Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Teachers Should be President

This idea came to me a few weeks ago while listening to NPR on my daily hour-long commute. They were discussing the president and his current strengths and weaknesses. Ok, mostly just weaknesses. Now, I'm not promoting one political party or another here, but realized that the average teacher is much better equipped to handle the role of president instead of a rich businessman from the corporate world.

My Argument:
1. Teachers deal with 35 people in a room all day, who want different things, and don't agree about how things should be done. High School teachers deal with this for about 150 people on a daily basis - talk about the perfect real world experience for dealing with large groups such as congress that the president needs to persuade and assuage!

2. Classroom management. When someone hits someone else, they have consequences. When homework isn't done correctly, there are consequences. A teacher-president would easily be able to outline consequences for people in his cabinet who behave with less than exemplary behavior. Congressmen hiring hookers? Please write an apology letter to every person from your state. Congress managed!

3. Terrorism and other deadly conflicts. If a student were to set off a bomb in my classroom, or do anything else that would cause physical harm to another, they know there would be a price to pay. A high one. This is where a teacher would suggest In School Suspension (ISS). In America, I picture this as forcing criminals to do hard labor - for free. The grosser & more disgusting the job, the better. No one ever wants to be asked to scrape gum off the bottom of desks, hence, no one chews gum in my class.

4. Give choices. Too often the people in America seem to feel as if their rights have been taken away, or they are not included in the process. In the classroom this is fixed by giving choices and using the Love & Logic classroom management technique. For those of you who may not be familiar with this, it is essentially how you put a 2-year-old to bed. Would you like pink pajamas or blue pajamas? Either way, you're getting them in pajamas, but they're getting to make the choice on which ones, thus giving them the sense of power and choice. The possibilities for this one are endless in government. 

5. Appropriation of funds. Who knows better than a teacher about how to stretch a dollar the furthest way possible? Teachers use their own money to provide for their students, create their own materials, and give selflessly so their students can have more. Imagine if there was a president who did this -- took no salary, spent their hard earned savings on others, and did everything possible within the budget because there was no backup funds? National debt solved.

I'm sure there are more reasons , but for now, I think this a solid start. Soon teachers will rule the world.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Appreciate Me Damn-it!

With it being teacher appreciation Day-Week-Month (depending on who you talk to) I've found the lack of appreciation for teachers in MAY is quite astounding.  Let me summarize my teacher appreciation day:

1. "But we didn't know it was teacher appreciation day!"
-- Yes you did, I told you.

2. "Happy teacher appreciation day to youuuu" - sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday"

3. "You should throw us a party"
-- It's MY DAY. You should throw ME a party!

4. "In Mexico teacher appreciation day is May 15. We can celebrate then."
-- May 15 came and went, did they appreciate me? Let's just say I wrote 2 referrals that day ...

In summary, my day ended with a Jr. High student whining at me that he needed me to do something for him, and my response was "Appreciate me!" (I left the Damn-it part of the sentence in my head, thank heavens.)

I think teacher appreciation day should be in September - when kids are still relatively happy to be at school, and reasonably still like their teacher.  Not at the end of the year when they are burnt out and taking out their angst on anyone who will listen.