Two Teachers Rant on Education 

Brandon Weber posted this on his FB site 9/2015:  
My BFF is an ESL teacher that travels between schools around the high hills and mountains in northeastern Vermont. This is her viewpoint related to the initial Brandon Weber post: “Like, but can’t fully agree. I think there should be a policy for dress code. Skirts down to your fingertips, waist bands and scoop shirts not lower than the width of your hand, spaghetti straps two fingers wide, Frankly I don’t care which gender is wearing what., or which bathroom one chooses to use. Dressing with respect for others however is an important value. This is all coming from a hippie kid. Go figure. As I get older I even see the merit of uniforms, where poverty and wealth are not so easily recognized. But, no I”m not going that far. But while I’m at it, I’d prefer the cell phones, and ipods stay at the office. If texting while driving is a distraction, then so is texting while in class. And my goodness I want cursive writing to come back and spelling instruction to go beyond the 3rd grade.Wow! A heartfelt teacher’s rant with honest-to-goodness merit!”

I go wayyyy off topic of the initial post but tied to her rant ending: We have turned smart phones and iPads into tools, kids are told to put them out on their desktops in full view and use them throughout their lessons, just like their textbooks. It’s almost no fun anymore.

I have so much technology in my classroom (SMARTBoard, ceiling mounted projector, doc camera, Chromebook laptops, iPads, 4 student computers, hanging TV, boom box, teacher’s desktop computer, cell phones, microwave, toaster & mini fridge …) We should turn them on all at once and fry the whole electric grid! 

I can’t even hear myself think let along string coherent sentences together after the bell rings and we teachers are expected to show our grade books to parents digitally every 2 weeks and begin our evaluation digital paperwork next Tuesday … As if something terrible shorted out our brains between last May when we received our evaluative standings for last year. Oh yeah, the politicians thinks we have the free time to be thugs on the weekends – I had to surrender my fingers for fingerprinting and pay them to do it!!! WTF! I should become the Lone Teacher (I need a politically correct non-white sidekick) and ride a Segway through the halls and school districts, school committees, governor’s mansion and state legislative offices for justice! Hi ho, Silver Segway!!! Ride away before the bell rings!

My friend came back to add the following: “Well said. Well said. As we gain in the use of technology in the classroom, we lose in the value of human face-to-face interaction with one another and the environment. When a student stares at a screen, whatever that screen may be: iphone, ipad, Chromebook, ipod, tv, smartboard, to be sure they are not looking at another human being face-to-face And when one loses the face-to-face there is a high risk to becoming desensitized emotionally to the ingredients necessary for compassion, and healthy relationships. I get that kids need to become technology savvy in order to survive much of the future employment world, and that there are wonderful global exchange uses. (Students working with other students worldwide) However, children are more emotionally and socially dysfunctional than ever. (And I’m not saying the family structure is completely blameless- parents aren’t having conversations with their kids either, or spending quality time together) As my mother use to say: “We are going to hell in a handbasket.” I brought in a stick that had been beaver chewed into my high school office the other day. Stuck it in a big glass jar and asked students as they passed through that I see 1:1, to comment. Only one out of 6 came up the notion a beaver had chewed it. Then I asked why? Or more importantly what role does a beaver building a dam have on our whole ecosystem, and why would a healthy ecosystem matter to us on the grand scheme of things? That’s when things went blank. That’s exactly where the lights need to go on. Everything is related to everything, and I mean everything. The kid who walks into a school and pulls a gun on classmates is a kid seriously disconnected and screaming for attention.”