To the JCPS: I am concerned.
1. Do you open your school day with a recitation of "I pledge allegiance "?
2. Do you make it easy for teenagers to apologize for their misbehavior? I taught school. A student got no recess until he apologized. After the third recess missed, I told him I knew how hard it is to apologize. "How about if we just shake hands instead of having to say 'I'm sorry?'" I've never had a faster handshake or seen a bigger smile.
3. I asked the JCPS superintendent when he was first hired if the system ever hired special needs graduates to help serve food, clean up, etc. He said he would get back to me. He never did.
4. I substituted in middle school in a problem class. When the first issue arose, I said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I believe you know what is expected of you. All of you are intelligent and good people. Now let's get to work." No more trouble. I respected them, and they, me.
5. Do children still have to write sentences, i.e., "I will not talk in class?" After the 200th sentence, children get the idea. Old-fashioned, but it worked.
6. Are teachers monitored for espousing their political beliefs in class? I helped a child with disabilities one day at TJMS. She urged her class to go home and tell their parents to vote for
7. Children want and need — oh so very much — a "well done," a pat on the head, a star by their names. Are teachers as good at celebrating as at berating?
8. Once I was told I had to give a C to a flunking great athlete. He smiled at me and said he'd never have to study because he was such a good athlete. Does it happen in the JCPS?
9. What is more important at the JCPS? Good grades? Good behavior? Winning at sports? I think we all know the answer to this. I never see articles on the English, music, mathematics, science departments? I guess these areas don't matter.
10. Lastly, do schools ever have veterans, grandparents and heroes speak and tell our children how lucky they are what was it like during the Great Depression, putting your life on the line to save others, etc., and asking the students if they have the courage and morals to "do the right thing?"