Category Archives: Teachers
I watched Common Core: The Great Debate for the second time today and I noted some things being said by the anti-Common Core side that the Fordham Institute side did address, but I’d like to give my own point of view on.
The first was that Common Core does not indicate actual content.
Fordham Institute’s President, Chester Finn, did deliver quite a smack down on this himself, but I wanted to go one step further and, similar to Common Core, address the issue in conjunction with the need for school choice.
As Finn says in the debate, people who are anti-Common Core and people who are in favor of school choice should BOTH be pleased that Common Core does not dictate much in the way of content.
I don’t think anyone on either side of this debate is anti-school choice and how can you have school choice if schools are all required to teach from the same curriculum and book list? It wouldn’t be impossible, but it certainly wouldn’t be as effective.
I watched the first season of The Walking Dead and I have to tell you that there was a lot of gun use in that show, they all must have been a bunch of racists. For some reason not a single person came up with the revolutionary idea of taking their group inside a house and nailing a sign to the door that said “THIS IS A ZOMBIE FREE ZONE. NO ZOMBIES ALLOWED.” Surely that would have been a much simpler way to survive the zombie apocalypse.
“That’s crazy!” I hear you cry.
Why is it crazy?
“Because zombies don’t care about rules!” you shout.
Gun free zones just don’t work.
Criminals don’t care whether someplace is a “gun free zone”. In fact, that usually leads them to go TO those places to commit crime, because they are a “soft target”.
Ann Coulter makes that point brilliantly in one of her recent Townhall articles.
You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in “gun-free zones” — even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut starting gunning down shoppers a few weeks ago.
Guns were banned in all these places. Mass killers may be crazy, but they’re not stupid.
So gun free zones don’t work.
It’s time to try something new when it comes to protecting our children.
Or something old, apparently Rahm Emmanuel, David Gregory, and Barack Obama consider armed guards in schools are good enough to protect their kids. Even if they think the idea is “outrageous and unsettling” when the NRA suggests it for other other schools.
That’s right, the school Rahm’s kids go to has an armed guard, Obama and Gregory send their kids to school at Sidwell Friends, which has no fewer than 11 armed guards on campus.
So why shouldn’t other kids have the same protections? Either in the form of armed guards or armed teachers. Maybe Obama thinks his kids are somehow more important than the other children in the United States. Wouldn’t really surprise me.
Leaders in my state of Arizona are working toward better protection in schools at the moment, such as Tom Horne’s plan.
Arizona’s attorney general proposed arming one principal or employee at each school to defend against attacks such as the recent Connecticut school massacre.
“The ideal solution would be to have an armed police officer in each school,” Attorney General Tom Horne said in a news release Wednesday. But budget cuts have limited the number of Arizona schools with “school resource officers” on campus, he said.
The “next best solution,” Horne said, “is to have one person in the school trained to handle firearms, to handle emergency situations, and possessing a firearm in a secure location.”
Until some sort of option of this type can be worked out, there has been a plan put forward by Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who I have met!) who has decided to send some of his volunteer posse out to guard school’s in the area.
“I have the authority to mobilize private citizens and fight crime in this county,” Arpaio said. Arpaio first started using his posse to protect malls during the holiday shopping season in 1993 in response to violent incidents in prior years. Since then he said malls where his posse members are on patrol have had zero violent re-occurrences and patrols by his all-volunteer squad during the 2012 shopping season netted a record 31 arrests. Arpaio said since the program has worked so well in malls he believes it will work just as well protecting schools. “We’re not talking about placing the posse in the schools right now but in the outlying — the perimeters of the school — to detect any criminal activity.”
Sheriff Joe gets a lot of hell from liberals for any number of his positions here in Maricopa country, from his tent city jail (making criminals uncomfortable, how kooky) to his views on illegal immigration (where he actually views illegal immigrants as criminals, shocking right?) but he keeps getting re-elected.
Someday Sheriff Joe will need to stop running for re-election and back someone new for the position of Maricopa county Sheriff, but for now I cheer him on and hope that more locales take a harder stance on protecting our children.
Neither criminals or zombies are likely to follow the rules and laws you set out. Sometimes the best protection of innocent life, is an armed guard to blow their brains out…in the zombies case. I suppose you could just shoot to wound if at all possible in the case of the criminal.
>You would think the answer that question would be a resounding no, as long as what you are doing is not illegal. If you are smoking pot, selling drugs or filming child porn…well you have more issues than just getting fired buddy.
But I wouldn’t be writing this blog if the answer was as simple as ‘no’ would I? No I would not, because if the answer to your question is no…you shouldn’t even bother writing the article in the first place.
(The picture: I think that rule should apply to all of journalism, as well as science journalism, but that’s just my opinion.)
My question is asked because of this article “Parents: English Teacher Writes Racy Novels“
I’ll let you read the story for yourself, but as a quick summary.
An English teacher (Mrs. Judy Buranich) at a school in central Pennsylvania is a published author. She writes erotic romance novels, in her free time. She publishes under a pen name and doesn’t bring the books up in class or discuss them with her students. A parent (Wendy Apple) has a son in Mrs. Buranich’s 10th grade English class and when she discovered the teacher’s second job she brought attention to it through the media. Claiming she was concerned for the student’s in Mrs. Buranich’s classes.
Here are some comments from Apple, another parent and two former students. (One of whom is also clearly related to Wendy Apple, in interest of full disclosure).
“Now my son knows so how is he thinking when he’s sitting in her class knowing what she does on the side,” Apple said. She added she found all of the information on the internet. Apple said Buranich writes under the pen name Judy Mays.
Parent Deanna Stepp said the evidence is clear. “She is teaching children that are under the age of 18 and definitely the books that she is writing are adult books. I think she needs to make a decision as to what she wants to do. Either be a school teacher or author,” Stepp said.
“I was shocked. If you are a teacher you shouldn’t be doing that,” said former student Shanette Apple.
“I was sort of shocked.Sitting in her class I had no idea. She is a good teacher but I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes,” said former student Drew Hollenbach.
Personally, I can’t understand why any of these people feel they have the right to tell Mrs. Buranich what she can or cannot do when she is “off the clock” so to speak. It is not the student’s or parent’s business to tell a teacher what they can and cannot write, as long as the books and subject matter (if it is adult) are not brought up in class. This reminds me of another blog I wrote this year, I believe it was in February. Oh yes, a teacher by the name of Natalie Munroe was suspended from her job because of things she wrote on her personal blog.
It seems the world has gone mad and I think I possibly slept through the announcement that my personal life is now something my employer has the right to police. I’ve said some pretty nasty things about my job and my customers on this blog. If my manager found this blog do you think I would need to start looking for a new place to work? I’m also gay, does that mean if my manager is homophobic, she could fire me for being gay? Well…I do live and work in a state where you can be fired at any time, without any reason being given, so…yes, technically I guess she could fire me. For either the blog or being gay, if she wanted to.
As for Mrs. Buranich…I’m not too worried. The article and “news” piece that WNEP (the news outlet for their area) did was a horrible little smear campaign that people have not been appreciative of. (Really, go read the comments. Almost every single one of them says to leave Mrs. Buranich alone. )
A facebook support page was made yesterday for her and at the time I am writing this (10:10, Arizona time) she has over 5,000 supporters on that page.
What can I say. People who read are fans of free speech and we tend to stick together.
Edit: Also at the time of writing, WNEP has put a follow up story on their website.
>Would you like to know why?
Of course you would, I mean, come on, you’re reading my blog. Clearly this is the kind of post you are here for.
So my latest political angst was caused by an article on Jezebel.com. Interesting website, a heathen, like myself, has to appreciate the biblical connotations of the name Jezebel and many of the posts are quite thought provoking, if terribly liberal. (I keep telling myself that if I just stopped reading liberal news websites I would feel a lot less crazed, but then I realize that would make me a terribly one sided blogger and a horrible journalist when I finally get my degree.)
This particular article was about Professor Ellen Lewin, a professor of Anthropology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She hit ‘reply all’ to a mass email from the College Republicans and told them “FUCK YOU, REPUBLICANS.” (I’m suddenly getting flashbacks to a paragraph in this blog that I wrote on the 19th.)
Was this a responsible or adult way to respond to an email? No, it was not. Especially not when the woman replying is a professor at the college and the people she was responding to were students. The quickest way to lose my respect as a teacher is to prove that you can’t see shades of grey and refuse to have rational discussions about other people’s political, religious, or social ideas.
Good going Professor Lewin. I wouldn’t touch the University of Iowa with a 10 foot pole now, even if they offered me a full ride scholarship.
