>resting, refreshing beverages, and reading — news, that is

>I am a bit of a news junkie. I won’t give up my daily paper, provincial though it is. I surf the online headlines when I can. When we travel (which isn’t often, I confess) one of my chief pleasures is picking up a major paper wherever we are and reading it, cover to cover.
Why? Perspective. Keeping informed is important, but keeping perspective is essential. Knowing what’s happening is good, but without background and detail, that knowledge doesn’t get beyond the first level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Yes, I’m talking like a teacher. Teaching is a great field. My progressive state senator has called it a noble profession. I love my work. I need to repeat that; I love my work.
There are times when I dread my job.
I dread the nasty phone calls and meetings with parents who claim intimate knowledge of what I “should” be teaching, but barely handled high school themselves.
I dread the harassment of special needs students. Yes, it happens, at school and in the neighborhood, and I will continue to fight this through education, not bullying or verbal harassment.
I dread writing up yet another discipline referral and knowing that the only good it might do is to create a paper trail.
I dread the reactions of parents who claim their innocent angels couldn’t possibly have misbehaved. It must have been another Student/Teacher/Someonelse’s fault.
I dread reading yet another headline saying that scores on yet another bubble test will result in judging the quality of my instruction.
Hello?!! Is anyone listening? There are so many good families, good students, no, great families and great students, that the negativity shouldn’t take over. But ‘shoulds‘ are bogus, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the positive (and analytical) people are much quieter than the others.
If Greenpeace and a Japanese whaling ship can co-exist and one offer assistance to the other, but elementary school parents can not, what does that say about our neighborhood? Our town? Not much, people, not much.
Of course, I’m sure that’s my fault, too.

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