Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The great Osama web search (and what it means)

A colleague pointed out to me that searches for Osama Bin Laden spiked radically nationwide following his death; most interesting was the number of teenagers who were on Google and Yahoo, trying to figure out the significance of this man.

"Interesting," I replied - "How cool that our teenagers have this info at their fingertips!"

"No, you are missing the point," replied my friend, "It's really sad our kids don't know who Osama is."

At this point I smiled a forced smile, trying to sort out all of the thoughts running together in my head.

My reply to him was something like this: I'm not at all surprised our kids don't know who Osama is. Our national priorities and values have been radically skewed and dangerously misplaced for years now - and things are only getting worse.

Values dear to my heart - hard work, discipline, individual freedom, the value of personal achievement - all of these have been collectively pushed onto the back burner.

Speaking to my 88 year-old grandmother over spring break, she explained to me that of course she grew up believing America was the greatest nation in the world. How things have changed.

No, I'm not at all surprised our kids don't know who Osama is. Remember our solemn oath to each other: "9/11 - Never Forget" ... ?

Guess what, America? We forgot.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Four Week Game Plan

Coming back to school today, after spring break and with about a month of school left, I am wondering if my seniors will be refreshed ... or mentally checked out.

A veteran teacher told me to expect a bit of both, and he showed me his 4 week game plan he hands out to each student.

Nothing fancy - just a brief list of what they'll be working on during this final home stretch. One thing I've learned is students appreciate structure and spelled out expectations. So I'm kicking off each period today with a classroom huddle, and a review of our action plan.

A simple but smart concept. Thanks Mr. Craig!