Archive for November, 2010

113. PROF. N COMMENTARY, OTHER READER COMMENTS, RENEE CHRONICLES: THE COLLEGE YEARS-GENERATIONS,TWP: 40 YEARS LATER & GOOD BYE!

November 24, 2010

SPECIAL ALERT

WASHINGTON — The lame duck Congress is history.

The Senate followed the House out of session just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, bringing to a close one of the most radical and extreme left-wing dominated congresses in history.

BUT THEY FAILED!

Utterly.

H.B. 5628, the bill to end ALL school c.p. in the U.S. is DEAD! 😆 Long live local control of local public schools. All credit for this victory belongs not to the four of us but rather -To you, THE PEOPLE! This great nation of ours is owned by you and not the power elites. And as the true “owners” of the U.S., may we never give it up!

STAY ENGAGED!

SPECIAL MEMO TO “SHARON OF ARIZONA” FROM TWP: Remember the “threats” you made against TEACHERSWHOPADDLE and its contributors? Well, we don’t take threats too well. We have posted SHARON’S “FIRST HAND” EXPERIENCE and just so you (Sharon) can read and weep, TWP is giving you and all our loyal readers EXACT directions on where to find this post.

Just go to Archives and click on December 2009. SHARON’S “FIRST HAND” EXPERIENCE should be the first post you see.

Happy reading, Sharon…You had this coming!

Dear Readers: Here it is -The final issue of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE! We at TWP have looked to this day with a feeling of accomplishment and relief. That feeling of accomplishment comes from the four of us -Jenny, Wendy, Michelle and me (Renee)- who truly believe that a different tone was added to the debate on school c.p. We also have a mutual feeling of relief that, because of the recent U.S. mid-term election results, the issue of corporal punishment in school as well as the home will NOT be decided behind closed doors in Washington, D.C. So, I reckon we could put up a “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner -But trying to explain it to family and friends might be ackward! 😆

Renee: My beloved Georgia Bulldogs have had a rough football year but future does look brighter. With my recovery from minor out-patient surgery going very well, hubby John will be relived to relinquish a lot of household chores I assigned him (Come to think of it -I may give him some of those chores permanently!) My Tyler has already eaten all his Halloween candy despite my rationing it. Both John and Tyler are ALREADY working on their Christmas wish-lists! I guess I’ll have to be the “grinch” and insist on realistic wishes -After all, money is tight again this year!

Jenny: If you think I’m on cloud 9 over Auburn’s undefeated season -You’re ABSOLUTELY right! Yee Haa! And Auburn will achieve a triple: Beat Bama, Win the South Eastern Conference AND the National Championship! Tom, Tommy and I are already planning our Thanksgiving Dinner with a “Green” menu of organic and home grown produce. Nothing like natural wholesome eating, right? (But I’ll still BUY the turkey!)

Wendy: I will second my approval of Auburn’s stellar year! But Jenny dear, let me add two things: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be the next Heisman Trophy winner AND a certain Alabama ex-cheerleader WILL be preparing to sing the Auburn alma mater at a school staff meeting in the near future. James and I have FINALLY finished the repaving of the back patio just as cold weather starts to set in. My “baby” Patrick is mastering the tricycle and is a terror on it! Next up -Bicycle with training wheels. An “overprotective” mom (me) will have to eventually “let go” -But its hard!

Michelle: Whats this with Auburn Mania? I will gladly remind everyone that Auburn’s road to a “mythical” National Championship goes through Bryant-Denny stadium. We Crimson Tiders will decide if Auburn plays for the National Championship. I have Crimson colored crying towels ready for a pair of Auburn ladies. As for Dr. Richard and I, we are fine and my pregnancy is progressing on schedule with no health issues. A few of my students ask if they could attend the baby shower! (Giggle) I told all three boys that only women go to baby showers! They did NOT ask twice! (Giggle Giggle)

PROF. N. COMMENTARY

Wade Ditty: I have no predilection for or against c.p. as a mode of punishment, seeing it as one tool in a kit you can use or not , as with any other. Now I do recognize that in some schools it was misused : one of the strongest suits for abolition. I myself saw that when I taught in a school out of Liverpool where corporal punishment was the norm , and used ‘oppressively’. I refused on ethical grounds , to use it .

