Does the system need change?

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“The current system would work if principals and administrations had ongoing training on how to talk to and help struggling teachers, he said, ‘because these are really difficult conversations to have … Who wants to come up to somebody that they’ve worked with and say, ‘You’re not doing a good job?’ “

— Wendell Berry

Some of you good spellers out there might have a better spelling for Mr. Berry’s first name. He makes a good point regarding teachers. An exemplary teacher from across the hall from where I taught introduced another position I might want to consider in life. I think I stayed on until Christmas before resigning and a couple months later I was teaching in Jurupa District in California at Troth Street School and secretly smoked cigarettes.

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We were all good students in Miss Morey’s room, mostly because of her, and I wasn’t too bad in Miss Frost’s class either, but that all changed when I attempted to become a teacher.

I think Mr. Berry is correct on the matter of helping struggling teachers, or perhaps there aren’t any struggling teachers anymore. However we now have a diverse group of students attending our schools, and the difficulties some of them face aren’t going to be a problem for long as they become accustomed to our education system, and perhaps some of them can teach their language to other students.

When I taught in Riverside at an elementary school back in the 1960’s there were two black teachers who were very gifted and the principal was Hispanic.

In Vietnam we made no effort to become acquainted with the Vietnamese language and I suspect the Vietnamese are able today to communicate with visitors from afar, visitors from America.

Someday I would like to go back there.

I can say a few Czech words I learned from my father and a few I picked up Monday from Denny at work and one or two Norwegian words from my mother and these days I have the privilege of spell-check.

Mello went on a road trip with her preferred adult to Houston for a bonfire event and a chance to run free for a bit. She came back tired.

Going back to the beginning of this column, Wendell Berry’s thought that the current system would work if principals and administrators had ongoing training on how to talk to and help struggling teachers because they are difficult conversations: I believe our current administration at the high school is competent in that area. Maybe I will have to ask.

In this beautiful October weather I was able to bike comfortably to Taco Tuesday and spotted Blaze’s peace sign that hasn’t been completely ground away that is still visible on the east sidewalk. I think Blaze graduated in 1993. I would like to know his whereabouts. Maybe he is working with teachers by now or perhaps teaching.

I’m reading from the Star Tribune what I can regarding the three candidates running for governor and I think I’ve made up my mind; the one in the middle. I’ve grown tired of the bashing I see too often in the Tribune. I’ve chosen not to listen to television these days. Perhaps it has something to do with my age and all the “high tech” stuff. I’m so tired of people walking around with cell phones anchored to an ear.

The other day, thanks to the drought, I discovered that my primitive push lawn mower breaks down the leaves to small pieces allowing more leaves in the leaf bag. What I don’t have with the leaf bags are the built in tie strings. I haven’t solved that yet.

I finally took back my Obama book that I had checked out a couple times at the library and found it much more interesting than his predecessor. I’m still dabbling with “Ayn Rand and the World She Made.” I am also reading Rolling Stone’s interview by Jann S. Wenner: “Obama Fights Back from Casey’s Rolling Stone.” There is also a story titled “The Truth about the Tea Party by Matt Taibbi.”