Sunday, July 30, 2006

Foley VS Sanders

I just watched an interview on Channel 13 with John Foley. Mr. Foley is the Interim Superintendant for TPS while they search for a permanent replacement for Dr. Sanders.

Let me first say that I did not dislike Dr. Sanders. I think he had some very good ideas as the Superintendant for TPS, but I do not think that many of his ideas fit our school district. To me personally, it felt as if he was trying to make the school district look good on the outside, while not working on what is truly important on the inside.

I have only been a TPS parent for a few years, this year is the 4th year that my children have been in the TPS school district. So I will never call myself a "PRO" on the district, nor do I know everything to be known about it. I cannot tell you all the members of those that run the district, nor am I as active in my childrens schools as I could be. I am simply stating my personal thoughts on the things that I have dealt with in my childrens schools.

Anyway, back to the original topic. I'm sorry for those of you that supported Dr. Sanders, but personally I am glad that he is gone. I feel that he over looked what I feel to be the true problem in TPS. I know I will probably draw alot of criticism with what I am about to say, but I am ok with that. I feel one of the biggest problems with TPS is that there are simply too many teachers who are not willing or capable of taking the time they should with their students. I am in no way shape or form saying that this is every teacher, nor am I pointing out any specific teachers.

One of the things that I dealt with this past school year was a teacher who formed an opinion about one of my children at the very beginning of the school year and no matter what my child did through out the remainder of the year, that opinion never changed. I do understand that I will not always like my childrens teachers, I remember having teachers myself that I did not care for. But I think it is wrong of a teacher to not give a child a fair chance! This teacher went our of their way last year to not only single out my child in front of their peers, but also to humilate my child on a regular basis. I had many meetings not only with this teacher, but also with the school administration, but until the end of the school year, it was a constant battle.

If I compare this teacher, to the teachers my child had in the two previous years at their other school, I see huge differences. The preivous 2 years, my childs teachers went out of their way to actually teach, not only for my child, but all of the other children in class also. If a child did not understand, they would take the time and steps to see to it that they did learn. I seen this in EVERY teacher in that school, they all seemed to genuinely care about the children and their education. This past year all I seen from my childs primary teacher was them pointing out every negative thing they could about my child. The teacher labled my child an "attention seeked" because my child would raise their hand to ask questions, and sometimes they question did not apply to what was being discussed at the moment. It finally got to the point that when my child would raise their hand, the teacher would tell them "You don't need anything, put your hand down" without taking the time to find out if my child had a legitimate question or not, the teacher actually admitted this to me as did several other students in my childs classroom.

I am not the type of parent that says "My child is innocent". I know what my child is like at home. But I also know that whether or not a teacher likes a child, they have a legal obligation to teach that child, PERIOD. I reached out on more than one occasion to not only the administration at my childs school, but also many people at the administration building to try and get some help with this situation. I also found out that I was not the only parent who had problems with this teacher about how a student was treated. But the school principal and vice principal were steadfast about what a wonderful teacher this was and how they were a very sought out teacher for this grade.

Anyway, my hope is that Mr. Foley will take the time and put the focus back where it needs to be put. There are too many children in TPS that are either being looked over or singled out and that is just wrong. I understand being a teacher in this day and age is a VERY difficult job, but they have an obligation to these children and if they cannot fulfill this obligation, then they need to find a different career. I could never be a teacher, and I am thankful to those who have chosen this career. But if you cannot do what you are supposed to do, not only as a teacher, but at any career, then you need to move on!

Thanks for listening!

Friday, July 28, 2006

First Random Thought

I decided to start this blog in hopes of drawing some attention to the things that I feel are a problem with my kids' schools. It's not that I'm against TPS, it's just that I think they currently have the focus on the wrong things.
First example: School Uniforms
It's not that I don't like school uniforms, but if I wanted my kids to wear them I would send them to private schools, not public. I could understand them having the kids wear uniforms if our schools had high ratings, but we don't. Many of the schools in the district are in academic emergency. I also think that if the students are required to wear uniforms, the staff should wear them also, and at TPS the staff gets to wear what ever they want to, well, not jeans, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.
But I think that there are more things they should put the focus on rather than making these kids wear uniforms. For many families it causes financial hardships. It's not like these kids wear uniforms 24/7, they still need street clothes, so you have to buy double the amount of clothes that you normally would. On top of that, if you don't catch the stores at the right time, it can be impossible to find the right type of clothes for the right time of year. It's much easier to find long sleeved shirts when you need short sleeved ones, etc.
So, if anyone reads this, and you are somehow involved with Toledo Public School District in Toledo, Ohio, tell me what your thoughts are on this please!