93. AWARD WINNERS II, GUEST CONTRIBUTORS II, VACATION READING LIST, JENNY/WENDY SHOOTOUT & RENEE’S FIRST DAY

MEMO TO ALL: We are NOT making this up: In Paramount, California; high school students were taken to a “talent” show which had a male stripper act as one of the performances. We at TWP understand that things are “different” on the West Coast but GOOD GRIEF!

Dear readers: As the school year draws to a close, our school district had graduations at the elementary, middle and high school levels. We at TWP are so PROUD of all our “kids” and let each one know it. (If you could only see our 11 year olds “strut” across the graduation stage!) We educators have our “end of the year” banquet as well. In those banquets, outstanding teachers are recognized for their work and this year’s elementary teacher of the year was our very own Jenny! (Hip Hip Hooray!)

AWARD WINNERS II

It is in that spirit that we at TWP hand out our own “awards” to those who have advanced or hindered the debate on school c.p. for which this blog was created for. The following “awards”, just like last year, are given only in jest but should reveal our opinions about the recipients. And if the winners don’t like it, they can do as the late columnist Molly Ivins advised: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Texas!”

So, here goes (Drum roll, please)…

The Ghost Paddle Award goes to:

All the members of the Chicago City Public Schools board members and the Illinois state politicos who passed the ban on school c.p. back in 1993. It seems that paradise did NOT come to Chicago because of the ban and those award winner’s prize is a stroll at 3:00 am through the city’s south side. We at TWP truly believe REAL problems such as crime, drugs and poverty would finally get addressed if lawmakers got out of their limos and gated communities and experienced them firsthand.

And the next award, the “Lean On Me” Courage Award, goes to:

Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Larry Langford who has advocated a return to school c.p. as a means of restoring discipline in a troubled school district. Boy, in today’s p.c. culture, it is rare to find a leader in government who tells it like it is. If Birmingham City schools take the mayor’s advice, would you still choose the p.c. version of urban education (Chicago) over it? Mayor Langford’s prize is that if he needs someone to “lean on”, we are available and will support him if he ever runs for higher office. (Corpun  #21069)

And the next award, The Madame de Sade Award, goes to:

Two winners: Mrs. Jeanette Grimsley of Decatur County, Georgia and Ms.Teresa Gregory of Macon County, Tennessee.

They both tied for this award but you could say they both went the extra mile to win it! Mrs. Grimsley just could not help herself: She didn’t just paddle a 9 year old once, not even twice -But three times in one day. Talk about “Doing it over until you get it right…” Problem was the child’s rear end! Ms. Gregory was not much better. Thinking that the first paddling didn’t “hurt” enough, Ms. Gregory set out to “Do it right” and re-paddled a kindergarten girl until she was bruised. For all the work these two misfit educators have done to turn the general public against ALL school c.p., we give both of them “pink slips” and  new jobs as the Siskel and Elbert of spanking video reviews. (Corpun #22004)

And the next award, The Frequent Flier Crier Award, goes to:

Paula Flowe and her gang at THESTUPIDITYSTARTSHERE (aka THEHITTINGSTOPSHERE) who decided to take their “act” on the road all the way to the Memphis School of Health Sciences. Problem for Paula and Co. was that Memphis is NOT San Francisco and the locals were very unsupportive. But hey, if you have Frequent Flier miles about to expire, what else can you do? We do hear that the local BBQ is excellent as is the “Blues” music but doubt Paula felt up to it after her chilly reception. For all her trouble, we hereby award Paula and gang (one each) a round the world non-stop flight ticket that starts AND ends in San Francisco. (Corpun #21102)

And the next award, The On And Off Award, goes to:

The entire North Carolina State Senate and House for their on and off, back and forth over parental consent/opt outs of school c.p. Don’t you just love politicos and their games on every issue? The on and off back and forth is why we at TWP are so cynical about career politicos working on an issue they know little or nothing about. We say, “Leave school c.p. to educators and elected local school boards -At least they have a clue how to actually run a school. (There again, what do politicos know other than how to run for re-election?) Our prize is a desk light for each legislator’s office that, when turned on, it will turn off and then when turned off, it will turn on. (Corpun #21316)

