Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day

I ran out of time last night, so I am going to tell you about two lovely days wrapped together in one post!

First of all, yesterday was my birthday, and the kids were sooo excited!  Really, any celebration is more for them than me anyway, but who's paying attention?  Last year, I had to make my own cake because the kids wanted birthday cake, and who else was going to make it?  This year, a friend gave me a giant birthday cookie, so at least I didn't have to bake a cake.  The cookie was so good and covered in blue icing that Mayhem actually had God bless the birthday cookies before he blessed the birthday girl during prayers last night.  Mischief just tells everybody that I'm old and asks me, "Since you're old now, do you forget stuff?  Do you need to go to the doctor?  How long before you die?"  Happy Birthday to me.

I spent most of my birthday making dairy and nut free cookies for the Valentine's day parties at the schools.  This wouldn't have been a chore, except it was my birthday (and I am now old), and I, evidently, do not have a decent recipe for dairy free cookies.  Basically, I fed the kids in both classes playdoh patties.  But, my icing was good (as my icing is always good), and that really makes the cookie anyway, right?

At these parties, there is always fun stuff going on.  For instance, at the 3 year old preschool party, two of the kids do not speak English.  That's always fun.  They simply get frustrated and start yelling.  I do not know how Mayhem's teacher does it.  She is a saint.  Really, all teachers are saints.  But, Mayhem is one of the calmer kids in class!  In fact, on kid keeps lifting her shirt, or pulling it down, since there is a new baby at home.

Mischief's kindergarten teacher is also a saint.  And, no, she did not pay me to say that!  She puts up with a lot, as all teachers do, and Mischief genuinely loves her teacher.  More importantly than her teacher, however, is her teacher's son.  He goes to the same school, and is in second grade.  Mischief has come to know him and dearly loves him, too!  She refused to leave her party today, until we stayed after school so Porter could make a Valentine's day cookie with her.  She knows he likes to decorate cookies, so she is always very concerned that he gets his cookie!

Kids are so stinking cute at this age!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


We all know that today's educational system is not what it used to be.  Kindergarten is like first and second grade used to be, etc, etc.  Also, the generation of kids who are graduating these days have had access to technology that we never did, etc.  I am not telling you anything new, or anything you didn't already know.

However, yesterday, I was subbing at a local high school.  One of the teachers I was working with handed me the school newspaper.  I thought this was unusual because, "Why do I care about the school newspaper?" since I only sub a couple days a week, so I'm only there a few times a month.  Anyway, so I read the first article of the paper, and was astounded.  I could not believe what I was reading.  I mean, I knew the "no child left behind" theory was letting people pass when, let's face it, they don't really deserve to pass and/or graduate. 

As I was reading the article, I could not believe what I was reading.  At this school (soon to be more schools district and/or state wide), there are no more zeros given for homework.  Yes, you read that right.  No more zeros for missing homework.  If a student doesn't turn in his or her homework, the lowest he can get is a 50%!!!!!  If they turn it in, even though every answer is wrong, the lowest they get is a 60%.  The theory behind it is, there are so many kids failing, and they get discouraged when they have a zero for homework, because it takes so much work and effort to bring up the zero, that most of the kids don't try.  With this system, the kids (theoretically) will be more motivated to keep trying and bring up their failing grades. 

Personally, this is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of!  I knew kids when I was in school, who never turned in homework and still aced the tests.  There would be a lot more than that, if they knew they still got a 50-60% on homework for not turning it in!  The kids will learn nothing!  And by nothing, I mean they will learn less than nothing because they are being rewarded for doing nothing.

These kids are the ones who (in the next 1-4 years) will be out in the workforce.  Educated people have problems getting jobs now, but all the jobs will soon be taken over by kids who are graduated and cannot spell "tiniest" correctly.  Yes, one of the programs we were working with yesterday was teaching seniors how to spell "tiniest," "windiest," etc.  There is something wrong that these kids cannot spell and will be graduating!  But, they will be ok, since they are now getting credit for doing NO WORK!!!