Friday, June 17, 2011

RISD: wrap-up

I have one more piece to write about the alternative certification
situation but will let that age until later this year.

For practical purposes this is the last post in the RISD series.

-= to RISD =-

Please ensure there are enough desks and books for the students. Pencil
sharpeners are mandatory, not optional.

RISD is (in both reality and reputation) a good district. If you do
not get a handle on thug behavior the reputation and reality will
suffer. It's chiefly a cultural issue: kids who have no exposure to
academic culture will wreck the academic environment critical to
top-notch learning. You cannot afford to tolerate serial misbehavior.
Publish high expectations for student behavior and ENFORCE it with vigor.

Principals: please walk your hallways. Schools with "wandering groups
of thugs" problems can be vastly improved by having principals walk the
hallways and deal with wandering/roving kids. Berkner: if you need
help with this talk to LHHS. The new P there is kicking butt and taking
names. Wandering and hallway disruption is greatly reduced.

-= to the teachers =-
Thank you for your kindness and professionalism toward me. I appreciate
the opportunity to work with your kids on days you were away. Thank you
for your words of encouragement.

-= to support staff =-
Custodial staffs: you rock. Keep up the good work. Especially you,
Carlton. If everyone was like you the world would be a friendlier,
gentler, and better-run place.

Inclusion assistants: please stay in the classroom when you see there
is a sub. I can count on ONE HAND the number of times an inclusion asst
stayed with the kids instead fading away with of "oh.... you're a sub.
I have... uhhh... a meeting. Yeah, a meeting" or similar. You are
needed most when sub is there. Please stay and help. To those that
stayed: thank you.

-= to the entire staff at Christa McAuliffe LC =-
I don't know how you do it day after day. If I were a praying man I
would include you in my prayers every day. It is a shame the rest of
the community is unaware of the work that goes on there, the constant
and compassionate effort to provide structure for at least one aspect of
troubled young lives.

-= to the students =-
Thank you for being creative, funny, and brave. Thank you for asking
insightful questions for disassembling the answers.

Worth singling out: The Pre-AP class English class (at Westwood?)
parsing A Christmas Carol was one of the most fearless and thoughtful
student discussions I have ever witnessed. You rock.
Runner-up: Law club students at RHS. I look forward to your running
the world.
Classes like this restore my faith in humanity.

To AP students: thank you for your work ethic and civility. Having an
AP class somewhere in the day's schedule was like being handed a
delicious blue raspberry Slurpee on a hot summer afternoon. How does it
feel to the best part of another person's day? :-)

-= to the parents and community =-
Remember to talk to your kiddo about how school is going: fears,
successes, failures, joys. Friends. Crushes. Talk to the teacher. If
your kid's educational success is being hindered in any way then do
whatever it takes to remove the obstacle. There's nothing more important.

written offline and synced later

1 comment:

dc-tm said...

As usual, good observations, thoughtful observations and comments. With school, a few rotten apples do have a tendancy to tarnish the bunch, making for some distractions of other student. There is some measure of truth to "spare the rod, lose the child."
While almost all of the students with acting our behavior can be straightened out with firm hand, there will always be those very few who will require a more harsh response than just a firm hand who end up leading others astray.
Good writings BM