And the next award, The Profile of Courage Award, goes to:

The members of the Temple, Texas school board, who bucked the prevailing orthodoxy of the anti c.p. zealots and brought it back in their school district. Outside pressure groups that are well funded may raise a stir but a sign of a good school board is one which listens to its own community. And our prize is a solid round of applause for doing what we wish ALL politicos would do: Heeding the wishes of your own voters. (Are you listening, U.S. Congress?) (Corpun #21337)

And the next award, The Bad Eye-Sight Award, goes to:

That stellar defender of human rights organization know as Human Rights Watch for their tireless work exposing the horrors of paddle swats in U.S. schools. We are sure the repressive regimes of the world like Iran and North Korea are quaking in their boots at the prospect of being called out next. Without delay, our prize is a guided tour of the gulags and concentration camps of the aforementioned countries with the added help of the strongest eye glasses we can give them. (Who knows, maybe they might notice some REAL human rights abuses.) (Corpun #21538)

And the next award, The Spoof News Award, goes to:

That collection of trusted journalist know as THESTUPIDITY STARTSHERE (aka THEHITTINGSTOPSHERE) for their fine reporting on the Oxford, Alabama Prom Dress Paddling case. Folks, it is one thing to report a paddling story -But it is Stupid to embellish the facts with fiction from a website that says upfront: 100% FAKE NEWS. For your obvious attempt at false news (Example: Female students paddled at prom in their prom dresses), we at TWP will enroll said “reporters” in a Journalism Ethics course called “How To Tell The Truth”.

And that is it for this year. We would hand out more awards but we all have REAL jobs.

GUEST CONTRIBUTORS II

As we did last year, TWP has forwarded some of the FAQ’s directed to our recent guest contributors. Of course, we only sent them intelligent and informed ones -Not the stupid rants we get EVERY day.

Kathy

(TWP Post: A PRINCIPAL’S WARNING)

Has there been any change in the # of paddlings administered since you decided to do all paddlings yourself?

Actually, the elementary school where I am principal at was a new school built by the county because of student population growth and to replace an older building that was “worn out”. However, compared to the other elementary schools in the county, I believe my school under me has  the LEAST number of students paddled since I started.

How do the children in your school regard you, since you are the only “paddler”? Fear? Hate? Loathing?

Brother, I am beginning to understand what Renee is up against! First, I make a total effort to be fair and hear out the child’s side of the story. Second, many times I sent the child back to their class with just a warning. Finally, when I have paddled, it is more of a scare to them that anything else. And I ALWAYS explain why both before and after the paddling. And I ALWAYS  walk them back to their class after a paddling. As a result, I can gauge the children’s feelings towards me and it is POSITIVE by the looks on their faces when they see me in the hall. (I have to shush them sometimes as they all start to say “hi” -Don’t want to disturb other classes, you know!) And that includes the few that I have paddled.

Do you, as a mom yourself, have a “motherly instinct” when it comes to being a disciplinarian in school?

I actually try to keep a “professional distance” with regards to how I do my administrative job -But it is hard. I guess a little bit of “mother” comes out of me sometimes but maybe that isn’t always a bad thing. For sure, those graduate courses in educational administration do NOT cover this angle -Right, Renee? (Renee: Amen!)

Katherine

(TWP Post: A RETIRED TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE

Knowing what you know about the state of schools in the U.S. today, would you still go into teaching if graduating from college today?

