I scanned the article with only passing interest until I saw his name1. It was one of those ‘home town boy makes good’ features about a California native son, who had fashioned a brilliant business plan to save an area hospital and whose beneficence had significantly impacted his entire community. When I saw the name Sam Davis attached to this wealthy benefactor, I almost fainted.
Maybe it’s just the season. With all the ‘joy of giving’ talk going around, I’ve often wondered if the joy is really focused on the giving, or is it the fact that if everyone’s giving then I’m pretty sure that I’m getting as well. In short, while we frequently extol the virtues of sacrifice and beneficence, do they truly play a significant role in our lives? And, if we take as a given that such behavior is to be lauded, what role should educators be playing in the teaching of such values?
I remember it like yesterday. I was a private school principal in Los Angeles and we were a scant ten days into the school year when, early that September morning, we received the devastating news. The day was September 11, 2001. Early that morning we turned on our televisions and watched in horror the images of the terrorists attack on the Twin Towers in New York which killed thousands of Americans. There were unconfirmed reports of another plane headed towards LA and all public areas feared being the next target.
I cannot remember a time when the teaching profession has been subjected to such a withering attack. It is hard to open to the editorial section of the newspaper without seeing some sort of commentary on the need for immediate and far reaching reform in the public school education system. Opinions abound regarding new state regulations, common standards and outside assessment of anything and everything happening in our schools. As I wrote in last week’s blog; the eyes of the nation are upon us, and they are not happy with what they see.
So who won? That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind in the days following the Chicago teacher strike. As far as I can tell it’s probably a toss-up. In the end compromise was reached and kids (who were the real losers) finally went back to class. One would be naïve to believe that [...]
The inconsistency could not be more glaring. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, speaking at the recent Democratic Convention, sought to rally the troops of teachers to the party cause by stating that the president, “believes teachers must be respected and paid like the professionals they are,” and that, “no teacher should have to teach to the test.” Say what?
Not to be one to knock Readers Digest, but in general it is not known for its philosophical content. And yet one of the best pieces of advice regarding education was found on one of its pages. (I know, I really should get out more.)
Even though our children’s ears are firmly sealed to the sound of advice, their eyes are wide open to the sight of example.