Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Good Stuff... or our first big fight

Mike and I were texting all day yesterday after the dentist and invited me out to happy hour, so I said sure. I was thinking we should try King's Fish House, and we did. I didn't mention it- we just got in the car, and it is where he drove to, but I had told him when he said we should do Happy Hour this popped in my head

- Met at 4:30 when he was done with work
- He was in his garage when I pulled up
- Walk through garage and toward the kitchen when I figured he was trying to scare me and so I got him when I turned and looked at him
- Get ready to go
- Go to King's Fish House
- Food was good... lobster deviled eggs, delicious ceviche that tasted like a good Mexican salsa with some shrimp and crab, 2 rounds of fish tacos that were tasty, 2 margaritas

- Talked about going home to 24 hours of craziness- parents rearranging and taking furniture apart, waiting for my mom's computer hutch to arrive, my mom taking apart bookcases and sorting papers, the electrician there trying to fix our electrical issues.
- Somehow we got on the topic of education and me applying for jobs... here's a summary of our argument
- He started on his rant about how bad the education system is and how I need to be a solution
- Unions are bad and there is no place for them - the union isn't protecting my mom - which is obviously one of their faults, they are in it for their own cause and to make money/cut deals with higher ups and admins
- Parents should not be in charge of their kids educations (moving to good school districts etc., knowing the curriculum that is taught), it should just be a good school and the parents shouldn't have to look, and it is not the parents responsibility he argued, which I totally disagreed with because you want what is best for your kids
- He loves Michelle Rhee and she is one of the few who is standing up and bucking the trends, but the unions want to quash her
- He believes teachers would make $100k+ a year and unions are limiting us in our earnings
- He questioned if I thought about the above point before I embarked on my career in this
- I said not so much
- Teaching is a part time job in his eyes because you only teach for 6.5 hours a day
- He argued if you are a really good teacher you shouldn't have to spend time to plan, grade, it should all just come natural
- Education software should do all of our grading
- He works for 9 hours a day and that's a real job
- 6.5 hours a day, 150 students, awful kids, etc. doesn't matter... we knew what we were getting into when we took the job... some jobs are easier and some are harder and we're fucked for doing it and we're stupid for taking it
- Most teachers are bad he argued or passionless because of tenure and that they aren't making $100k a year, but again, unions are the reason that teachers are passionless because they're protected
- Businesspeople make the best teachers as most teachers aren't even good at teaching themselves
- Businesspeople have the drive and vigor teachers don't
- I've brought up cases about businesspeople failing as classroom teachers and he said it doesn't matter as they aren't doing anything different than a regular teacher would do... there were lots of cases about this in the early 90s he did not want to hear about how businesspeople failed in the classroom
- I reminded him our discussion of tenure and how that is disappearing
- He said math, science, and history should be computerized and standardized... view a video, read a chapter, take a test. That's what he does with his company and the software is foolproof making it where he has to read everything... I asked what about the special ed learners etc.
- Addition, subtraction, and basic skills like that should be computerized and standardized since it is so easy and a computer can do it
- He doesn't believe in individual creativity/individual teaching styles... this obviously isn't working since our education system is so bad
- He believes we need nationalized standards/educational software to do the majority of the teaching and teachers are only there for enrichment like science teachers to do labs with the kids or English teachers to guide students to give them feedback on an essay
- I explained the types of educational software that are out right now like Accelerated math, AR Math, Read 180, System 44, and how there are flaws and once the kid is off of the computer they still can't read in some cases
- He said those are just anecdotes that kids can't read etc. once they get off of a computer and there's a 1000 anecdotes for everything
- I explained issues with Read 180, AR math, Accelerated math such as the bubbling
- How teachers are under fire if they give scantron tests, bubble tests, computerized tests, essay tests, short answer, and it is the parents/admin. He said parents wouldn't complain about a scantron test because you do that your entire life. I talked about that taking creativity out of the equation and he said it doesn't matter, just read the computer, take a test, and that's how he is so successful
- Educational software is the key and even though it may be bad it is because there is no competition, but if everyone were behind it (meaning unions), then all kids would be successful (he said unions aren't behind it becasue it would eliminate teachers)
- In the business world those who can't succeed are weeded out and teachers need to be weeded out too and that doesn't happen because of unions
- Teachers should be graded on how their kids perform on standardized tests he argues and only that... the business world is all about results... I brought up a webpage that college students and parents worked together to create evaluations for teachers that seem more fair and he disagreed. I pointed out the flaws in testing students on standardized tests to an extent because it doesn't show a kid who was at far below basic and brought to basic in a skillset... the teacher is penalized because the kid is not proficient... it doesn't look at growth of the individual child, which is important
- Some teachers have advanced/basic/below basic classes those who are basic or BB are penalized when the standardized tests are everything

