September 5, 2012

To Be or Not to Be, Cool - That is the Question

Slowly the schools in our district are being air conditioned.  It takes money to get it all done and there have been bonds that we voted on to get it done, but it has been a long road as all buildings cool off. 

It seems we start school earlier and earlier every year.  This year the first day with students was August 16th.  Temperatures have been in the upper 90's to low 100's  (35 - 39 C ) during this time. 

Any new buildings are built with central air.  Many of the older buildings have been fitted large, noisy window air conditioners.  This requires that classrooms keep their doors shut to keep the cool in and the hallways are still very hot and humid.  The superintendent stated on the news last week the plan would be to eventually phase these window boxes out and upgrade to central air for all.  More money, do doubt. 

But as of this school year,  two thirds of our junior high buildings remain unairconditioned.   Now think about this.  These kids have had airconditioning all through their elementary and middle school years.  Most have air conditioning at home.  Now they are being asked to go spend 8-10 hours of their in hot, humid conditions and to focus on learning. 

The public's reaction is interesting.  Through comments in the newspaper and call-in radio shows many people chide students & teachers today for needing to have air-condition.  Back in the day, they didn't have air and so why do kids today need air? 

I wonder how many of these people are working in unairconditioned environments?    

 It reminds me of  when my mother used to say she walked 2 miles to school every day -- in all weather -- up hill both ways and barefoot.  

I don't think we can compare our experiences from yesteryear to today's experiences.  Even school today is much different than school back in the day.  Perhaps the people who are grumbling about kids having it too easy should spend a few days or a couple weeks at school and see what is going on.  Let them experience the hot weather in an old building while having to learn.  Let them see what kids are even learning today-- oftentimes much more is required now than what was required then. 

Do you think it is necessary to have air-conditioned schools today?

February 15, 2012

In the Hands of a Few

A nearby little town held their school board meeting last night.  On the agenda was whether they are going to renew the contract for next year of the elementary principal.

Parents in the town are upset and determined to have a voice.  They have ascended upon the meeting. 
According to one mother, "I just want to have the information for myself, show me the evidence.  I can make up my own mind.  I like this principal, she is the best." 

Later in the evening it was revealed that the superintendent feels the principal did not turn in some paperwork on time last year.  When he asked to see some of it, she was unable to produce it.  Her story is that she did the paperwork as necessary and turned it in to the state as required.  The state has not returned it to her.  

I do not know if the paperwork was done or not.  Frankly, I don't care.  Is that a reason to fire someone?  Especially if that person has a good track record and is well liked in the community?  It  sounds more like a power struggle or a jealousy problem to me. 

This is one thing that irks me in the education field right now.  One person or a few people hold the career of good teachers and administrators in their hands.  If she does get terminated, she will have to move if she wants to stay in her field.  She will also have to have this clouding up any future employment application.  They all ask-- have you ever been asked to leave or not had your contract renewed?   That right there may keep her out of a possible job.  It may close the door. 

 Now this Superintendent could be doing this out of spite, weakness, or malice. 

I don't know how the meeting ended.  I just know that there is a lot of bull --oney  that goes on in the education field right now. 

Let the teachers teach!