Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Message from a Teacher to a Parent

Dear Parent,

I am a teacher, and I love what I do, but in the past year I have received ugly emails from disgruntled parents, received angry telephone calls after 10:00 p.m., been yelled at like a dog in front of children, been called a liar and vulgar names, and threatened with physical harm.  Some people shrug and say all this goes with the territory, but I disagree.  No one deserves this kind treatment regardless of the “territory!”  I am sorry that I may not always meet your expectations, but I do my best, and I take pride in my profession and the difference I make in the lives of children.  However, since you seem to think I fall short of the expectations you have for your child’s teacher, please bear with me as I address each of your expectations . . . .

1.  You expect me to teach your child to read, write, do math, and think critically.  Yet, you bring your child to school late and check him out early regularly!
2.  You expect me to be responsible for your child learning and being successful.  Yet, you are not responsible enough to make your child go to school.
3.  You expect me to teach your child to love learning and be a life-long leaner.  Yet, the only learning taking place in your house is in front of a television.
4.  You expect me to have rules and order in the classroom.  Yet, I am at fault when your child breaks the rules or disrupts class.
5.  You expect me to teach your child to respect others and to be a good citizen.  Yet, you come to the school confrontational, cursing, and acting a fool.
6.  You expect school problems can be resolved by bringing back prayer.  Yet, when did you last pray with your child before he or she left for school?
7.  You expect me to teach your child how to be responsible for his actions.  Yet, you raise hell when your child is scored low for missing deadlines.
8.  You buy season tickets to support your child in extracurricular activities.  Yet, when was the last time you showed your face at a PTO meeting?

And finally . . . .

9.  You have no idea how hard I’ve studied to be a teacher who makes a difference.  Yet, I spend my time doing your job – being a father and mother to your child.
10.  You have no clue the level of accountability I am held to for your child’s learning.  Yet, you refuse to accept your responsibility as a parent for your child’s learning?

You have not realized this yet, but you and I have a common bond that binds us, so, maybe you should try working with me instead of against me . . . .

After all we are talking about YOUR CHILD.

Sincerely

Your Child’s Teacher

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . . 

what you see printed above is often how teachers feel.  Teachers are not perfect, but it is rare to find one who does not genuinely care for the children they teach.  Teachers enter the profession knowing they will never be paid adequately for the hours they devote to their students.  They enter the profession with an understanding they will spend more time with other people’s children than they do their own.  They also understand they will always be the scapegoat for politicians trying to make a name for themselves.  They understand that by the very nature of their jobs, they will always be easy targets for yellow journalism.  They understand they live in a society where a student succeeds in spite of the teacher, and fails because of the teacher.

Maybe that is why 50% of all newcomers to teaching leave the profession within the first 5 years.  Why?  Maybe it is because over 400,000 teachers are either physically assaulted or threatened each year as reported by the United States Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. Maybe it is because every time teachers turn around, there is another politician proclaiming how “sorry” and “worthless” teachers are.  Maybe it is because everybody is an expert when it comes to teaching.  As a result, everyone has an opinion as to what is wrong with American education and what to do about it, but when was the last time someone asked or listened to a teacher about how to fix education?  Maybe teachers leave the profession because they are treated like they are not real people.  Pets are treated with more kindness and respect than teachers.  Respect?  Of course, the key to teacher longevity is RESPECT, or I should say LACK OF RESPECT is probably the number one reason teachers leave the profession.

Will it ever change?  Probably not.  Teachers are in the business of stamping out ignorance, but ignorance is like a forest fire.  Once out of control, it is almost impossible to get it back under control until it has burned itself out.  Unfortunately, there is little evidence that the ignorance wild-fire that has engulfed education in this country is any where near burning itself out.

That is indeed unfortunate, since this nation’s children cannot afford to continue to lose good teachers.

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

JL

©Jack Linton, December 30, 2013

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Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

Over the past few years there has been a lot of controversy over some people and businesses opting for “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.”  Angry words have often resulted along with threats of boycotts, but little has changed, and both are still being used.  Personally, I prefer “Merry Christmas” because Christ is what the holidays are all about although the birth of our savior is often lost amid the lights, glitter, shopping, and giving and receiving of gifts.  I have serious doubts if there would even be any holidays during December if not for the Christ story.  If not for Christmas what would there be to celebrate during a month filled with rain, snow, cold, and just plain yucky dreary looking days – very little.  It would be just another month like January and February with little to celebrate other than the college football national championship, the Super Bowl, and boxes of little sugar hearts inscribed with “Be my valentine.”  I enjoy all three, but none of them bring forth the feeling of “good will to men” that is felt during the Christmas season.