The mass email in question was one that informed people at the college of
“Conservative Coming Out Week.” Planned events include an “Animal Rights BBQ” and an opportunity for students to “pick up your Doctors’ Notice to miss class for ‘sick of being stressed’, just like the Wisconsin public employees during the union protests.
Okay, possibly a tad bit offensive, but I’ve always hated being politically correct anyway and I find the idea of an “Animal Rights BBQ” to be hysterical. What can I say? I’ve never been a fan of PETA. I’m not a fan of the unions and so I find the idea of calling in “sick of being stressed” to also be amusing. And being that I’m a Lesbian Republican and occasionally feel more in the closet about being a Republican than being a Lesbian…well I have to say that having a ‘Coming Out Week’ isn’t such a bad idea. It’s like Gay Pride, only nerdier and probably more clothed…but also probably a good place to look for a date.
One of Professor Lewin’s later responses (a follow up after having admitted that they language she used was inappropriate, not apologizing mind you.) is as follows.
“I should note that several things in the original message were extremely offensive, nearly rising to the level of obscenity. Despite the Republicans’ general disdain for LGBT rights you called your upcoming event ‘conservative coming out day,’ appropriating the language of the LGBT right movement. Your reference to the Wisconsin protests suggested that they were frivolous attempts to avoid work. And the ‘Animal Rights BBQ’ is extremely insensitive to those who consider animal rights an important cause. Then, in the email that Ms. Ginty sent complaining about my language, she referred to me as Ellen, not Professor Lewin, which is the correct way for a student to address a faculty member, or indeed, for anyone to refer to an adult with whom they are not acquainted. I do apologize for my intemperate language, but the message you all sent out was extremely disturbing and offensive.”
I’ve emphasized a couple of statements in that quote that I would like to respond to, though I’m certain Professor Lewin will never read my blog.
1.) “general disdain” here is another case of a liberal not understanding the difference between the Religious Right and the rest of the Republican party. Or perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps the College Republicans at UofI were actively protesting gay rights. If they were doing so, then I agree with Lewin. Co-opting GLBT terms was a shitty thing to do. However, if they were (for the most part) ‘moderate’ Republicans then I find no problem with it.
2.) “frivolous attempts to avoid work.” I can’t claim to know an extreme amount about the Wisconsin situation. I do know more about the situation with the Teacher’s Union there, because I have a friend who is a teacher. We are both in agreement that if teacher’s were doing their jobs then they wouldn’t really need the unions to keep them from being fired. I’ve had a lot of bad teacher’s over the years, they kept their job because of the unions. No one could fire them. Bad teachers love the unions, they don’t really have to work as long as the union has their back.
3.) “Animal Rights BBQ” No more offensive than lumping me in with the Religious Right or calling me racist because I dare to criticize the president and his ridiculous inability to actually govern a country effectively.
And as for the responses Lewin has received (mentioned in the Jezebel article), yes, there are always going to be morons in the world, we can’t get rid of them. However, Lewin can’t say she’s justified in her comments because of rude commentary she’s received as a result of her words. She’s a teacher, someone that students look up to and respect. She has a pulpit to teach from that is almost, or perhaps more, powerful than any preacher. She is expected to hold herself to a higher standard and responding in such a fashion to an email, that was not personally harmful in any way, destroys her credibility as a teacher in my eyes. I would never respond to an email of that type in that way. I would delete it if it offended me, but there was no need to respond at all even if she was having “particularly bad mood” that day.
Hell, I’ve had more offensive things leveled at me personally. You might remember a couple of posts I did back in February (1 and 2) that, yes, did involve some vulgarity on my part. Understandable considering I was being personally attacked for no reason whatsoever, but I never allowed myself to stoop to the level that Professor Lewin’s stooped to and I had far more reason to tell those particular people to fuck off, than Lewin’s had to say that to the College Republicans.
And people wonder why I feel more closeted as a conservative than I do as a lesbian…
Edit: One last thought, how is this going to effect the students in her classes? Will the Republicans taking her class ever feel safe enough to speak their opinions now, having seen the vitriolic hatred she has for them? I would be worried if I was her student, I would be worried for my grade. This is going to silence the opinions of students on that campus, students who should feel safe to express their political ideas in classes. She has taken that away from students. That, in and of itself, is unforgivable Professor Lewin.