Small minority

crowd reflection color toy

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Why should a small minority dictate to the majority what is appropriate and acceptable, or what is not?

Case in point: schools are closed in WA and they are trying to figure out how to go forward as this corona virus thing continues. It was communicated out from OSPI (our state superintendent’s office) that districts couldn’t continue to educate their students if they couldn’t guarantee “equity” for all students it serves. Or, at least, they couldn’t require students to attend because of equity (lack of internet, ELL, SpEd, etc.).

OK, on the surface, that makes sense and it looks great on the PR side of things. However, it doesn’t make sense when you start looking at the numbers. That closer look ends up making the policy a complete “F” in my book.

The closer look:

So, we’re not going to educate 90% of the students because 10% can’t participate because of various challenges?

What if it was 50/50? Is that still too low to continue offering education to those who can participate? You can play with the numbers however you like, but at just about any point you can’t justify depriving a larger group of people from something because of a smaller group. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Do you scuttle the sailboat because there is no wind?

Do you throw out the baby with the bathwater?

Do you cut off your hand because you got a splinter in your little finger?

Do you cut off your foot because you broke a toe?

Do you demolish an entire building because a couple rooms in it aren’t or can’t be occupied?

Catch my drift?

Why do we let small groups of people dictate what happens with the larger groups? Seems a bit backwards, doesn’t it?

Remember the saying, “Greatest good for the greatest number“? Why doesn’t that apply these days? Or any day? How did we get so far away from an idea that mostly works?Sure, I know we have to make sure the “minority” group doesn’t get abused by those who are more powerful or has the most resources, but there is still something true about this thought:

What is the greater good when it comes to educating our students?

 

Missing it

person s playing chess

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Today I am missing it.

Today is the first day of Christmas break for students (at least for most schools) in my area. They are enjoying the day, I am sure, by not doing anything. I even have a teen who hasn’t seen the light of day yet because the bedroom door hasn’t cracked an inch and likely won’t for a couple more hours.

Today I am missing the fact that as I teacher I would not be working today. Usually the first couple days of Christmas break was an ACTUAL break for me. I usually finished up shopping and generally relaxed and spent time with the kids.

Instead, I am at work today…and there really isn’t much going on since my job is to support school personnel with their software…and they are all (or nearly all) on break…not working…and I am trying to find things to stay busy…but really all I want to do is not be at work…

Today I am missing it.

Sit down and shut up

auditorium benches chairs class

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One thing I know for sure, teaching a class or training people never goes quite as planned. There are always things you can’t account for, even when you have experience and account for things you know will happen – because they always do.

I was a high school teacher for 15 years. One thing I got used to was that students, no matter how engaging the lesson was, never were really invested in what they were learning. I mean who are we kidding, right? Students don’t see how what they are doing now prepares them for something down the road, in the future. They are too focused on today to understand that. So interest in class was always a challenge, no matter the subject.

Now that I am no longer in the classroom, I am teaching at a different level, so to speak. I am teaching adults (teachers and school district employees) about how to use the software they use every day. Now, we are talking about people with different life experiences than students. People who know that what they are being taught will be useful to them immediately, or at the very least in the very near future. YET, they are, in some cases, a worse audience than high school students!

Teachers are a notoriously bad audience. I know because I was one of those bad audience members. But I see it all the time from adults. They sit and have side conversations, text, look at email, grade papers, etc. I even had one teacher watching the World Cup on his computer while at a training class. Yeah, real professional, buddy.

Listen, I get that teachers have a millions of things on their mind and a billion other things to do. I can totally relate! BUT, if you won’t let your students (or at least have the expectation that your students will not) act this way, why do you think it is acceptable to act that way when you’re in class? You’re an adult, for pete’s sake. Have a little more self-control than your 4th graders for crying out loud.

So, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

Transaction fees are not my friend

TpT commission

The “Transaction Fee” column is killing my vibe.

The transaction fees at TpT (Teachers Pay Teachers) are killing the positive vibe of teacher authors and it is really annoying.

I realize they are providing a service for me and I am OK with them taking a cut of the sales since they are providing the service, but that flat fee of $.30 has got to be making TpT money as well, which I don’t find OK.

In most cases credit card transaction fees are between 1-3% of the purchase price and based on volume they typically offer the retailer a discount on the fees to encourage them to use their service. Plus, there is usually a monthly “subscription/membership” (for lack of a better term) fee for the retailer to use the service as a whole. Either way, what I am being charged and what they are being charged don’t line up in my mind.

For all these small transactions, there has to be a better deal than what I am getting. The credit card company (or someone) is making as much on my material as I am.