However, the abolition in Britain was hurried , unplanned and offered teachers no thought out alternatives other than suspensions, which in my mind, are at least as harmful and corrosive as the cane.

I have seen schools in the Southern States where cp was used judiciously, and effectively, where the kids appeared not to be cowed or frightened by its presence. But I don’t doubt that, especially in the past, many schools abused the options available to them. One can recite the cases extant on Corpun as perhaps something of a iceberg. But any punishment can be wrongly used: detentions given frivolously, huge mountains of lines…..we could go on. . Often the presence or absence of corporal punishment , where it is still legal revolves around the core norms and values of the community and families in the area . In the south , for example the values of family, respect for authority and the values of the ‘Church’ are prevalent. Many kids experience corporal punishment at home. So its presence in the schools is no ‘anachronism’.

To me its an issue of sociological observation. Local social mores and values of cohesion are dominant in the U.S., whereas here in Britain we have a centralized bulldozing state machine.

But Wade, if ‘we the people’ are important then surely it is incumbent upon you to engage in constructive debate about the future of the school system, ….or are all non corporal punishment regimes valid and non abusive?

Parents have both a right and need to know how you would run the schools.

As I’ve said a dozen times before , would you have handed Nashia over to the Sheriff ?

Of course it isn’t your intention to treat the people as sovereign. . You prefer to treat parents with contempt and simply target those you see as movers and shakers, unfortunately for you , given the new Republican/tea party arrivals in Washington , that ain’t going to be a piece of cake.

People will be quite happy to debate with you , when you show some interest in the whole nature and function of school discipline -And debate that issue seriously, but you seem to prefer to play the clown and the ‘jokerman’

Today the President of the United States has been humbled by the people . Why? Because he preferred the cliques of Washington to listening to the Country. If you want to win you shouldn’t make the same mistake and treat those who use and fund the school system with contempt.

In my view the ladies of TWP are first and foremost teachers. They are not monsters, but good people trying to reflect and inculcate societal values and and develop caring critical faculties within their students. Like all of us, they are human, and yes -can make mistakes, but they are neither child abusers or bad teachers for operating within the cultural norms and values of their society. And anyway, you can’t tell them how they SHOULD discipline, can you ? It appears not. How exactly would YOU deal with bullying?…we’ve asked and you won’t or can’t answer. !!!!

Stop playing games , answer valid questions asked of you and maybe others will answer yours. Social and political street is a two way street. Frankly, as many of the people of America have said this week …….. either put up or shut up. As an SMS from Texas yesterday said ‘We the people’…..are having a party ! ‘On a night like this ‘ to quote the inimitable Bob D.

Wade, you said, ‘Teachers who paddle–it’s there way or no way. No discussion about anything else. They call people all kinds of names who disagree with them. They sling violent words at people they disapprove of….’

Come off it, Wade Ditty !!! Your track record speaks for itself, slur after slur, accusation after accusation . You can’t fight with an intellectual argument because you haven’t got one! So you resort to vitriol , name calling , and the meaningless accusation ‘fake’ this and that. . There is only one fake here, and that’s you ….a fake in the education world, who can’t give a coherent explanation of the discipline model you would adopt.

I’ve got respect for ethical opposition to corporal punishment: its a honorable cause and you may see it as a moral crusade. But it is incumbent on those who advocate abolition to discuss the alternative policy and classroom practice. .

Yes, you advocate positive discipline , but every researcher in the field will tell you that whilst it works for some groups of kids ( generally those who are well socialized and of above average intelligence) , it is not a universal panacea, and doesn’t deal effectively with repeated anti social behavior and deficient socialization.

Moreover, just looking at bullies you seem to assume all bullies are the same. When did you last open a psychology book? There are different distinct typologies of bullying and each requires a specific response to rectify the deficiency. However, as well as rectifying the deficiency and helping the bully, you also need to maintain social cohesion and demonstrate that actions have consequences as well as some measure of restorative justice for the victim.

You and your friends only seem to do that by exclusion and calling the cops ! Does that really help?

