Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today's VidShizzle. Duncanville (TX) High School Student Wants His Teacher To Touch Students' Hearts, And Think About the Nation's Future. "Square Biz."


28 comments:

  1. I've had a student like that. Her hair was so pretty.

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  2. I can smell it through the screen. Wake and bake, snowflake.

    Oh, nevermind. Someone left the backdoor to the compound open.

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  3. Somebody should touch a pair of scissors to the kid's hair.

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  4. He's not wrong. The Koch Brothers and Bill and Melinda Gates have empowered Pearson to packet-laminate the whole effing country, and children are losing every. freaking. and. reeking. day. An admin and board of a district near mine "walked into" teachers' classrooms the day following spring break and told teachers to cease their units-in-progress and hand out the packets. A disgrace. I applaud the child--and children and parents and teachers and proffies and citizens of every other stripe--who will stand against it. And his hair looks great. Don't agree? Bite me.

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    1. That doesn't give him the right to be rude or disrepectful to his teacher.

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    2. Mrs. C, the scenario you describe isn't the fault of billionaires interested in education. The admins should have worked out the new lesson plans with the teachers beforehand.

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    3. At the place where I used to teach, the administrators typically dumped the whole mess on the instructors and then went off and did something else (probably something ridiculous or trivial to justify their paycheques). It was left to us to sort it all out and figure out what to do. If anything went wrong, it was, naturally, our fault. Whatever went right was due to the brilliant leadership and strategic vision of the admins.

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    4. I agree, his hair really is quite lovely. He reminds me of the boys I knew in high school 20 years ago. Right down to the "stick it to the man!" hissy fit. He does have a lot of points about the educational system and those damn packets that students have to fill out. I spend a good amount of my time as a college instructor trying to undo the damage done by those things. But I do suspect he is not the easiest student to deal with and probably considers himself waaaay smarter than his teachers with all of his teenage wisdom.

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  5. I saw this on Facebook this morning and people were gaga over it, which I found puzzling. The problem with "agreeing" with the kid is that we have absolutely no context for his monologue. Maybe the teacher is incompetent and the class is a bunch of shallow busywork. If so, good for him.

    I don't know what he means by "packets", though. Maybe this is a public school buzzword? I give my students "packets" all the time--all I mean by that is that I've put together some primary documents that we're going to read and analyze. News flash: students usually don't enjoy reading primary documents. They complain. We still read them.

    We also read Howard Zinn, Ishmael Beah's memoir, and other things that tend to engage young people. We do research and have debates, we watch parts of films and documentaries, and...well, I teach at a private school, so I have near-complete autonomy over the content. We do whatever I think is valuable and interesting.

    My point is that teenagers are provincial and they like things that they can "relate" to. My job is to help them broaden their worldviews. My school is among the best in the country and I think I'm a pretty engaging teacher thankyouverymuch. But teenagers are what they are. They complain, they gripe, they embrace hyperbole.

    I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and cheer for this kid until I know more about what's going on with his class. For all I know, he's just a lazy contrarian with stupid hair. I sort of hope so, because I'm really sorry if his teacher, or school, is not serving him well.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I was often criticized by my students for what I did in my courses.

      How dare I teach them something they didn't already know or didn't want to know? Sorry, but I wasn't doing it necessarily because I wanted to but because I had to. I had to teach what was in the course outline, the same course outline which showed the material and information that *they*, the customers of my learning delivery, paid for. I taught it because I was required to as part of my job. I taught it because that was what their future employers expected them to know. I might have even taught it because I found it interesting.

      I didn't teach it to meet their "needs and expectations", I didn't teach it to "reach" or "engage" them, and I certainly didn't teach it to entertain them.

      Needless to say, those complaints made their way to my superiors, which meant trips to the department head's office.

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    3. Re: the "packets," according to a thread on Reddit (I know, questionable, but FWIW):

      Someone commented that this student is not in the regular high school but rather some sort of alternative high school situation that is meant for students that have previously dropped out or cannot stay in high school for other reasons (the commenter herself said that she attended this alternative high school because she left school to have a baby). Apparently the student in the video left high school after his freshman year and has now, at age 18, returned as a sophomore in this other school/program.