No, I would not. For two reasons: One, I would have a lot more career options today than I did 50 years ago. Two, not only has the U.S. education system changed (Not necessarily for the better, I fear) but society has also changed -For the worse in too many cases! I could write my own blog on this but instead, I will just say that for nearly two generations, there has been a deterioration of standards of behavior throughout our society. Just look at what passes for entertainment on t.v. now as compared to 30 or 40 years ago. And don’t even get me started on the internet! (TWP is o.k. but some things on the net are unbelievable to me!) I will re-ask the question I posted: Would you place the future fate of America -or the world for that matter- in the hands of today’s school children? Because, like it or not, the future IS going to be in their hands some day.

What do you say to those who would call you “old school” and “out of date”?

I am willing to admit my style was certainly different that how things are done today. But apart from the “high tech” toys in our schools today, are they better? Students carrying guns to school was unheard of a few decades ago. Same for police officers patrolling hallways. To me, the “old ways” may not have been always good but what passes for progress today needs a LOT of improvement.

Cindy

(TWP Post: A TEACHER-STUDENT “REUNION”)

Cindy, do you still keep up with Doug today?

No, I have not heard from him nor have sought to initiate contact with him. Doug was in college R.O.T.C. and is currently an officer in the U.S. Army overseas. I am still teaching in the same school so if he chose to look me up, he could. After that “dinner date”, we parted on a very good note so that’s good enough. We have both moved on with our lives but I will always have a special regard for Doug -Because he forgave me even though he did not have to.

What was the measurements of the “lighter” paddle you switched to after the Doug paddling?

I actually don’t remember since it has been a few years and I teach younger kids now. My guess is that the lighter paddle measured about the size of Renee’s old paddleball paddles but was a bit longer at 10″ or 11″. I seem to be having more success lately and have not had to use the paddle this year.

There have been news reports lately about abusive paddlings by teachers/principals. What advice would you give educators to avoid bruising students when paddling them?

There is NO reason a paddling has to bruise. First problem to watch for is the paddle itself which should NEVER be more than 3/8″ thick because thick and/or heavy paddles WILL bruise. Second, the problem can be the person using the paddle. I saw your post about multiple paddlings given by moron educators. You should NEVER give more than a few swats. Anything more IS abusive!

Alexis

(TWP Post: A TEACHER’S REGRET)

Did you really invite Scotty to your wedding?

Yes I did after he heard me mention my wedding set for this summer to his parents. When he heard about it, he begged his mom and me about coming to it.  I finally relented on the promise that he come with his mom and dad AND that he behave himself! (HA HA)

Why didn’t Scotty attempt to make contact with you since he had the opportunity by way of the internet?

I don’t really know. I think he may have been a bit shy and didn’t know what I was going through during that time over my “mistake”. Remember, Scotty considered me his favorite teacher despite what happened between us.

How do you keep from making a “mistake” like you did with Scotty?

No human that has ever lived, apart from Christ, has ever been perfect. As for myself, I still use the paddle on rare occasions but only when I know for certain that it is merited. There has been a number of times that I could have used the paddle but did not because of fear of possibly making another mistake.

VACATION READING LISTS

And when we finish our jobs for the school year, we take a well deserved vacation. Below is our reading list and summer vacation plans.

Renee: Going Rogue by Sara Palin

Hiking in the Allegheny Mountains, Take Tyler to Daytona Beach.

Michelle: Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl

Trip to St. Thomas Island (Recommended by Jenny)

Wendy: Son of Perdition by Wendy Alec

Going to Gulf Coast to help with oil spill cleanup.

Jenny: Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben

Joining with Wendy to do our part to fix the *#@#%* caused by BP Oil Corporation. Wendy and I have roots in the Gulf area and only hope it is not as bad as we fear.


JENNY/WENDY SHOOTOUT

Do y’all remember the “jazz” between TWP’s Jenny (Delta girl) and Wendy (Sigma girl) who had clashed on the basketball court in Sorority Basketball? Well, those two decided on a basketball shooting contest to see who was really the best 3 point shooter. Over the past few weeks, I have watched Jenny practice at the sports club we all belong to. And I also know that Wendy, still on maternity leave, has practiced during weekday mornings.