In short, bullying mustn’t ever be seen to  pay.

So what DO you believe in ? As we’ve said before we’d all like to know how you would run a classroom and what sanctions and rewards would be in your  disciplinary regime.

I know what you are against : I don’t know what you stand for. As the American people have shown in the recent polls , they don’t respect those who just play politics, they want to see concrete action and firm policies. You have none. Can you, Jestin , Paula, – all or any  of you-  tell us succinctly and simply  what disciplinary interventions you favor: then we can have a debate. Or are you just bankrupt like the lobbyists, analysts,  pundits and elites on Capital Hill and Wall Street?

OTHER READER’S COMMENTS/TWP ANSWERS

Do the students who you paddle “hate” you as a result of being paddled?

We at TWP are not mind-readers (No one is) but we have one-on-one chats with each student we have paddled. We strive to make sure they know why the paddling happened and that we disliked giving it as much as they did receiving it. Amazingly, every student I (Renee) have paddled admitted that the paddling itself didn’t hurt much and that it was more embarrassing than anything else. The others have all had the same feedback. In fact, one student after saying “It didn’t hurt much” was afraid he would get paddled AGAIN! I reassured him that the purpose of a paddling was just an initial sting to get his attention on the seriousness of continued “roughplay”. Honestly, I think -by their whining- that the mandatory recess sit-out when paddled earlier in the day is hated a lot worse than the paddling. (Maybe having to listen to teacher gossip/small talk)

Republicans are MORE opposed to school c.p. than Democrats.Duh.

🙄 Really? TWP made NO direct references to either party. Speaking for ourselves, we want SOLUTIONS to our nations problems -Irregardless of party. As to the political “theory” stated: If memory serves us right, the Republicans OWNED Capital Hill from 1995 to 2007. I (Renee) do not recall ANY national c.p. bans being pushed then. DOUBLE DUH!

The political difference as we see it: Republicans respect the concept of Federalism which places great emphasis on the proper roles of Federal, State and Local governments. Today’s Democratic party prefers a greater role for centralized (or National) government.

Governors cannot repeal laws. (RE: Open Letter #2 to Ohio Governor-elect Tom Kasich)

Hey, you get an “A” for understanding that Governors CANNOT unilaterally “repeal” laws on the books but an “F” for reading what was not there. Perhaps we could of been clearer: With new state leadership in the governor’s mansion AND the state legislature, the possibility of a reversal of Ohio’s c.p. ban is high. We at TWP do believe the governor should take the lead in this and just point out that local districts should make school policy -Not state politicians.

 

RENEE CHRONICLES: THE COLLEGE YEARS -GENERATIONS

Dear Readers: When thinking about how I would write this last segment of CHRONICLES, I wanted to end the series on the last post of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE in a relevant manner. This last segment is not about my graduating from Georgia  on a sunny late Spring day in 2001 just before my great job search that sent me on my way to a small community in the Deep South.

Why not?

Because I’ve already recounted my job search adventure in my STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES and as to my graduation: There is not much to say. Black gown and cap ceremony with several thousand other graduates. No big story there.

But in looking at the future of the school c.p. debate, I have thought back to my college freshman first semester as an Alpha sorority pledge. And no, this has nothing to do with any sort of hazing. Rather, my perspective as to the future comes from my own past experience as a Homecoming Weekend Hostess. Where does that fit in to my perspectives of the future?

Keep reading.

At Alpha sorority, the duty of Fall Semester pledges was to serve as Homecoming Weekend Hostesses during that weekend which the sorority chapter’s alumni would basically “take over” the house from Friday night’s Alumni Reception/Homecoming Parade Float Construction through Saturday Luncheon and Saturday night’s Banquet after the football game to the Late night Alumni Bash to Sunday’s Alumni Brunch. As a whole, the undergraduate sisters didn’t do much except attend the Banquet Dinner and Award Program. But the pledge class? We pledges were divided into groups with different Hostess tasks throughout that weekend. The sisters supervised us but hung out off campus otherwise (Bowling Alley or off site party).

