Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An unusual parent-teacher encounter

It was a busy day for my daughter, "Elizabeth."  Today my grandson turned six.  My daughter, his mother, paid a visit to his school after work, taking cupcakes for the whole kindergarten class.  Of course, she was an instant hit with the kids.  Let me pause for a moment to let you know that Elizabeth is black, and she lives in the suburbs. 

When the party was over, and it was time for the students to go to gym.  My daughter started packing up to go home.  The teacher, Ms. Endicott, asked my daughter if she had met the gym teacher.  My daughter had not, so the teacher encouraged Elizabeth to walk with the class to the gymnasium.

Along the way, Ms. Endicott asked my daughter if she had any more children.  "No," Elizabeth said. 

The teacher, now wearing a big smile, said, "Oh, you must meet our gym teacher, Mr. Johnson.  He's very nice."

My daughter said, "I'm sure he is, but I'm sure he's very busy.  Maybe another time."

Ms. Endicott persisted.  "Oh, no!  It will only take a moment.  Besides, he's really, really nice."  By the time my daughter's thinking this is a bit awkward.

One little blond-haired girl overheard the conversation, and cheerfully jumped into the conversation.  "Yeah, Mr. Johnson is really nice.  He's black!"

By this time, everyone had reached the gym, and my daughter met Mr. Johnson.  She said that Ms. Endicott stood back and nodded her head as the gym teacher and my daughter exchanged pleasantries.

"Mom, it was so weird," Elizabeth told me later.  She had never had a teacher try to set her up with a guy before. 

My response:  "Ewwwwe!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nice new neighbors

Authored by Leandro Delgado

We had just moved onto a new street when or new neighbor suggested we go to http://www.tvbydirect.com/ to set up our satellite service. They actually came to our front door with some fresh-baked cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood when we started chatting. I was so grateful that at our new house we would have good neighbors.

I know that these days people pretty much keep to themselves and don’t care much about who lives next door as long as they aren’t being bothered. On our old street we had the worst neighbors ever. They would always leave trash in their yard and be really loud and inconsiderate. I think this experience traumatized me a little bit so I’m extra happy that I know we have people close by we can talk to and ask for advice.

It makes life so much more pleasant when people around you are nice. We had hoped this would happen when we decided to move but half thought that inconsiderate people have started to be the norm. We were pleasantly surprised by our helpful new neighbors!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quote of the week

"Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn. That's a bargain worth making." - President Obama in his State of the Union address.

Source:  WhiteHouse.gov

Bridge building in education

A new publication, You Can't Do It Alone, gives school leaders tips on what they can do to more successfully engage stakeholders in areas such as reforming teacher evaluation, turning around low-performing schools, and building support for world-class standards.  Learn more: