Monday, September 08, 2008

First one of the year

I suspended my first student of the year today, in fact the first student at our school to be suspended this year.
I report this with no particular happiness- I take no joy in suspending kids, but simply as a fact. It happened.
Now, do I think suspending this particular student is going to have any positive impact on him or his desire to reform his behavior? Not particularly. But I'm not sure how many other options I had available to me.
Allow me to explain:
After school on Friday, this young man made, in front of me, a teacher, and a parent, what appeared to me to be an obscene gesture towards another student. I asked him to come over to me to discuss the issue, and was met with typical early-teen attitude and denial. My intention at the time was to give a brief "don't-do-that-here-again" lecture, but he continued with the attitude and started to walk away. I followed and told him to come back, but he continued to walk off. I said, "I'm not going to chase you, but I will see you on Monday," giving him a last chance to return without any serious consequence, but to no avail. I tracked the student down through a little detective work and found he had a history last year of similar behaviors.
Now, the question is, did I do the right thing to suspend him from school? (1 day, for those who are wondering).
My situation, I feel, limited me a bit:
1) I'm new at the school this year, so I am establishing my credibility with students, teachers, and parents alike at this point.
2) This incident took place in public, in front of parents and other students.
3) The student had a history of similar behaviors.

Number 3, more than the other 2, made up my mind for me. Had this been a first-time kind of thing, I would have chosen another consequence, but didn't feel like I could under the circumstances.

What would you have done?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Where to find the time?

It isn't that I haven't had anything to say for a while, it's more that I haven't had the time, or the energy, or the time when I've had the energy, or the energy when I've had the time.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Now, though, I've got both energy and time, but no coherent thoughts to put down. That, however, is no obstacle to an intrepid blogger, so I shall press onward and upward, like Sir Edmund and his Sherpa.

Good Lord, what am I talking about? "Sir Edmund and his Sherpa?" Did I really say that? God, I am such a dork.

So here, then, are a few random thoughts from the last few weeks:
Geez, now I've abandoned the whole grand literary style for an Andy Rooney-type thing? Do I have an original thought left in my head? And speaking of Rooney, what's the deal with this external-italicized-internal-dialogue crap I'm doing here? I must have completely lost it.
  • The RNC. One word: Scary. Republicans have run out of ideas on how to improve the country, so they are reduced to attacking others. Nothing original, just bash the other guy.
  • Gas prices. Lower, which is good. Still way too high, and likely never to return to the $2 range (which, coincidentally, seemed outrageously high not too long ago.) We're used to paying more, and the oil companies will NEVER drop them that low again.
  • Cub Scouts. I spent 4 days with my 8-year-old son on Catalina Island at Scout camp. We had a lot of fun, but the best part was building the next phase of our relationship, one that's open and sharing. That's not easy for me, but I liked it.
  • My new job. I like it. A lot! I liked my old job, too, and I don't want to disparage my old district at all, but I'm really enjoying my new assignment. Especially now the kids are back at school. For a while I was spinning my wheels without much to really do. Lots to learn, but little to do. That's all changed now!
OK, better now, but still kind of weird. I mean, is this blog about education, politics, economics, or parenthood? What is the audience you're trying to reach here, anyway. And, seriously, this dialogue thing is getting old. Knock it off.

  • Blogging/blog reading. Haven't done much of either lately. I've spent some time on Twitter, mainly reading other's tweets and posting my own occasional update, but I have not spent much time reading other blogs or working on this one. I skim the titles in the RSS feeds occasionally, but don't do much reading beyond that. And unfortunately, I don't think that's going to change much soon.
  • I'm considering EdD programs in my area. Suggestions? I'd love to do USC or UCLA, but I don't want to drive into LA every week for the next three years. CSUF, APU, UCI, maybe even an online program. I want one with a good reputation that provides a vaild experience, but at the same time respects my time as someone with a demanding full-time job.
That's about all for now- I think that takes care of most of the mini-ideas that have been floating around in my head.
Hope you've enjoyed reading!