      The commenter explained that classes are composed of students of a variety of ages and backgrounds, so that a given "sophomore" class is even more heterogenous than a typical high school sophomore class. The students are therefore given packets that are supposed to be individualized to each student's academic aptitude or something. I am not sure if the packets are meant to be a supplement to the class or a major part of the day-to-day work.

      Again, this is just some random comment I read. Not sure if anything has been verified elsewhere. Just wanted to bring it up to go along with Surly's comment that we don't really know the context here.

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  6. I keep waiting for Silent Bob to get up and follow him out.

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  7. Teacher's hands are tied by administration. And the guy's hair looks nice!

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  8. Regardless of the context, the teacher is a milquetoast who needs to learn some basic classroom management techniques. At 0:14 she is sitting behind a computer, quietly saying, "Bye." By 0:10 she should have been standing up, using his name, and dialing campus security, which should be on speed dial on her phone regardless of what kind of school it is.

    As for the kid (and, of course, depending on context), he could be describing my son's high school Spanish class and teacher. She hands out worksheets every day and has assigned but not graded "projects", which are sets of worksheets. No conversations in Spanish. No exploration of Latin America. No current events coverage, such as futbol standings or the first Latin American pope. Granted, it is first-year Spanish, and any such conversations would be laughably rudimentary, but she's not helping the kids get motivated to push themselves beyond the "friggin' packets." At my son's request, I have not helicoptered over to the principal to ask what his expectations are of teachers and request that he investigate this one.

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    1. It's easy to say that the teacher is spineless but what if, in the past, she did as you suggested and was reprimanded for it by her superiors? If her authority had, in effect, been taken away for her, why would she bother doing anything when she already knows how things will turn out?

      I've been in the situation where I did what I was supposed to and got chewed out by my last department head. After that, I tried to work to rule as far as possible because doing otherwise wasn't worth the hassle.

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  9. As a foreign language teacher, I can attest to the fact that there are some school districts in this nation that don't allow teachers to teach primarily in the target language and reduce learning a language to filling out homework packets. I can also say that there are some high school foreign language teachers whose language skills are pitiful: "I can't teach Spanish III! I can't teach the subjunctive!" So, unless I find out more about the context of this video, it sounds to me that Blondie is angry that he has homework to do and thinks he's above it all.

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    1. Our school district, thankfully, isn't like that. My son's friends say they have much better teachers and engaging activities in Spanish (not that they don't gripe).

      As for your last sentence, that was also my first impression.

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  10. I'd like to see the blond kid mud-wrestle Beaker Ben for 18 minutes. Cal could record it and submit it as the inaugural TEDxCM TED Talk.

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    1. TEDxCM TED Talks are the bestest idea ever. But the inaugural talk will be by Wicked Walter.

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  11. Wait: the video was removed??? I missed it. How did it violate any YouTube policy? Or is that just my computer? Did you guys block me from watching these? I demand a response. :)

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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQlPGK9wYkg

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    2. But I'm ambivalent about sharing the link. The blond kid is just a child trapped in an alternative high school who didn't know he was being recorded. He thought he was just talking to what looked like about 7 or 8 fellow classmates and his teacher. Now a million people have watched him. And when he tells NBC or CBS that he doesn't mind people watching the video, that doesn't mean he doesn't feel humiliated by it all. What's he going to say? "I'm really embarrassed by this episode...." No, he'll continue to be defiant. Millions of people scrutinizing a teenager's behavior (or very tame misbehavior) can be hard to handle. Goddamn technology. I hope the kid endures. I also would kind of like to see him and the Beaker in TEDxCM.

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    3. Thanks, Bubba. I guess that could be each of us, too (secretly recorded).

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    4. Here's a link to the story:

      http://samuel-warde.com/2013/05/high-school-student-lectures-teacher-for-being-lazy-and-apathetic-video/

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    5. Yes, this is indeed very tame misbehavior.

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