88. TWP VS. THE “TALKING CHAIR”, RECOLLECTIONS BY WENDY & STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES OF RENEE pt. III

SPECIAL MEMO TO “TALKING CHAIR”: We at TWP got a tip on your “source” as to the Alabama teen girls “taking paddle swats on their prom dresses” story.

😛 It was BOGUS -Like most of your other assertions. The “source” for your story is the following “spoof news site”:

http://www.thespoof.com /news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i72333

“…the only 100% guaranteed untrue news on the web !!!”

Suggestion to THESTUPIDITYSTARTSHERE (Aka THEHITTINGSTOPSHERE) : Save what little creditability you have left and start relying on legitimate news sources.

MEMO TO “FERGUS”: You are the one who sounds like someone from the “backwoods”. Before you hurl insults, you might want to consider brushing up on your English and punctuation.

MEMO TO “WILLIE C.”: We understand your critique of our last post concerning the “cat-fighting cheerleaders” segment. First, on the dialogue between Barbie and me (Renee), that has happened only once before. My reasoning was just a heartfelt concern that the punishment NOT be too overwhelming -which it was not. I truly believe a paddling should be much more psychologically traumatic than physically painful. Second, the district allows up to 5 swats but does not set different amounts for different offenses. That is left to the discretion of the administrator. Indeed, the paddling WAS unpleasant for everyone involved but rest assured -There will be NO more brawling by those two.

TWP VS. THE “TALKING CHAIR”

We at TEACHERSWHOPADDLE  are always open to fair and honest debate. We only require that there be no name-calling or perverted comments. A web site we call THESTUPIDITYSTARTSHERE, aka THEHITTINGSTOPSHERE has continually violated these guidelines that we feel are fair and easy to understand. When Tony Brian, Jestin, Paula Flowe and someone called Safepasschair refer to TWP as “terrorist”, to Jenny as a “bully” and the WORST -to sweet Michelle as a “sexual molester” -THAT IS WAY OUT OF BOUNDS!

As REAL teachers, we know how to call out REAL bullies and confront them. The following is our answer to cyber-bullies -And if y’all at THESTUPIDITYSTARTSHERE don’t like the tag “zealots”, you might want to try civility in your discourses -Check some of the Q/A on our previous posts as an example.

“The birth certificate and passport I was refering to are associated with the child’s citizenship. Thus, they are entitled to the rights garenteed by the law of the land, the United States Constitution.”

😛 You are joking…Right? A birth certificate’s only legal purpose is to establish where and when you were born. Passports are intended only for use in traveling abroad. While we are not lawyers (One of us is married to one), we did NOT need a law degree to set you straight on this point: The “equal protection” clause of the U.S. Constitution has NO mention of “birth certificates” or “passports” with regards to children’s citizenship.

“their is no mention of any age provision to where constitution protection starts to apply. If you don’t believe me, read the 14th Amendment once again. Actually segregation was a children’s issue.”

Y’all should have just stopped with the first sentence -While you were ahead! And we at TWP will take your word for it as to “age provision” and the 14th amendment. As to “segregation was a children’s issue”, TWP is clueless as to what you are trying to say but three of us ARE moms and DO separate our children from adults at large -For their own well being.

“things have changed since the 1977 case when it comes to school corporal punishment, primarily, the Immunity Law. This obviously goes against the spirit of this ruling and provision of why this ruling was passed. Second, it was a very close decision,  5 to 4”

Hey, we had NO idea y’all were trial attorneys admitted to the Federal Bar! We non-lawyers at TWP can READ and the Ingraham Decision has no prohibition against “Immunity Laws” which are simply “shields” against parents suing teachers who paddle according to school board policy. To do so is legal intimidation and an attempt at a de facto backdoor ban where school c.p. is otherwise legal. In our opinion, this should be considered unethical and a prostituting of the legal system. (Note: Shield laws do NOT  protect school systems at large -Only individuals under certain conditions.)

On the 5-4 Ingraham Decision, y’all are correct -But the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court has vastly changed in 33 years. It is commonly understood that in 1977, the liberals outvoted the conservatives 7-2 WITH THE INGRAHAM DECISION! Today, the court is divided 4-4 with one “swing” vote who usually votes with the conservatives. Good luck with your “court strategy” but if we were y’all -We would “punt” because the vote numbers are NOT favorable for the school c.p. abolitionists.

