I’m still struggling with a convoluted blog post and unable to finish, and so I’m switching gears now and writing an aside. No promises of depth or substance here, just some light banter which I’ll lay down before my early bed time.
It’s back to work subbing tomorrow, in the same class as three days last week. I look forward to it–environmental science, math and physics, the middle group a more interesting one, having come together to make up for an end of course exam they failed, so there’s a bit more testiness about school and teachers, and insecurity about their ultimate chances of success. But there’s a good community spirit there, and motivation in most cases to get the concepts.
I feel guilty about how easy it is to sub in a regular high school classroom, how reasonable most people are, how rare are the confrontations. Also seem to have amassed a pretty good general knowledge of high school material, and can call it up from memory on a need to know basis, so I feel I’m being useful in some way.
The next day I’ll be attending a youth summit, which should prove to be interesting–educators, health workers, law enforcement, community leaders coming together to discuss how to support at risk youth, so I’m sure I’ll learn a lot and meet some big hearted folks.
Not sure what further steps I may take on testing opt out in the coming weeks. I kept my son home for the first session, but he’ll have to hang out with the other opters-out for the big week of tests coming up, as I have to work. I’m curious as to what he’ll be expected to do instead of testing. I’ve heard how schools are trying to convey a message that opting out is not meant to be enjoyable, so some are not even allowing kids to read, at least not until they sit and stare for ten or fifteen minutes. I really don’t know what the feeling is about the tests at my kids’ school–I didn’t want to start that dialogue when I slipped in to file the opt out form, but I might just do as I gain confidence. As in, Mr. Principal, what do you think of these tests, and how does it make you feel when folks opt out? Do you see them as troublesome? Brave? If you thought something handed down to you was bad for kids, would you take a stand if you might get in trouble? Do you solicit feedback about this issue from your staff? What would happen tpo a staff member who would not administer the tests?
I had an idea for a college scholarship–it would be for students who had kept a nature journal for a few years. They’d submit or present it, with a chance to explain what they learned through the process. Might target a different kind of intelligence and sensitivity, an underrepresented group that deserves encouragement.The winner would receive a scholarship to pursue something along the lines of environmental science or other field that showed commitment to sustainability and furthering our understanding and appreciation of the creatures with which we share the planet.
It’s time for bed. Coal train whistle blowing makes a sleepy noise. Underneath the blankets go all the girls and boys.