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Tag Archives: School

So I’m watching the evening news.  Yesterday, in Tulsa, a student was caught with a gun at school.  Naturally, there is a story about safety in schools.  They were interviewing an assistant principal at one of the schools.  I had to rewind the tivo three times to make sure I heard what I though I heard.

Here is a direct quote from the story (

As for walk-through metal detectors, only a handful of middle and high schools have them.  One of those schools is Nimitz Middle School. We’re told they use it three times a year.  “Why do you not use it every day if you have it,” we asked Nimitz Assistant Principal Jackie Tolbert.

“Well, our procedures are not to use it every day,” Tolbert said. “Because if the students realize that we are using it on a daily basis, of course they’re not going to attempt to bring anything in that they shouldn’t bring in. We’re trying to catch contraband that should not be brought into the schools.”

I’m speechless.  What the hell can you say after that?

At the end of last year our school bought a software program for the math department.  Each teacher received a copy of the software, which was a tremendous shock.  Usually we get one copy and have to share among 14 teachers.  We sat through a three hour presentation before we bought it.  It’s pretty straight-forward, very user-friendly.  I’ve spent about 15 hours going through the program this summer picking what parts I like and when I’m going to use it.

I got a letter in the mail a couple weeks ago.  Professional development from 9 – 2 today on the software.  I’ve already used it so I called the school and asked if it was required to go.  Well, that was a stupid question…

So, from 9 to 11 I got to sit in a small room with all my math colleagues and listen to the sales pitch again.  Wait, you say, didn’t your school already buy the program?  Yes we did.  But there was another school there today who hadn’t.  Quality professional development you ask?  Ha!

We break for lunch.  When we come back at noon we get into how to use the program.  The first hour was spent on how to use a remote with a DVD player.  Which button do you push to pause, which button is the fast-forward button, etc.  You probably think I’m stretching it here, but no.  The presenter even said, about 10 minutes in, that the reason they do this is because different DVD players have different remotes and that women are apprehensive using remote controls since they don’t get to use them at home.  Seriously, that’s what she said.

The last hour was spent telling us how to use the different menus.  This is the lesson menu.  This is the guided practice menu.  If you want to go back to the lesson menu use the down arrow on the remote, you remember where that was right?  

At least they paid me $25 an hour to listen to this dribble…

Long time, no write.

But I’m back.  My summer didn’t go quite as planned, but such is life.

Yesterday was the first day of new teacher orientation.  The local teacher’s association buys lunch for all the new teachers each year, and then we make our pitch for them to join the union.  I’m the VP of the association and I’m also the chairman of the membership committee so its up to me to run this luncheon.  By my lists our district has 35 new teachers this year.  As the teachers were arriving at the restaurant I was counting them.  About midway through I had a moment of deja vu.

A few years ago my school was holding our freshman orientation.  At one point a shy blonde Reese Witherspoon look-alike came in my room.  She was apprehensive about being at the high school and proclaimed, nearly in tears, that she really sucked at math.  We talked and I tried to convince her that she would do fine in algebra and that high school would be fun.  She left my room that day unconvinced.  She worked hard in class and to be honest, she had an amazing teacher, and she finished the year with a B- in algebra.  She was in my class her sophomore year for geometry and her junior year for algebra 2.  She overcame her shyness, was captain of the cheerleader squad and homecoming queen her senior year.  She was elected most popular her senior year and was planning on getting a degree in nursing.

Imagine my surprise when one of the new teachers is a bubbly blonde Reese Witherspoon look-alike.  I asked her what she was doing here and she told me she was a new first grade teacher at one of our schools.  I jokingly asked her if she had had trouble with the math in nursing school.  She said that after her freshman year in college she spent some time thinking about what she really wanted to do with her life.  She told me that I had inspired her and that she wanted to touch someone’s life the way I had touched hers so she became a teacher.

We don’t get paid a lot monetarily, but at times this job is priceless.