Education

Quickie Post: Your Black History Fact & My February Jam

Let’s start this off with your Black History Fact of the Day!

gibson

Althea Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title (the French Open). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open), then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. She won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Come on Althea!

okuuuur


 

So if you think back to the first episode of Empire.  We opened with this song.

I’ve been listening it non-stop ever since.  I love her voice, I love the harmonies.  SO GOOD.

 

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Frustration

I’m frustrated.

So I mentioned a while ago that my nephew is not slaying the academic game in high school.  And now my niece isn’t doing as well as she was either.

Now I understand that these are not my children.  I also understand that their schools are particularly the greatest.  I even get that some of their teachers are not good teachers.

But am I being insensitive when I tell them that it does not matter?

I don’t think so.  Bosses will suck.  Jobs will suck.  Professors will suck.  But you’re there and the only way to get out is to either pass or quit.  And you can’t quit Algebra 1.  And being a teenager, your motivation isn’t always at its highest.  I remember that.  I hated feeling like I “had” to do things a certain way.  But that’s the thing, you have to because you don’t know any better.

So I’m trying to be nurturing and be more involved.  Asking what they are learning.  Asking what they are working on.  Offering to tutor where I can.

But I’m now noticing that my grandmother is running interference.  She is not putting the pressure on him to do well.  My sister is doing more than she used to but it’s still not enough.  No one is checking his work.  No one is checking his notebook to make sure he doesn’t actually have homework.  It almost feels like no one else gives a fuck about this situation.  They don’t realize that these grades will not get him into any college.  I mean no college will accept these grades.  And once you’ve gotten yourself into this hole with your GPA, it is extremely hard to get out of it.  Especially since the classes do not get any easier.  If you refuse to try and get the basics of Algebra 1, what the fuck are you going to do in Algebra 2?  And Geometry is literally the worst. But you have to take it and remember it.  It’s on the SAT, the GRE, and the GMAT.  You can’t get around it but so much.

But what do you do when you don’t feel like your family is supporting hard work and pushing yourself?  No amount of blame is going to fix his grades.  And while I’m dedicated to trying to fix it, my temper is going to get me cursed out by my family.

I don’t really know what to do.  Maybe you all have suggestions.

Step It Up, Parents

Hi Everyone.

I want you to know that Team Trash doesn’t like your kids.

Are they cute?  Sure.

Do they make me smile?  Absolutely.

But I don’t like them.  Don’t leave them with me.

But this post is about your kids.  I recently spent time with my niece and nephew going through their school work.  And it was eye-opening to say the least.

Parents. We have to stop coddling our children.

Let’s break this down.

School gets progressively harder.  All students learn differently.

Hold your children accountable. 

You need to make sure that your child is learning the material and putting in the necessary work to do well.

You need to check their notebooks and folders to make sure they are doing their homework.

You have to ask them about what they are working on.

You need to work with their teachers so that you are an informed parent.

Having taken these steps, you can then start having your children take more ownership.  I know that I was sick of my aunt asking what I learned today, so I told her without being asked.  I hated having to explain every bad grade, so I made sure they didn’t happen.

Teach your children that life is hard.  They can’t cry all the time.  Whining and giving up are not going to fix the situation.  Kids need to know that putting in the hard work early pays in dividends later on in life.  Kids need to have the ability to problem solve.

You can’t force teachers to give them good grades.  Even if the teacher is bad at their job, your child is already in their class.  Don’t let them give up.  Don’t feed their temper tantrums.  Hard work is necessary and is a lesson every person needs to know.

People not teaching this lesson is why young adults think they “deserve” special treatment at work.  Avoiding this lesson blocks them from developing healthy coping skills that you are going to need.

STOP BABYING THEM AND MAKE THEM SWEAT GAHT, DAMMIT!

Sheldon-ThrowsPapers

Okay, I’ve calmed down.

Like I said, I worked with my niece and nephew.  They are both smart kids who are completely capable.  But they are both struggling to deal with the hard work that comes with subjects that don’t come naturally to them.  I found myself in the tough position where I had to be nurturing while being straight up.

So that’s the long and short of it.  Have you run into this in your interactions with kids these days?  Am I being too hard on this generation?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Hug a Teacher Day

::Taps Microphone::

Is this on? Good. Forgive the coarse language but I am FRUSTRATED.

On Saturday, I have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning. I then have to drive an hour to my job, load a bus at 6 am, to take ONE student TWO AND A HALF HOURS AWAY to Junior Region Orchestra Auditions. And NO, this in not a one weekend deal. I OFTEN find myself getting up at the crack of dawn in order to give my students all the opportunities that they deserve.

Now. Some folks out there think that teaching is easy. “Those that can’t do…teach”.  Some say teachers are OVERPAID (Bitch….BYE!). Some say, “why are you complaining….you have the WHOLE summer off.” Well f*ck you too. Teaching is HARD. WORK. You know when you’re in a grocery store of annoying kids and teenagers…well I get classrooms full of them all day. Together. In one room.

