Life May Pass You by
The world has two domains: 1) The internal world consisting of what you believe in, which you keep in your mind to guide you, and 2) The external world that is as wild as the wildest world arenas.
Life will pass you by if you let it. You must live each day so that you can see , hear, smell, taste and feel each day. Otherwise, you have not lived. Be part of life; get on the bandwagon.
The Struggle to Survive
The world is a rough place to live in. Humans are no different from other mammals in that the struggle for survival still exhists and is equally challenging. The major difference is that humans are far more complex. Not only do homo sapiens have to worry about social order, and petty jealousy, but they also have to be concerned about political bantering, psychological testing and physiological endurance brought about by societal confrontations. Then, in addition to the general stress of social living, the traditional mammalian survival instincts click in, such as territorial encroachment awareness, mate-stalking sensitivity, shelter-tampering, and food-stealing, just to mention a few.
Personal Comments on Pedagogy
Turning the School System into a Business
Angry people stand ready to undermine your efforts in every human endeavor. In pedagogical affairs, those destructive individuals include principals and supervising assistant principals, as well as other teachers. The burden of teacher performance rests on the ability of the students to perform, according to the twisted philosophy of our newly elected "leaders,"never taking into account the obvious fact that well-prepared students make the teacher look good, while ill-prepared students invariably make the teacher look quite bad, claiming a biased interpretation of performance as a burden for the teacher.
Performance and Accountability
Of course with such words as accountability and teacher performance, the administrators make it appear to the public that teachers who do not perform are not doing their job. This is rather unfortunate and shortsighted since the public is naive about pedagogical matters. Surely politicians are aware of this and use it to tout their interests, namely to make it appear to the public that they have stemmed the tide of failing students. In fact, they are trying to solve the problem in the schools on the backs of hard-working teachers by deceiving them. They try to make teachers believe that wonderful things await them when they become seniors. The fact is that they are misled. The Department of Education has determined that older teachers are too expensive and more difficult to change. So, what do they do? They get rid of the old teachers.
This is an account of one teacher in the New York City Department of Education: "I was so scared that I trembled each day I came to school, thinking that the principal would spring some secret weapon on me at any moment, catching me totally off-guard so that she could write up some menacing report in an effort to pinch me off the payroll. The whole scenario caught me off-guard. With words like "disciplinary action" and "leading to termination," what is a teacher supposed to think? It was like a real-life horror story written before my very eyes. I had to live with the daily toil of having to go to work each day to do a job that I learned to hate. But I didn't always hate it. I love children and like to see them learn." This is probably the worse case scenario. The administrators have a unique way of taking the joy out of a job you can love by undermining your efforts and making you feel insignificant. What a shame!
"The administration of my school made it quite clear that they had the upper hand. From my point of view, this is about as vindictive and dirty as I could imagine it; but it gets worse. They intended to use the fact that the day officially begins at 8:20, irrespective to the fact that class begins at 9:05. In other words, you're a factory laborer and have a timeframe to meet. On top of this, my wife was sick with cancer, causing me to arrive five minutes past their deadline time. There is no other profession in which professionals are under the scrutiny of a clock like a laborer. And, if that's not enough, they charged four of my fourteen absences against me, since they exceeded the ten allowed each year...absences that were necessary to take my sick wife to the hospital."
The dire actions of the principal will result in an unsatisfactory year-end rating for this person, effectively ruining his career as a classroom teacher. All this in the name of education or more succinctly, in the name of Mayor Bloomberg's greed, using accountability as a flimsy excuse to punish certain teachers who didn't have the right connections.
Because of the turnaround of teachers' employment and the recent method of scare tactics to patrol the base, young teachers are more daring and less concerned about long-term commitment to children. That's why we are seeing a substantial increase in the number of inappropriate behavior incidents in recent years.
To make matters even worse, it is apparent that New York State put out an impossible Math A test last year to be followed up with an easy test this year, to show the public that their new approach to the education problem is working. When will these people learn that you can't stick a square peg in a round hole?
Other Scare Tactics
Do scare tactics really work? Ha, ha! The Bloomberg Administration has taken the initiative. Like Elliot Ness, he discovered that he could "get" those in vulnerable situations by scare tactics, and sneak attacks. Who are vulnerable? Anyone who has not formed alliances with those in power. In particular, it seems the old are targeted. After all, they constitute the least resistant group.
While the teacher is engaged in an intense lesson on complex fractions, the supervisor enters the room, unannounced and says, "lesson plan?" in a sarcastic tone. The teacher inconspicuously points to the sacred plan and the supervisor nods and moves off. In the aftermath, the students, keen to capitalize on the teacher's embarrassment, promptly jeer, "Ha, ha, your boss's checking up on you, eh? He wants to see your lesson plan." The teacher only rolls his eyes and finds the LCD.Pedagogy
Personal Comments on Aviation
The FAA keep dragging their feet on the proposed new Sports Pilot License. Those of us who have conditions that warrent special issuance are really left out in the cold. Case in point: A pilot with diabetes, type II, under oral medication files his FAA required annual medical report to the special issuance unit, as described in his letter from the previous year, in June, three months in advance of his medical expiration only for it to get "lost" somewhere. Yet the pilot has no way of knowing this and is forced to let his biennial flight review expire because he has no medical. So, he sends a new, updated, medical report in October to receive his medical in April (good until only August.) In the meantime, he still can't fly because now his BFR has expired. He could not have prevented this since the medical is required for the BFR.