Pardon me while I fulminate .
I post pictures in this blog of odds and ends of these and more pictures of those . I’m wondering if I am, therefore , a visual learner ? Is that one of the learning modalities ? I should have paid more attention in education jargon class . Let’s see . Visual learner . Audio learner . Metro -cognitive . Paradigm shift . No, no ……meta-cognitive !
Joe , who teaches now , again , after his retirement , mentioned Bloom’s Taxonomy recently . Bloom’s ? The mention was embedded within a piece of Joe’s poetry , I think . Maybe . Bloom , as in Bloom’s Day ? Joe is a big James Joyce aficionado and the Bloom mention may well have been a reference to Joyce . I had a copy of Bloom’s taxonomy for several years , not the Ulysses Bloom , outlined on yellow paper . It was a useful reference tool in my teaching . Now…….ask me what “taxonomy” means . Taxonomy . Rubric . Rigor . Well , I missed those basic education Jargon classes ; heard the terms but never paid much attention . The administration was always , in recent years , seeming to ” roll out ” some program or other . The term “roll out” was , as others , stolen from the corporate world and used in the halls of the school district and then assigned to the school sites to be , often inaccurately , used . They’d be mouthed around for a few years until , I suppose , the lovers of that particular sample jargon retired , or the corporate world’s jargon too , had moved on .
Just an aside here : Education is big business . Of course it is . But teaching is another universe altogether , a horse of a different color , about as non-corporate as you can get . My opinion . An opinion shared by most teachers , I think , but an unknown perspective in the realm of school district offices rife with its hobnobbers with money men and governments , with career-ladder headhunters and lobbyists , textbook companies , real estate developers and , and , and investment brokers ; an opinion forgotten or ignored or horribly misunderstood by school principals who take the ivory tower’s orders .
I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework .——-Lily Tomlin
The superintendent in some nearby school district was in the news again today . He’s suspended now , with pay , while the FBI investigates how it happened that he was higher paid than the superintendents of L.A. , New York , or Chicago schools , even though this guy’s school district has only a few thousand students , a couple of high schools . The district paid his life insurance , too , the newspaper said today . Two policies , actually . They had paid him a one-time lump sum to buy credits to bump his state retirement up . His previously reported salary was about $ 700,000 per year . With the insurance it’s up a notch . What was his cell phone allowance per year paid by the District ? And he needs his housing allowance , of course. And the car .
Test scores didn’t go up at all , though . Teacher salaries didn’t go up at all , though . Only by chance did it all come out suddenly in the news . Caused a big stink . So he had good negotiating skills !
It’s not like he made up his own salary , as did Mr Rizzo in the City of Bell , who manipulated the city budget so that he was secretly paying himself a fortune .The city council , and others , shared in the corruption . City councilmen and women who were getting $100,000 a year for committee membership on non-existing or never-meeting committees claimed innocence and ignorance ; they said that they had not noticed anything off . Ignorance was bliss for them for a few years . Now it’s jail time , though . Rizzo was sentenced a couple of days ago . The woman administrator who did his dirty paper-work got twelve years , too , I think . She’ll be out in six, no doubt , however . But still .
Did you hear about the Santa Monica teacher who wrestled the student to the ground a couple of weeks ago in his classroom ? There were cell phone videos of it , of course , and they immediately hit the net . The Santa Monica-Malibu School District Superintendent immediately issued a statement proclaiming the teacher’s action ” totally inappropriate ” and she immediately suspended the teacher . Of course she would . She later explained that her initial assessment may have been flawed but that it was , nevertheless, ” routine District policy “. Of course it was . Routine District policy is to immediately blame the teacher .
This one backfired on the superintendent , though . A former student of the teacher started an internet petition to reinstate the well-respected teacher . The petition quickly received support from 150,000 people . Meanwhile the 18 year-old student involved was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a box-cutter on campus and assault on a public employee . The superintendent backed down in the face of perceived public outrage . The teacher’s suspension was lifted today .
My point is , in giving a sketchy outline of this story , that these big-wig school people live in a non-teacher world , co-opting corporation jargon and methods and ambitions , perhaps , but not comprehending that teaching is an inter- personal , individual , human thing . Classrooms can’t be effectively run like assembly lines , rolling out this or that program but ignoring the human intricacies of classroom interaction , ignoring all the several complex factors involved in learning . The art of teaching has been undervalued and almost quashed . A teacher’s art .
Meanwhile , the big boys and girls do the best they can , padding their own nests along the way . Anybody would . Wouldn’t they ? The cookie jar is wide open , after all , in our currently selfie culture . Nothing wrong with that . Eh ? As long as you don’t get caught . Whatever bad publicity that comes out in the news the school districts will bend to . This or that . Even , sometimes , they’ll toss the routine Teacher-Is -Always-Wrong policy out . Stranger things have happened ; but not often .