- Teachers should not be graded on the following areas. These are what parents and college students say teachers should be graded on and he disagreed... it is all about standardized testing:
1. providing clear lessons
2. availability outside of the classroom
3. respectfulness to students
4. creates positive learning environment
5. clear lessons
6. clear objectives
7. treats students equally
8. treats students fairly
9. admits mistakes
10. sets appropriate tone
11. inspires/engages majority of students
12. effectiveness
13. test scores
14. organized lessons
15. organized classroom
16. provides feedback to student/parent

- After our fight it was about 7pm
- We stop at Marshalls and PetsMart to look at iPod cases and shoes
- Back at his place we watch the Food Network chef show
- We watch So You Think You Can Dance, which was my first time watching, and I was sooooooooooooooo bored throughout.
- He got us some of his coffee alcoholic drink concoction and we watched a little more TV before bed
- i go out to the car for nose medicine and he hides inside the doorway and screams Boo!, and I let out a yell
- We brush our teeth and get ready for bed, cuddling

- Wake up about 8:15 and play around together
- Shower
- He has a few calls
- Hang around until 11:30 when I had to leave for an appointment
- Home to lots of chaos as 2 bookcases are being assembled
- Back to his place about 3 for dinner


Joey said...

All I can say is that it is a good thing I was not there. You know me and my passion for teaching. I would have gone off!

Please don't tell me he is a member of the Tea Party b/c a lot of what was said rings from the Tea Party handbook!

fan of casey said...

Mike: Oh I was expecting something more personal from the title, sounds like a heated discussion but not really a fight about personal issues. I don't agreed with all OM said, but he has some major points and I believe a better way of measuring teacher performance via student achievement is needed. Tenure is a problem when it retains poor teachers just because of seniority and the solution is to do away with FIFO layoffs.

But I agree with you that teaching can't all be mechanical. The best teachers inspire and engage students in learning. There are no easy answers because these issues have been around a long time and our education system continues to struggle.

If you still feel like this was a big first fight, just look forward to the great make up sex you are going to have to calm things down. ;-)

Aek said...

Woah, that's intense. Long summary, haha.

So working 9 hrs/day is a real job? Man . . . what about all those people who work more than 9 hrs/day? Like doctors and nurses and some pharmacists?

Teaching isn't easy. True there is some talent involved and there is some part of it that comes naturally to some and not others. But it's also a skill that needs to be developed. I do agree that standardized exams are important, but they're not all-important.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he had a bad experience in school or college? My brother hated his teachers and sometimes sounds like this.

Teaching is exhausting. Others don't realize.

And there is simply no substitute to a good teacher. I remember them so fondly.

Mike said...

@ Joey: He is not a teapartier, but is a pro-business Democrat. He works for a Fortune Top 10 company that owns him- I swear- all the perks he gets. I was wondering if you were going to comment and if you were going to go through refuting his arguments... LOL

@ fan of casey: It wasn't anything relationshipwise, but the song was in my head, and so I used it. LOL. I agree with both things you said.

@ Marvin: Only in the past 2-3 years has he developed these thoughts he said. He believes that he was pushed into special ed, and he was a C-D student, and he had to work that much harder, there were no interventions for him...

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