Columns & Editorials

Comeback Goals

Comeback Goals

A few days ago, I had the good fortune (Divine intervention) to run into a former student and his family. He is a young man with severe behavior problems and has difficulty in the school setting. When I met him, he was in fifth grade, he could barely read or write and was at least three grade levels behind academically. Now, he’s about 20 pounds heavier, a few inches taller, about five grade levels behind academically and still cannot read or write very well.

Songs from the Throat
Songs from the Throat

Songs from the Throat

The problem with social media, if you ask me, which you certainly did not, is the voice lent to those who are all too happy to say the things they’d dare not say to another person, in person. The lure of anonymity is just too heady for some folks. In 1938, Orson Welles and his troop of actors went on the radio for a recitation of an HG Wells original novel “The War of the Worlds” on the series The Mercury Theater on Air. Except, they just acted out the scenes. They didn’t tell anyone this was a book of fiction about Martians taking over the earth. Panic ensued. People thought a performance, made and specifically engineered to upset others, was real. In a case of no harm, no foul, the FCC ruled that no laws were broken. Orson Welles landed a contract with a studio and wrote/produced/ directed/starred in Citizen Kane, while later reenacting his Martian moment on my favorite I Love Lucy episode. That’s my take on social media. Anyone can get their 15 minutes. They don’t even have to tell the truth. They just have to fool you. But, as with life, the good always comes with the bad, and vice versa. I cannot abandon social media because I have found so much pureness and goodness hiding in the tacky crevices. Take Canadian born Shina Novalinga, for instance. She’s been trending in my Instagram Reels lately. And, she’s making a big difference. To understand Shina’s Canadian experience, we must pay homage to 2 separate but connected travesties: The Sixties Scoop & the MMIW crisis. See, Shina Novalinga is a college student studying business management. But, that’s the last thing she’d tell you about herself. She wants you to know that she’s a proud Inuk. Where once she was ridiculed for embracing her Inuit customs, like the homemade parkas handcrafted by her mother and their art of throat singing, a custom that could easily have been lost, she’s focused on bringing her culture back to the forefront. But, in order to see where Shina is going, we have to examine where her culture has been. Remember when Austin Powers lost his mojo and had to time travel? We’re going back to the 60s.

Uncomfortable Truths

Uncomfortable Truths

As an educator in the public school system, I was never free to fully be me. I am a straight shooter, I take my role as an educator seriously, and I have little patience for foolishness of any kind in life, but I especially loathe foolery on the job. As an educator, I have the ability to effect the current and future lives of the children I serve. I don’t take that responsibility lightly and I don’t care to work around those who do. In my role as a special education teacher, I encountered many realities I call Uncomfortable Truths.

Laymen’s Corner

I have just listened to a song named “HE LOOKED BEYOND MY FAULTS AND SAW MY NEEDS”. When I started thinking about the message of that song a little tear tried to get out but I squeezed hard enough to keep it inside.

How Much Longer in Limbo?

How Much Longer in Limbo?

Having left the public school system before the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent school closures that followed, I am very interested in the progress of our nation’s public schools. My interest is primarily focused on trends and practices that directly impact instruction and student achievement, and education data that reveals how current practices are helping or hindering our students’ social and academic growth.

Taking Control of Bullying

Taking Control of Bullying

I am in a neighborhood group on social media comprised of parents of students in the district and on the campus where I once worked. A few days ago, I encountered several parents voicing their concerns and complaints about the pervasive bullying that is allegedly happening within the district and on my former campus. I was saddened, though not surprised, to hear complaints of the escalating problem of bullying. While I worked in the district, bullying was alleged to be a common problem on several campuses, including mine.

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