A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

If I was the Queen of the School

So my daughters have made sure that I have heard Gwen Stefani's "If I Was A Rich Girl" on Tune Disney-- and I must say, I briefly tried to picture Tevye singing it wearing Gwen's wardrobe, or Gwen with Tevye's beard. It was almost like a hallucination.

Riches don't really appeal to me. But being a queen does. So I got to thinking, what if I was the Queen of the school? (Yeah, follow THAT train of thought, whydontcha?) Anyhow:

-Girls couldn't dress like Gwen Stefani, and boys would no longer need that grab-the-crotch duckwalk they have to adopt to keep me from seeing London and France.

-Ketchup would never be allowed to be counted as a vegetable in school lunches. And ground turkey? Yikes!

- No one could become a principal unless they had successfully taught for at least ten years. And once every five years, they would have to take a full year's rotation in the classroom, in another building to prevent getting favorable treatment from his or her fellow administrators, with all the attendant duties, privileges, proximity-to-a-bathroom and salary that implies. During this time, teachers getting their administrative credentials could do their intern experience in that slot, which should last at least a full year.

-Cooperating teachers in a mainstreaming situation (like in class-within-a-class) who stiff their partner teachers by not showing up or bringing a puppy to school or sitting in the back of the room doing paperwork or surfing the 'net would be forced to eat lunch in the boys' bathroom. Without the use of their hands. On the floor. Without a tray.

-The school would only have the rules that everyone in the school will enforce. Anything else makes you look like a chump in front of the kids. If only the teachers in the math wing enforce the tardy policy, what's the point? Especially when administrators make up draconian punishments in the behavior guide and then ignore them? And Principal Perpetual Plea-bargain would be fired.

-Teachers should be evaluated carefully by a principal who has been a teacher, who loved being a teacher, and is a true instructional leader who knows what she is talking about. Principals should have a CFO to handle budgetary matters so that they do not have to spend a majority of their time on tasks which have nothing to do with the instructional needs of the school. Incompetent teachers would be fired. Period. Incompetent administrators would be fired. Not shuffled off to another position.

-Parents who are guilty of educational neglect of their children would be subject to criminal penalties.

-Helicopter parents would be forced to work for a year as a teacher's aide in a different school from the one their children attend.

- No one could pass laws about education unless they had been a regular education teacher for five years within the last fifteen years. And if one might criticize that practically no one in the state lege or in the Beltway could pass laws about education.... um, what would be your point?

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