdome?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bow or no bow??

So are people really upset about the president bowing? Wait, wait, wait.....WHILE IN JAPAN?? Now I know folks feel however they feel about the president but really? Can you honestly say that he shouldn't have bowed to the Japanese diplomats? I'm truly at a loss. This country, society, world is headed nowhere fast if people are trying to make this an issue. Can we please focus our energies in some more productive directions? Here are some directions we can go in health care, employment, hmmmmm maybe education? Let's start with those. This whole no bowing thing is like asking a person not to get wet when getting in a pool. I'd like to hear your comments about this. Have a great night!

I'm done

Well today all hope went out the window. I've tried for the past few years to be that voice of reason. I've told myself things will get better if you just stick with it. How wrong I was. I try to hold myself to a high standard and I do the same with the kids I teach, but today that was crushed. One piece of paper is all it takes to bring a kid from failing to not failing. The same kid who has done nothing all year. The same kid who told you he/she is going to make a failing grade. The same kid who told you that they weren't going to do anything. The kid that walks out of your class. The kid that is on the 3rd grade reading level but is in eighth grade science. The same kid who doesn't do the extra assignment. Yeah, that kid was able to pass because a few pieces of paperwork weren't filed. Sure, I understand that is policy, but does that one paperwork really make the kid understand the material. Does it say you no longer failed your test? Not at all, it simply says we don't want you to not be as good as you think you are and your teacher is a bad person for trying to fail you. That's what it says to me, but when I step out of my teacher role and look at it a little more objectively. It says something more along the lines of we don't want to have to deal with you anymore so we're going to pass you along. It says that the education system is no longer in the business of educating kids. It says that teachers no longer have a say in a student's grade. It says that paperwork is more important than classwork. Well, that's all I needed to know. What's sad about it all is that you are now pushing away the teachers who actually do care. You're now telling them it doesn't matter how hard you try or how much passion you have, the students can do everything or nothing and they are still going to pass. The question I pose is "Why do we need teachers then?". Are we just full time babysitters? Are we there just to watch after the kids? I guess so. Learning seems to be far down on the education system's list so I ask again, "What's the role of the teacher?" If you know the answer please let me know. If you have some suggestions please leave a comment. As for me, well, I'm not sure anymore. Thanks for your time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's the strategy?

"So what's the stategy for what?" I ask myself. as I find myself administering a reading test, that's the first question I hear. It makes me think about the way things are going in general. Is there a strategy? Are we going to find our way out of this recession? Is there a strategy to get out of this war? Is there a strategy to get kids to value themselves and want to come up with new and better strategies? Now that's a question for the big wigs to wrestle with. Can we strategize to overcome laziness? Is there a model for beating apathy? Are there general guidelines for instilling and activating self-respect, determination, or self-motivation? If there are any ways to combat these I'm waiting for the next cnn special to show me how. Can we call it "Lazy in America" or "It's not your fault in America"? You know something with some real substance. Well, maybe I'm asking for too much. My parents taught me to follow my dreams and to do my best. They instilled in me confidence and courage. They let me fall, all the while lessening the blow, so that I would know how to get back up. Is that type of parenting long gone? Is that a thing from the past? Am I going to finally be one of those adults who start sentences with "When I was growing up..."? I don't know. A conversation with some collleauges really made me think. We discussed that kids in school aren't going to fail. Not because they're stellar students or complete everything or pass every assignment. Instead, they get a free ride because the paperwork isn't complete, they have their own paperwork, policy wasn't followed, they had a rough upbringing, or maybe just maybe it was the teacher's fault. That seems to be the general concensus. No matter how many times you gave them lunch money, stopped the bully from picking on them, encouraged them to do better, or even tried to encourage their parents to help them do better. It's still the teacher's fault and all interested parties go home and sleep at night. All except one, that teacher who carries that burden of all of the kids they are in charge of, that's the one who has to use a sleep aid, drink, complain to friend, re-evaluate their life because the blame can be pushed no more. They are the ones who stand up and try to map out the plan, do the strategies, be the leader, teammate, and cheerleader but why? When the "real" strategies are being made and put in place no one looks at that teacher bearing those burdens. They say you're doing fine and help's on the way. The only thing that comes is one more burden to bear. In closing, I hope we, as a society, can find some new strategies to make things better. It seems as though it has been left up to the people to make the strategies and find ways to weave them into the fabric of society which is fine but if we don't start with a drastic change in thinking and in our actions we will end up right back where we started. It's not much but let's start here: 1.) Parents be parents - teach your kids to make society better. 2.) Dear education system, can you please be a part of the solution instead of the problem - you only have so many chances in life. Not everyone can make the team, not every kid's an honor student, and you're not going to be sued by every parent. Have some courage and stand for what's right. Isn't that why we pay you? 3.) Every person should hold themselves accountable for their actions. We can only change who we are and what we do so let's start there and if that's the general concensus then we should be doing ok. Let's all find our strategy and make it work. Have a great day.

Why do we work?

I'm a teacher and after talking to a friend today I really started to wonder "why exactly do we work?". I know the generic answer is that we're making a difference or affecting the lives of America's youth, but I really wonder about that. I would love for that to be the case, but the current state of education has me believing that I'm in the classroom more as a glorified babysitter than an educator. Now granted, I go in and give it 100% everyday because that's my nature but overall the question remains. Why? Why should I give my all when the system is set up for the kids to "pass"? Why expect excellence and the kids only have to strive for mediocrity? Why be passionate, caring, encouraging and you are alone? I used to have answers to all of those questions. Now, I just feel lost. Sort of like being in a dark alley and you don't know whether to go left or right, so you just stand there for a moment waiting for something to guide you. I've seen student and parent involvement decline rapidly over my last 3 years in the classroom and it's tragic. I've seen students go from behavior problems to learning problems. The education seem to be so afraid of parents and lawsuits that they don't even take the time to get to the root of the problem that's tearing away the foundation of our education system. Instead they find the prettiest, most childish and consolatory band-aid they can to put on it until this school year passes and then we'll try again next year. The problem with that is that the band-aid hasn't been able to cover the gaping wound for sometime now and we're just now trying to find a way to deal with the bloody mess in front of us. The kids don't know what to do or how to react because they've always been told "it's going to be ok." but in reality it's not. This sweeping under the rug has left a large mound that we now have to find a way to beat back flat. That's not easy when you start to look at the stuff that has been put under there. A few examples are responsibility, accountability, resourcefulness, critical thinking, earning your keep, you reap what you sow, life isn't fair, you're not the best at everything, you're going to have to try harder/again, you mom isn't going to always be there, and many more. When those things start to get pulled from under the rug and aired out they become harder to deal with. Now that we are in the time of change and hope finally has the audacity to raise its head are we going to try to fix the problems that we have with education in this country? I sure hope so. If not, we can all sit back and watch the youth of this country go down and then shortly after we can watch our country do the same thing. I'm going to continue to do my part in the classroom and I hope you will help do your's. Let's not have more and more teachers wondering "why do we work?".

My first blog

This is my first blog. I figured I'd take some of my sayings and daily experiences and blog it out. If you read it, I hope you enjoy and if not that's fine too. Well I'll be back.