No this is not a rant against the general public’s view of teachers either. Don’t be worried. I’m also going to rant about my trifling, piece of shit, administration. SO it snowed everywhere and we lost two weeks of school. Luckily we do not have to make it up on Saturdays! (Praise report!!!!) But we have to find 25 additional hours tutoring or working Gate Duties at sporting events to make this up. Now, everyday I give up my planning, lunch duties, and after school hours working to give my all to my band and orchestra students.

Now I’m almost POSITIVE that my bitchass principal will be sleeping cozily at 4:30 am on Saturday when I am working a full damn day of listening to middle school orchestra auditions.  I’m also sure that NEXT week when I’m at all-state auditions his ass will be asleep. OH and the weekend after that… two days of all county band, which he won’t show up to, that I’M hosting…..he will relax all day with his family. I’m not looking for a pat on the back. I AM looking for him to realize that, I’m already working OVER my allotted time. ON A REGULAR BASIS. I do not HAVE to do any of this shit. It is NOT in my contract. BUT if I were not to attend these events…I would be viewed as a lousy teacher.

I said it yesterday but…I’m DONE with teaching. DONE. Y’all give us 2 cents a day, work us to death, I got no planning today because we have a meeting FOLLOWED by a staff meeting after school…and they could not give a shit. Y’all can even give us a free meal once and a while??? Meanwhile, people are doing basic ass jobs and make more than me and are much more respected. “Oh you teach middle school? Ohhh that sucks.” Teaching is not about money. I get that. I truly enjoy building meaning and lasting relationships with the student body, while getting the chance to teach music. However, I deserve to be treated better. Maybe if we gave teachers the respect that they deserve (and the pay…let be real), there wouldn’t be so many raggedy, angry, lazy, disgruntled, frustrated, terrible, and miserable teachers. All of the GOOD teachers get the entire f*ck out of teaching because they find it’s not worth it.

So today…Go hug a teacher or tell one you appreciate what they have done for you. We TRULY need it. Remember, “Teachers make all other professions possible.”

And YES, I’m still staying positive this week. I ain’t say NOTHING about containing my frustration though.

I WISH Someone Would Not Feed Me At School!

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Listen. What we’re not going to do is not feed our damn children. This article has gotten me all sorts of mad. Don’t know what I’m talking about, take a read.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/school-lunches-taken-from-elementary-students-over-negative-accounts-in-salt-lake-city-utah/

The gist of the article is that parents say about 50 elementary students in Salt Lake City had their school lunches thrown out because money was owed on their food accounts. Excuse me a minute….

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So you’re telling me that because these kids’ accounts weren’t up to date, you did not allow these kids to eat AND you WASTED food on top of this? Oh bitch.

Public school systems are complete shit; from the administration, to teachers, to these raggedy ass parents (not all but more than there should be). As a teacher, I can tell you first hand that we are not raising our kids right. Unfortunately, somewhere over the years we stopped teaching children the importance of education. (Another blog for another day.) What I can tell you is that, right now, many schools are just a large babysitting service. Is it not the responsibility of the babysitter to provide children with food?!  AND NO, FRUIT AND MILK DO NOT COUNT AS A MEAL. I’m sure the lazy ass gym teachers who don’t do shit could even tell you that this is not a well-balanced meal. A school day is a long damn day. I know we all remember it fondly. CHILDREN HAVE GOT TO EAT. There just no questions about. But someone in this damn school said, “Let’s show these kids what it is! Let’s humiliate them in front of their peers, drain them of energy from no nourishment and bitch when they start acting up in class. THAT’S THE SOLUTION! (high five)”

Since when did ELEMENTARY students become so responsible that they should have taken care of the accounts? Hey idiots in whatever trash ass school this is, these kids can’t exactly say “whoops girl, I got you next paycheck!” At 11 years old I’m pretty sure I had some pennies that my grandma gave me to my name and that’s it. At what point did you talk to the PARENTS. I meant talk to them. Not “we left a message.” That’s what the hell I want to know. Regardless of whose fault that bad lunch accounts are, what we’re not going to do is starve children. What we’re also not going to do is WASTE FOOD.

Just on the pure humiliation of these children, everyone in that damn school involved needs to be fired. Lunch ladies, the classroom teachers for not standing up, and the damn administration who allowed this to be okay. Regardless of how bad these kids are, for the SEVEN damn hours they are in that school. It is the school’s responsibility and JOB to feed and take care of those kids. For some of those kids that might be the ONLY damn meal they get to eat that day.

While I’m on this school kick. Hey Parents, while I don’t fault you for this…MAYBE this is your cue to get more involved in you child’s education instead of letting TV shows raise them. Let me tell you one thing about my Mom and Dad. There are two people that you did not eff with, and that was AND IS their children. When I say whatever school this was would cease to exist when they got done with it….I mean it.

Moral of the story. Public schools around the nation. WE HAVE GOT TO DO AND BE BETTER.

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