Yours truly signed up for the Alumni Bash Party as disc jockey, bartender and designated driver. And the Alumni Bash Party? It was really interesting how the house was set up. Different areas of the house was set up for different “generations”. The 00s, like me, have our area in the basement party lounge area with pop music from the last decade 2001-2010. But I also hang out with the 1990s alum who have their area and music (Justin Timberlake?) on one far side of the back patio. And the other far side has the 1980s alum with their set up and music. (Remember, the Alpha sorority house is HUGE and is as long as a football field is wide!) The 1970s alum have the dining hall and the 1960s alum (Beatles?)  have one of the largest front rooms. The 70s and 60s groups have been the largest alum groups in recent years. The 1950’s alum have the front room where the main entrance is -And I recall very well their affinity for Elvis music! Finally, all alum of more than 50 years meet in the chapter room where our charter hangs on the wall over a large fireplace with a huge trophy collection on display. As to their music, all I can recall is that it was “big band” music which just isn’t my style.

As we had set up a half dozen cash bars in different locations, different pledges worked different bars as well as stereo setups. I worked the 1960s area bar for the first hour before rotating to the chapter room where our “Golden” alum were lounging. As I played classic big band music, I got to chat with grandmothers and one great-grandmother! It was interesting to hear their perspectives, not just on sorority life, but life in general. At the time, I didn’t understand it -But each and every generation brings its own values and characteristics through its own cycles of life:Youth, Adulthood, Midlife and Elderhood. Listening to a 75 year old lady talk about the same sorority that I belong to was strange at first but also informative.

That night I learned something you cannot get from history textbooks: How people interacted and bonded generations ago. I believe that the mantra of some, like the anti- c.p. zealots, that history flows in one direction only -Is false. A misconception is that the older the generation, the more old-fashioned and traditional the values. Not quite.

From my interaction with various age groups, I have decided that values shift over time from traditional to more progressive back to traditional. In other words: A “pendulum” effect. So to those who fret about social anarchy, I say “Relax!” No one knows the future but I do know “Rev.”, Paula, Jestin and Co. will NOT determine it.

Rather, millions of ordinary people acting individually will collectively move America forward AS THEY SEE FIT. There will be ups and downs but that has always been the case. And as each generation comes along, they will make their own mark.

TWP 40 YEARS LATER

Dear Readers: I have been asked numerous times what will happen in the school c.p. debate/wars. Which side will prevail and what America/The World will look like. The honest truth is: No one knows. The antis truly believe history flows in one direction -Their own. Since no one really knows for sure, a close examination of U.S. History reveals a pendulum flow. I (Renee) believe that will be the case as to school c.p.

Why?

Because the issue is a cultural one. For around half a century, the pendulum has swung towards a permissive, child-centric society. That actually makes sense because, despite all the social upheavals, the second half of the 20th century has been quite placid.

Not so for the first half of the 20th century. A world wide Great Depression and two world wars costing tens of millions of lives. At the dawn of the 20th century, the world of transportation was changing from horse drawn carriages to internal combustion engines. The “experts” of the day all believed that technological progress would make a better world. Midway though the 20th century, that notion was discredited. The pendulum had swung harshly back to reality. The rest of the 20th century, the pendulum swung back to the idealism of a bygone era -Although with different tools: computers, internet, etc.

The following is my read of what the future may hold. It may be troubling but who -in the year 1910- would have expected a world wide Great Depression and two world wars?

Renee Computer Diary 08-03-2050

As I type this in, it is 10:00 a.m. and the beach noon-time sun is fast approaching. But, as their nanna, I’ll let my visiting grandkids Jamie and Sarah sleep over a little while longer. Hey, their Hyper-Sonic flight into Tampa, Florida International Spaceport from Brussels, United Europe was late! So much for Mach 5 -The same old excuse of weather delays still persist as to air travel. But their European Rail-and-Trail Hiking vacation with family and friends was a success.