“This was also a year (1977) where people used lead based paint and children rode bikes without helmets. People at this time didn’t think any different”

😕 Huh? So what is your point? People didn’t talk on cell phones while driving 30 years ago either! And a fact for you to chew on: U.S. society at large took a dim view of disrespect for authority decades ago. As a result, the words “Yes, Sir”, “No, Sir”, “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Ma’am” were commonplace when students addressed adults in the school environment. Today, in some parts of the U.S., vulgarity and disrespect are the “norm”. We know this for a fact because we have heard from other teachers from many states who have observed the decline in behavior standards. Besides academics, we are trying to turn this around in our classrooms -And we are succeeding one child at a time with clear rules and high standards of behavior. Of course, there are CONSEQUENCES for willful and continuous defiance as well.

“adulthood… in some African cultures, the age a person is recognized as an adult is 13. This is the same age that jewish culture recognizes the passing into adulthood. Have you heard of a bar-Mitzvah?”

Yes, we have…And it should be referred to as Bar Mitzvah. And a capital J for “Jewish” as well. (Where did you people go to school? Your grammer is worse than some of our students!)

Whatever. But please don’t try to re-define “adulthood”. We all understand legal adulthood as starting at age 18 unless a court hearing gives emancipation to someone younger.

“What TWP is not willing to admit is that adult students are not protected by the United States Constitution either. One very clear example that rings out is Jessica Serafin.”

Another good reason not to look for the Federal courts to outlaw school c.p. As to older students, it has been the position of this blog since its inception that school c.p. is a BAD policy choice in secondary school. And under NO condition should a student EVER be held down to receive a paddling. TWP may comment on the Jessica Serafin case in a future post. (See also WHY TWP OPPOSES C.P. IN SECONDARY SCHOOL)

“look at a scientific journal like, “Child Development,” where studies have had to go through rigorous testing and scrutiny by the scientific community.”

Really? As a part time graduate student myself, I’m sure I could “create” a research study that can “prove” anything. Here is TWP’s challenge to the anti c.p. zealots: Send us a link for any research that has PROVEN a direct and exclusive correlation between lower student achievement and school c.p. policy. Be sure to include standard error of measurements, correlational ratios and quantitative sample sizes.

Prom Dress Story: “According to other reports, Erica can end the suspension by taking a, “Make Up Paddling.” The catch is that she has to where the same dress she wore at prom.”

(See SPECIAL MEMO at top of post)

We at TWP would have barred them from the prom altogether or gave a 3 day I.S.S. referral. In our opinion, high school students are too old for c.p. unless it is to avoid out of school suspension and only with parental notification beforehand. (Even then, we disfavor it)

MEMO FROM JENNY: Exactly how am I supposed to be a “bully” for enforcing anti0bullying rules? The first paddling I ever gave was for malicious bullying in which another pupil of mine was injured. I understand you disapprove of paddle swats for bullying but your “alternatives” in Massachusetts didn’t work for that poor girl, did it? Sometimes, a “talking to” or “counseling” is inadequate and real consequences are needed.

TWP CONCLUSIONS: We are willing to agree to disagree with you on the troubling issue of school c.p. But some things are just beyond the pale and require a retraction on your part. They are:

1) An apology from Paula Flowe to Michelle for the labeling Michelle as a “sexual molester” on the blogradio show. That is DISGUSTING!

2) Paula Flowe calling everyone in the 20 states with legal school c.p. as RACISTS! That is WAY out of bounds.

3) Referring to Jenny as a “bully” and to TWP as “terrorists”. Inexcusable and really makes you look STUPID! (Hey, the real terrorists of this world would kill ALL of us without blinking an eye. Think about that!)

So, the next move is yours. The ball is in your court. Will it be civil discourse or more of the same. Just remember -If you choose the latter, you only marginalize yourselves.

RECOLLECTIONS BY WENDY

…a REALLY small town

For all those who do not know what I mean when I say “…a REALLY small town”, let me explain it this way. First, there was only one red light in the center of town which at night just blinked yellow in one direction and red the other. How do I know this? Because my parent’s Clothing Store was in the center of the town opposite the courthouse square. This was before WAL MART moved into the county -Although by that time, I had finished college and my folks had retired. (Great timing, huh?)