Showdown was last Tuesday afternoon recess with Jenny and Michelle’s 4th grade classes as spectators. The goal: See how many throws it takes to get 10 baskets from the 3 point line. Jenny won coin toss but elected to have Wendy go first. I think this psyched Wendy out a little but she did o.k.

Wendy (Sigma girl): 38 shots to get 10.

Before her turn,Jenny had a smile of quiet confidence. Then she got going…

Jenny (Delta girl): 31 shots to get 10.

Jenny won due to having to shoot seven fewer times to reach 10 baskets. Jenny and Wendy hugged as the kids cheered, promising to uphold the sacred honor of Auburn against Michelle’s Alabama. They offered to let Michelle try some shots but, thanks to Michelle’s better sense, she declined saying, “I’m an ex-high school VOLLEYBALL PLAYER…”

This account was given by Michelle and edited by Renee.The things I (Renee) miss while stuck in an assistant principal’s office at the middle school.

 

RENEE’S FIRST DAY

In ending the student teaching chronicles last post, I concentrated the last post on my job search. This short account is of my first day as a new teacher. I hope this will show the kind of caring professional I really am.

7:40 am: I was one of the first teachers to arrive and thanks to the tips from Jean, my mentor, I knew what kind of donuts Mr. Smith, our principal likes: Chocolate covered, creme filled FRESH donuts. Eureka! He loved them and said, “Renee, you will hopefully have a long and successful career here at …. county.”

8:00 to 8:25 am: Bus duty went smoothly but school layout is different than where I student taught. Kids are already wondering who the new teacher is.

8:30 am: As tardy bell rings, there was a 5 year old who was new (like me) and lost. She was starting to cry when I walked up to her to find out where she needed to go. I told her that I was new to the school too! After getting her name and age, I figured where she needed to go and took her by the hand and led her to the kindergarten class after getting Clyde, our janitor, to watch my class for a minute.

8:35 am: The panicky 3rd grade class of mine was SO relived that Clyde was not their teacher. (Giggle) This was it! My class! And I was going to have to “take charge” on my own. Scary? Maybe a little at first but I had weeks worth of lesson plans and a lot of other things to do as well. Like assigned seating and putting names and faces together. Whew!

9:45 am: The first recess of the school year came fast for me! The kids all seem to want me to “play” with them. But I explained to them that, as their teacher, my job is to watch everyone and see that all the playground rules are obeyed -For everyone’s benefit. The marital status, where I’m from and where I live personal questions are rolling but this is expected by all new teachers.

11;45 am: Lunch break! And I sure needed it! Except for am recess, I have been on my feet since I signed in. No REAL teacher will ever wear heels for sure!

1:30 pm: At afternoon recess, I was tired but a “good tired”. Then, I spotted some shoving and immediately put a stop to it with an admonishment to the kids not to play rough. I heard one boy remark, “She is starting to act like a ‘teacher’…” I thought to myself, “YES!…I hope so!”

2:00 to 3:00 pm: The last hour of the school day was spent informally with some last minute organizing of the classroom. I really didn’t start any lesson plans today and announced that there would be NO homework for tonight (The kids ALL cheered) but that homework WOULD be a regular part of their school day. I let the kids play on the computers until dismissal bell.

3:00 to 3:30 pm: Bus duty. Overheard one of my students remark, “New teacher!…This is going to be a GREAT year!” I can only hope so.

3:30 to 4:30 pm: Staff meeting to go over problems encountered today. Hey, now would be an excellent nappy nap time but no such luck. I was critiqued of course and only problem was lining kids up in the cafeteria for lunch. Gotta watch your class at all times…No rest for the (weary) teacher! Anyone still think teaching is an “easy” job?

4:30 am: I was going to go to the aerobics class today but too much is too much. I can hear a certain sofa calling out my name right about now. Overall, it was indeed a good first day.

 

COMING NEXT: A LETTER TO THE U.S. CONGRESS

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