I am so proud of Jamie -He has been admitted to the Navy R.O.T.C. program. That means instead of fulfilling his military draft obligation as an enlistee, Jamie will go on to University of Florida first and if he stays in the program, will become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. I shake my head a little at that thought: Our little Jamie one-upping his Millennial War U.S. Navy veteran dad Tyler. Tyler made the rank Seaman 3rd class in the biggest world war since WWII and will NOT take any guff from Jamie -Even if Jamie becomes Admiral! (HA HA) And no…I am not mad at Jamie for his college choice: The last 3 years, Georgia has beaten Florida and has a National Championship!

Sarah is ALWAYS one to try to upstage her big brother. When she hears about Jamie’s plans, Sarah will bring up HER choice for Women’s National Service. Sarah has two years to go before high school graduation and THINKS/HOPES to be accepted into the Homeland Security’s Airport/Spaceport Security Division. Sarah drives the entire family nuts saying “I get to carry an Uzi…I get to carry an Uzi…” Well, when her daddy Tyler gets ticked off, I just remind him that when he was drafted into the U.S. Navy in the Millennial War, one of the first things he said was “Now WE get to nuke North Korea,Iran…” I still shudder about that war -But the world is at peace…for now anyway.

Perhaps all the re-building worldwide will give humanity something else to do besides fight wars.

Final plans for my “gray headed teacher’s reunion” are set for this weekend. Michelle, who still looks good at 66 will fly in by way of her family’s Learjet. (Flying commercial was rarely an option for her -Maybe those airport pat-downs?) Wendy and James with kids and grandkids are taking a cruise vacation and will drive in to town after their family trip. Jenny and Thomas will leave their Gulf Coast Retirement Eco-friendly Commune by way of Suncoast Express, a high speed maglev train. (Jenny will bring a bushel of organic vegetables -Just like last year!)

I am glad I saved an old picture of the four of us -Jenny, Wendy, Michelle and me- back when we all taught together at that old red brick elementary school in the late 00s. Jamie and Sarah haven’t seen old pictures of me in a LONG time. Sometimes I get the impression they think I have always been old!

I checked my internet newspaper and guess what: Three term California state attorney general Jestin Samson has announced his candidacy for governor of California on both the Nospank and the Democratic party tickets. The same dude who tried to jail parents for swatting the rears of their misbehaving children (Thank goodness, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed that idea!) wants to help rebuild that messed up state. Maybe the radioactive fallout from the war has affected his brain.

But of course, the good news is that the dream of the antis to turn America into a larger version of Sweden -with mandatory buttock inspections by school officials looking for illegal home c.p., a Jestin Samson idea- utterly failed in the postwar years. The U.S. is 25/25 split with the southeast and middle of the country mostly pro. Exceptions are Colorado which is anti but Ohio did reverse course as did several heartland states. Amazing how a change in demographics and another world war causes people to take a second look at teacher/parental authority versus the worn out child-centric theology.

But school c.p. is still quite rare and with opt-outs in every pro-state, it is a non-issue to 90% of the residents of pro-states. It certainly was a rarity for me as a long time elementary school principal and one term school board member. Yeah, on the latter…That was the most BORING four years of my life!. Coulda moved down to this little beachfront village right after retirement but Nooooo…I had to try my hand at local politics. Hey, those budget meetings are about as exciting as watching paint dry. I was sooooo glad when my term expired!

Jamie has finally woken up and is asking about breakfast. I ought to fix him an early lunch! Gotta go -For now!

 

…AND GOODBYE!

Dear Readers: This is it -The end of the last post of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE! After 112 posts and 75,000+ views in 28 months, we at TWP are signing off. We do so with a feeling of having achieved what we set out to do: Give a teachers perspective on a difficult issue for all of us -School c.p. In doing so, we feel that the “debate” has at least been taken from a few well moneyed elitist and given to WE THE PEOPLE. Now the issue must be carried in each of our communities by the communities themselves. THE PEOPLE must decide the direction of their own communities.

And that is the way it should be.

In closing, an important quote by Ben Franklin when asked what kind of new government had been created by the U.S. founding forefathers:

“A Republic…if you can keep it!”

 

THE WRITERS/CONTRIBUTORS OF

TEACHERSWHOPADDLE WEBLOG

WISH ALL OUR READERS A

SAFE AND HAPPY

THANKSGIVING!

Renee, Jenny, Wendy and Michelle