Renee,Jenny and I have one thing in common besides our occupation. We all grew up in relatively small communities but, with parental prodding, aspired to better ourselves through education. (No, Michlle -Mobile, Alabama is NOT a small town, in our opinion. -Renee, Jenny & Wendy) But all of us had growing up experiences that helped to make us who we are today.

Working in the Family Business

My earliest memories are of mom and dad working at “the store” until late evenings and my being tucked in a bed in a small makeshift bedroom behind the counter -It was just for me! When I got older, I would pick up the loose clothes hangers and place them in a box behind the counter for later re-use. I actually made a game of sorting plastic, wooden and metal hangers but sometimes picked them up before I was supposed to. I can still remember running down an aisle  with a hanger with momma in hot pursuit saying, ” Wendy…No…Bring that back here…” I must have been preschool age then but I have a lot of good memories of that store.

By the time I was school age, my parents had me helping with hanging up new clothes stock. My mom did most of the work but I learned how a store inventory is organized and the best way to display merchandise. And I learned from my dad how a business is properly managed from ordering merchandise to paying bills to making payroll. From the time I was in kindergarten through college summers, I worked every part of the business except putting up the “Back To School Sale” banner which hung pretty high! {I’m not TOO bad about heights but standing on the very top of a 10′ step ladder: That’s where I draw the line!)

School Daze

When I think about my school days, I think of how quickly it passed by. I was definitely not an introvert. While some girl classmates of mine were content to be “wall flowers” , I loved to ask probing questions which probably drove some of my teachers to distraction. I always seemed to do very well in school and struggled only with pre-calculus and physics in high school. Having an older sister was helpful because she told me which classes were the most difficult and helped me through them.

As long as I maintained good grades, my folks allowed me to participate in afterschool sports. My earliest sports were little league softball and soccer. The softball adventures of mine were quite forgettable -Unlike Renee. As to my batting average, it was pathetic as I swung either too early or too late. In other words -A lot of strike-outs! My outfielding was not much better but at least the ball didn’t hit me in the head. Soccer, on the other hand, was much better. Since I love to run anyway, this sport imported from Great Britain fit me to a “T”. As a midfielder, I got to run alot and kick the ball which is easier than batting a softball anyway! (Readers, I know what you’re thinking and YES -I did wear glasses and later -contacts- but some people have better hand-eye coordination than others!)

My favorite activity in school, which I still do today, is distance running. From my soccer playing, it was not a hard transition. But there is a story behind this. Until high school, I had been a middle school cheerleader -Although soccer in the Spring was my real passion. But the high school cheerleaders had to go to a summer 1 week camp. My parents gave me a choice: 1 week in Florida at Daytona Beach or 1 week cheerleading camp but not both. Actually, that was one of the easiest choices I ever had to make and it was Florida sunshine ALL THE WAY! And where does running fit into this? Simple. Since I was no longer in the “rah rah club” (Aka cheerleading team), I joined the Cross Country Running Team and have never looked back since. And today, I still run in 5K road races although with Baby Patrick, not as much as I used to. (Patrick is not my “baby” any more -He just had his 1st birthday recently!)

School and Bullies

While going through school, I did witness bullies whom I generally despise. Girl bullies were never a problem for me because the few times another girl tried anything with me, I was IN THEIR FACE -Which is a trait I probably inherited from my mom, who was never a push-over to anyone. That is the way I am but seeing others being intimidated and picked on by school bullies made me see red.

So, I adopted a personal policy of mine which worked thus: If I saw anyone anywhere picking on someone else, I TOLD them to stop. And if they did not, I tattled. Some of my friends tried to dissuade me from doing so but I was firm -No bullying. And I did not associate with known bullies in school OR their so-called social network. Doing all this cost me a few “friends” but in the longer term, I gained the respect of most of my classmates and teachers. I did get the nickname Ms. Junior Teacher but looking back, I’m glad I did what I did.

