“We shall be as a city upon a hill…”

I’m sick near to death with the predictable responses of the group of politicians who 1) claim mass killings are not who “we” are, 2) point to emotional instability of killers with the implication that killers would not kill if only we could get them therapeutic help, and 3) ask us to pray for victims and their families; none of these politicians acknowledge the underlying recipe for the toxic stew in which we Americans are immersed...

Why Helicopter Parents Get It Wrong – by Bebe Nicholson

Wikipedia defines a helicopter parent (also called a cosseting parent or simply a cosseter) as a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Paying close attention would be admirable if parents were insisting their children complete homework assignments, behave appropriately, and learn how to deal positively with failure and gracefully with success. But this isn’t what helicopter parents are doing. Instead, they’re insisting their children receive good grades without earning them and receive special accommodations without needing them.

Standardized Testing and the Emperor’s New Clothes

I suppose I was in the second grade when the fable was read to me, but even at that age, the fable made me aware that children can have great power if they are honest, and equally important, I was provided with the insight that adults, especially important and powerful adults, are willing to go along with something preposterous because they are afraid to be the “only one” to stand up for a truth—especially if they had been outspoken in supporting something very questionable.

It’s a Wonder We Can Think at All

(Click on the title to read the complete post) My first weeks as a teacher were desperate times, despite the fact that I had been trained to teach the very students sitting in front of me. This is not atypical due to Education’s failure to follow the models provided by other professions where newbies learn their way around the block as clerks and interns before being set free to practice their professions. Fortunately, I was saved by a demanding principal and a compassionate and knowledgeable Science Department Chair. Survival, as so often happens with emerging teachers, is more often a matter of good fortune than systemic support. I had been lucky, and thanks to these two great educators, I was surviving, but I was not thriving, and in my view, neither were my students!