Two years ago, I started a new chapter in my life while closing out a comfortable one. Working in the TV news business was a job in which I was moderately successful for more than a decade. I worked my way up in the newsroom from camera operator to producer in a few short years. However, my time in that world opened my eyes to a good number of truths and troubles. One truth revolves around the importance of teamwork. Without that simple concept things just don’t go as well. Oh, you can get a newscast on air, but it just won’t have that element of “love” that gives it that extra something special. I’m not just talking about the basic teamwork of everyone just doing their jobs. I’m speaking of a communal effort to make sure it was the best product we could air. I’ve seen shops excel in that department and shops fail, epically.
I also spent those 13 years hearing and seeing things I can never forget. Things that still cause me to have a reaction of some sort to this day. Ultimately it confirmed something to me I had long suspected: A good number of youth in this world face realities which I can not comprehend. These realities are completely alien to me. Besides those alien realities, I was also constantly hearing about the piss-poor state of our local education system and increasing troubles in our communities. I could not help but wonder if these were not related.
On top of that, I was looking at what it meant to be a good father to my children. In all these arenas the same theme kept appearing: Kids are failing in life because their fathers are failing them. I felt a calling to the classroom. This takes many forms, but the most popular is the absentee father. Studies show the main indicator of a young person’s success in school is whether there is a strong male role model in his or her life. Now, I know I can’t be a father to these students, but if I can show them a little care or love, even for a while, maybe it will make a difference.
However, as I have seen these stats play out in the classroom and realized I can make that difference, another issue has slapped me in the face. Learning is under attack on many fronts in our current system. We must take back our classrooms and schools. We must make sure our children LEARN!! We must reclaim education from the many enemies hacking away at it. I hope to present a few of my ideas (and those of others) on exactly how this may be accomplished. A few themes are likely to appear as we journey through these possible answers and theories. Community of learners, whole-child education, involvement, legitimate learning and assessment will be just a few of the issues I will attempt to address, advocate or improve.
Thank you for joining me, I value your input and hope you come away enlightened and encouraged to get involved.