Friday, June 18, 2010

Out Of The Mouth Of A Retired (Thank God) Teacher

A retired teacher I know as an acquaintance threw her two cents at me when I said I was going to run for the school board once I resign from my teaching position.  

Here is what came out of her mouth and I was rendered speechless.

"You absolutely will have to do something about the migrant kids that leave school for 6 weeks every year to go visit their families in Mexico.  They should all be retained. They don't do any work while they are gone and come back very behind.  You can't catch them up."

This came out of the mouth of a retired MUSIC teacher!  What the hell does she care?  Were those kids ever so far behind in her music classes it out her under duress when they came back?  Why is this such a burning issue for her?  Why such anger and disgust?

So, I pondered this all night.  This morning I decided what I would do if I were Queen of the School District.

First, I would make sure we all understand and honor different cultural needs regarding family obligation and traditions.
Second, I would get the ELL administrators and lead teachers to help me out from this point on.
Third, I would meet with a handful of teachers who are dealing with this issue and learn what they find to be most problematic.
Third, I would ask all of the above what they see as possible solutions... without monetary restraints.
Fourth, I would try to start a summer school program specifically for this group of students where they could get ongoing academic boosts, reteaches, ELL support.
Fifth, I would ask our district ELL experts to provide supports to parents before and after the yearly trips to Mexico.

I am absolutely sure this would be met with arguing, nay sayers, and can't do its.

I am ready for the fight.

Bring it on.

You can't scare me.  I was in EBDland for 18 years.

We need to do right by our students.  Every. Single. One. Of. Them.


  1. Many students at my current school visit Mexico for 2-3 weeks in Jan. or Feb. The only solution we have at the moment is summer school. I can send work with them, and I often photocopy map booklets so they can connect skills with their travel. But I can't send books, because books (mine or school property) too often get lost on the trip.
    I welcome your attention to this matter, among others!

  2. You said:
    Third, I would ask all of the above what they see as possible solutions... without monetary restraints

    Would you also check on what you could do "with money restraints".

  3. Oh, Anonymous... Don't fret. I have VERY BIG ideas about the money constraints issues. Every "downtown" administrator should be concerned and have an updated resume.

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha . That is exactly the response I was hoping to hear from you. You officially have my vote.

    I hope that you will use the comment re: updated resumes in you campaign literature and use the comment in debates.

  5. Anonymous,

    But, of course! I cannot wait. Just seeing my name on the ballot is going to send some of them into cardiac arrest. Even if I don't win a place on the board, just the squirm of it all will be worth it, don't you think?

  6. absolutely. Nobody challenges our Board of Education, and they like it that way.

  7. That might be worth it. But I would like to see a person on the board who will speak their peace in a logical, analytical manner. I would like to see a person on the board use empirical data. I.E., many Hispanic children leave to visit family in Mexico 4 weeks per year. Here is what we can do to mitigate the damage the absences create.

    That person would then be heavily quoted in the media. That person could become a legend.

  8. Here is an article about a Milwaukee School. Insert administrator where it says teachers.

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Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.