Sunday, May 17, 2015

Every Child Deserves . . .

Want to know what I think are the two biggest mistakes America makes? Oh stop rolling your eyes. I might say allowing Atheists to meander freely in the country. I might say too few reality TV programs.   I won't . . . but still, I could have.

The two biggest mistakes (and there are plenty) is inadequately funding education and keeping the health care system as for profit corporations. 

Isn't it obvious that a country with educated and healthy citizens is much better off than a country with uneducated, poor, incarcerated and diabetic citizens? Seriously. It isn't rocket science. 

Before the conservatives have a complete meltdown and come up with a litany of 
"it is too much money" 
"anyone in America can be rich if they just try" 
"I grew up so poor we didn't have shoes or socks or pants or underwear so we had to wear a bed sheet to school, which was 50 miles away, but it made me the man I am today"

let me give our legislative friends a little quiz. 

Which costs more:

1 - Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating someone . . . repeatedly
. . . between the ages of 14 to 45.


2 - Providing school support programs, vocational education . . . 
and collecting income tax on the now employable group of citizens.

Which costs more: 

1 - Replacing a fractured hip, providing three weeks of skilled rehab and additional home health . . .
with possible treatment costs for pneumonia, pulmonary emboli or necrotizing fasciitis . . . 
OK probably not flesh eating bacteria but the other two I'm keeping in the equation. 

2- Installing a bath bar and providing a shower chair  

Which costs more: 

1 - Funding all the dumb-ass government programs


2  - NOT funding all the dumb-ass government programs. 

Obviously, the meltdown isn't about the overall cost / benefit ratio because a 2nd grader can distinguish which is more and which is less.  

Hmmmm . . . draw your own conclusions but I'm going to present three fantastic teachers who are not in the career for the lucrative pay and substantial quarterly bonuses.

Kyle Schwartz, 3rd grade teacher, gave her class an 
assignment to finish the sentence:

I wish my teacher knew . . . 

"Building community in my classroom is a major goal of this lesson. After one student shared that she had no one to play with at recess, the rest of the class chimed in and said, 'we got your back.' The next day during recess, I noticed she was playing with a group of girls. Not only can I support my students, but my students can support each other."

She started #thingsiwishmyteacherknew and thousands of students have participated.

A British teacher had read an American school letter sent a class after their standardized exams. Rachel Tomlinson thought it was a great idea and sent a similar letter. 

Some excerpts: 

We are very proud of you . . . 

The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you . . . 

They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. . . 

They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. . . .

They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story. . . 

They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best. . . 

The scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.

So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember there are many ways of being smart.

Rita Pierson
Oct. 27, 1951 to June 28, 2013

I have spent my entire life either at the schoolhouse, on the way to the schoolhouse, or talking about what happens in the schoolhouse.   

"I am powerful, and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here." . . .  You say it long enough, it starts to be a part of you. 

I gave a quiz, 20 questions. A student missed 18. I put a "+2" on his paper and a big smiley face. . . . "-18" sucks all the life out of you. "+2" says, "I ain't all bad.

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