Face it; Christmas puts us in the mood for “giving” and “family.”  Despite its hustle and bustle, it reminds of us of the innocence of childhood, the magic of believing in miracles, and the comfort of knowing we are so loved that our creator sacrificed his only son to ensure a home for each of us in his kingdom.  As long as Christians keep these things in their hearts, it doesn’t matter that a few people or businesses use “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” In fact, if every Christian kept the spirit of Christmas in his or her heart, there would be so many fires burning for Christ, no business would dare not have “Merry Christmas” in every window in their stores.   I may be wrong, but my faith in God tells me I am right when I say there is little good that can come from getting angry about someone using “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”  Why should I let the actions of others ruin my Christmas?

My point is that it is not worth losing your Christmas spirit over someone using holiday phrasing that may make you cringe and get angry every time you hear it.  From what I read about Christ, I believe he would have prayed for these people, but I do not believe he would have been overly upset at their word selection.  My knowledge of Christ leads me to believe it is more important for each of us to keep the spirit of Christmas in our own hearts and not judge someone else for how he or she chooses to celebrate or acknowledge Christmas.  The most powerful witness we can give is through our actions and how we live our lives – not in what we say or don’t say.  Besides, I do not believe it is humanly possible to say “Happy Holidays” without thinking of Christmas, and isn’t that what we want at Christmas – to keep Christmas in the hearts and minds of men?  So, though I prefer “Merry Christmas,” I would like to wish each and every individual and business “Happy Holidays” and a “Merry Christmas,” as well as challenge anyone saying “Happy Holidays” not to think about Christmas.  You see, I believe whether you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Christmas is on your mind, and that is what God intended from the beginning.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

JL

Copyright © 2013 Jack Linton

Top 10 Profile of Facebook Participants

DISCLAIMER:  These blogs are not intended to offend anyone, but are written to hopefully make you think, and maybe have a little fun.  The observations I make are as much about me as anyone.  I do believe that one of the biggest problems with our society today is that we often take ourselves too seriously, so if you are offended take a pill and chill, and remember, the first finger I always point is at myself.

 

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

I often wonder why I bother with Facebook, but where else can you find moms, pops, grand kids, conspiracy theorists, borderline schizophrenia, every phobia you might imagine, goof-balls, world saviors, and clowns in the same place.  After looking at Facebook the past couple of years, I have developed a profile of the average Facebook participant that I believe is fairly accurate.  Now my profile does not apply to the growing minority of people who use Facebook primarily to share photos and news with family and friends, but rather I am profiling those of us who can’t help but share our latest conspiracy theory, gossip, or uninvited opinion.  So if you really want to know what your average Facebook participant looks like, take a look at my Top 10 Profile of Facebook Participants:

The Average Facebook Participant Profile . . . .

10.       They are usually well respected people who have good intentions and mean well.

9.         They are centophobic – They have a fear of new things or ideas.

8.         They are xenophobic – They have a fear of people who are different from them.

7.         They have sociopath tendencies:  (a) They often do not recognize the rights of others – only their own; (b)  They feel entitled to certain things as “their right;” (c)  They can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers, abilities, and rights; (d)  They can be extremely convincing; and (e)  They believe the end always justifies the means, and they will let nothing stand in their way to obtain that end.

6.         They are staunch believers in the second amendment, and they pack or plan to pack a gun to protect family and keep the peace.  They believe without apology in their right to be judge, jury, and executioner of the bad guys they might encounter.

5.        They are always on the lookout for something to offend them.

4.         They border on paranoid schizophrenia – it’s US against THEM!

3.         They exhibit an anti-government phobia – everyday there is a new government conspiracy.

2.         They have a doomsday mentality – ObamaCare, Common Core, Agenda 21, Welfare, Social Security, socialism, and too much salt in our diets are all conspiracies contrived by big government to exterminate the common man and bring about the fall of the United States of America.

1.         They believe what they believe, and you can believe whatever you believe as long as it falls in line with what they believe.

Therefore beware of anyone waving the American flag, driving an American made car but preferably an American made truck, whose favorite TV show is about duck calling bearded millionaires who are laughing all the way to bank, who is afraid to show or keep his photo on line more than three consecutive days, hates government but can’t wait to retire and draw his rightful portion of social security, believes there is a government conspiracy against the little man, hates just about anybody that doesn’t look, talk, or act like him, and believes he has all the right answers and if you don’t believe it, he has a .45 on his belt to back it up.

And . . . . Oh yeah . . . . I just realized why I stay tuned to Facebook – I enjoy the circus.

I don’t mean to offend, but I say it like I see it.

JL

Copyright © 2013 Jack Linton