Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Opus 2011-253, On the Street: Opening Remarks

Teachers on my district have just gone through two days of preparation and the students are scheduled to arrive Wednesday to begin the new year.  Tuesday was our day to prepare our room and do the final things we need to do.  Monday was the great wasteland.

We have a new superintendent of schools.  Our last one did the thing that every tax payer is complaining about.  He came, stayed a few years at a much inflated salary, and retired at the high level.  It is called spiking.  No teachers I know of can do it but the top three administrators on our district just lived up to the stereotype of educators.

The new guy decided to revive the tradition of having an all district meeting the first day.  We were all sitting in the high school auditorium, janitors, bus drivers, office workers, teachers, administrators.  I was trying to figure out who the new guy was.  The only problem was that he wasn’t there and no one knew where he was.  He finally arrived about 20 minutes late and said he had a flat tire and then missed the off ramp from the freeway.  Right.  Did he ever hear about that modern invention called a telephone?  He could have called, or answered the one the district provided him with.

So he gave his speech.  I have been teaching 25 years and I keep waiting for them to come up with something new.  It still hasn’t happened.  Let me see if I got all his points.  Failure is not an option.  Students will rise to the level of our expectations.  Self esteem is key.  And at no extra charge he complained about how much we are spending on prisons.  Those are all wonderful sentiments that are totally worthless when it comes to running a school district. 

By “failure is not an option” he explained that no student should be “allowed” to fail.  If they do no work we are supposed to keep coming back with new strategies until they kick in and become self motivated dynamos.  He implied that the day was coming in which the entire teaching team would have to agree that a student should fail.  The measure would not be "did the study try."  The measure would be did the teacher try every single possible strategy to make them successful.  I wonder what flavor kool aide these people drink.

By having high expectations they mean that we keep making it easier to pass.  In other words, we establish high expectations by lowering the bar.  For instance, last year we were being told that we should make 20% a passing grade.  Another example.  The text books we use are a much lower reading level that the last.  And the kids still can’t understand them.

And of course, self esteem.  I will admit some people have some issues but not the students they are talking about.  They are supposed to learn to feel good about themselves no matter how lazy and incompetent they are.  I personally think it might help if we taught them some skills that they could be proud of, but I am a dinosaur. 

That was just the first, all district meeting.  Maybe I will get into our local meeting some other time.

Let the new year begin.

homo unius libri


  1. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  2. Schools have just become sausage machines. Churn them out in one long string, fill them sawdust if necessary.

  3. But I keep hoping Georges. I actually went into the meeting thinking, "Maybe this time." I felt like Charlie Brown kicking the foot ball.

    Philip, There is another similarity, nobody seems to want to ask what goes into either.

    Grace and peace, gentlemen.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.