Monday, August 28, 2006

From the Trenches of Public Ed.

I have been having a discussion with Dennis from From the Trenches of Public Ed. He made a statement that I thought I would clear up. In one of his comments to my last post he says "You seem to be very unhappy with some of the teachers at your kids' school." Its not that we are happy with our teachers, we actually get along with and work well with all our teachers, but then again we are active involved parents. Having said that there are some issues or problems that we have come across. One of our 3rd grade teachers gives way to much homework, especially compared to our other 3rd graders class. An hour and a half of homework a night is way to much for a 8 year old, especially since it seems to be busy work and somewhat redundant.

The scariest thing we have seen, was in our 1st grade teachers class. I had stopped by the classroom to just say hi, and we saw three boys sleeping (when I say sleeping, I mean laying across chairs and snoring) while the rest of the class was having reading time. When I asked the teacher about it a few days later, she said that it happens quite often with those students and that she had contacted their parents. She also said that if she doesn't let them sleep they tend to be disruptive. Personally, while I have to question the system that allows this, frankly if having those boys sleep allows my child to get a better education then I'm not going to complain.

All and all, I tend to be pragmatic. While I disagree with some aspects of the system, I realize that I am not going to be able to change it. If it takes a few extra hours a week of my time to ensure my kids get the basics they need, then I am more than willing to give it.


Dennis Fermoyle said...

Rory, I want you to know that I have learned from this experience. Never again will I say in a post or a comment that "teachers should be given the authority to remove disruptive and apathetic students" without following it with an explanation. You are not the first person that I've totally turned off by putting that so bluntly. It also happened in May. I appreciate that you were willing to read my explanation and to discuss it. The person in May wasn't. I also respect the fact that you don't entirely agree with me. As I said earlier, I think your concerns are legitimate. But rest assured that I have the same goals as you do--I want to see public education improve, and I want to see the best education possible for the most kids possible.

By the way, I'm going to add you to my blog list. You and I will probably disagree frequently, but I think you bring an interesting and important perspective to discussions on education.

rory said...

Thanks Dennis. I'm new to blogging, so my biggest challenge will be learning to put my thoughts on to paper concisely. I do tend to be a devil's advocate and love a good debate. I come from a family of teachers, have plenty of experience being a parent, and thought that perhaps it was time for a parent to put in his 2 cents worth in to the edublogosphere. Don't be surprised if I contradict myself. As a non-educrat I have a lot to learn, but I don't have a social agenda to bring to the table except to advocate for the best possible education for my kids and future grandkids. It’s all about me and mine baby...