The reason I placed this in my RECOLLECTIONS is because I believe schools have NO place for bullies. The antis call TWP “bullies” but they are the real bullies. A question to the antis: What would you have done about the poor girl and bully-victim who committed suicide in Massachusetts, an anti- c.p. playground? Probably nothing. And the reason is that most anti- c.p. zealots just do not care.

Well, I care. And the others at TWP care.

And one thing is for certain: No child under our care has to worry about bullies. Because we do more than just “talk to” when it comes to school bullies.

And its working!

Special Talents

Guess what Renee and I have in common besides being teachers?

Give up?

Our college’s marching band. But while Renee did her thing in the color guard of the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, I actually played an instrument during my four years at Auburn University. While I will NOT say what musical instrument I played, I know that I appeared numerous times on t.v. during halftime shows.

Another knack that I developed from my childhood was singing -Both church choir and solo. This is something that I have tried to teach as a 5th grade teacher with mixed results. But I managed to talk our principal into letting me set up a school choir club. While this choir will never be mixed up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir -If you could only hear them sing their hearts out. The songs are secular of course (Thanks to you, A.C.L.U.!) but I still believe the kids get something out of it.

College Days

As I recounted above, I was in the Auburn University Marching Band during my four years of undergraduate study. I started out as a Music major but saw that opportunities in the field of music performance were rather narrow and limited. It was in my 2nd semester that mom suggested that I look into teaching as a career option. I then recalled how I “babysat” little kids while their moms changed and tried on new dresses. I did seem to have a knack with younger children who just “clicked” with me. I can still recall some kids eyeballing me and later asking their moms on the way out the door, ” Who is she, mommy?..A babysitter?”

Well, as all you readers know, being a teacher is not like being a babysitter (Regardless of what Paula Flowe thinks) and that a formal program of training is required. Like Michelle, I was discouraged from being a high school music teacher because “The boys at that age will NOT take you seriously.” So, by default, I became an Elementary Education major with a minor in music.

Finally, what you readers are looking for: My chance encounter with TWP’s Jenny, who was Rush Recruitment Chairwoman of the Deltas, her sorority. There really isn’t much to say except that a number of sororities had little ol’ me listed as a “hot prospect”. Talent? Looks? Who knows? (Giggle)

But Sorority Rush involved seeing nearly 30 houses (Big ones, too!) and I was coy about who I’d join. Eventually, I settled on the Sigmas, who were just a few houses down from Jenny’s Deltas. To say Jenny put on the “hard sell” would be putting it mildly. Jenny and a few of her sorority sisters actually cornered me and a few of my friends. But I put her off and soon after, accepted an invitation to pledge the Sigmas where some older girls from my hometown were members.

Payback is a b**** and Jenny did nearly run over me in intramural basketball but hey -I can shoot 3s better than she can! Of course, today we are best of friends -Especially dealing with an ex- Alabama Crimson Tide Cheerleader named Michelle!

(Wendy: I would like to set up a one-on-one with you at any basketball court of your choosing…Something about shooting 3s… -Jenny)

STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES OF RENEE pt. III

Classroom Outside the Classroom

Those who think that all classroom teachers do is stand in front of the class and lecture are greatly mistaken. There is more that goes on in a typical school day than just academics. School assemblies create new challenges that are NOT mentioned in those Teacher Education textbooks. And to think about what I paid for those books -All new ones too! Why? Because the courses required the LATEST edition -That’s why!

The first assembly during my student teaching seemed easy enough. I knew where the class was to be seated in the auditorium and everything went smoothly. From a distance, I carefully watched my class for any fooling around but everything went as planned. When the class got back to the room, we went directly into the next lesson -English Literature.

I was getting into the lesson when Brenda, who didn’t normally do so, waved me over to say, “I think you need to re-check the attendance book!” In my eagerness to go to the next lesson plan, I didn’t take note of an empty desk in back. The culprit had slipped into the boy’s room on the way back to the classroom from assembly. The young boy would sit out a few recesses for not telling anyone but I warned him that a repeat of that would merit a trip to the office.

And I learned a valuable lesson as well: Expect the unexpected -Especially when taking a class outside their classroom!

COMING NEXT: RECOLLECTIONS BY MICHELLE,

STUDENT TEACHING CHRONICLES OF RENEE pt. IV

&

TBD

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