Today, I did two radio interviews: Good Morning Westchester with James Marino and Parenting Tips 2 Go with Dr. Stacy on WIAMradio.com. (Please go to 14:15 on this link to listen to my interview with Dr. Stacy.)
Both hosts asked me essential questions:
Good Morning Westchester’s James Marino – “Why do you say we need more ineffective teachers?” OK -this one is a teaser from my press kit. It refers to NY Gov Cuomo trying to create an untested teacher evaluation plan to get rid of more teachers. I have blogged about this. Now this one has new meaning: I was just speaking to a great music teacher I know who has refused to do some ridiculous extra writing. Her punishment: she will most likely be rated “effective” rather than “highly effective.” Meanwhile, she’s producing Broadway shows with her kids every semester. Music, sets, costumes…you name it. The extra paperwork just clogs her already thick schedule and she’s just had enough of these counter-productive and time consuming busy-work tasks. So — because she has been bringing joy, enthusiasm and challenge to her students, her “effective” rating suffers. Guess what? She doesn’t care. So I say, let’s bring on more “ineffective” teachers, I say!!! They’re the ones making our kids love learning.
Dr. Stacy on her show, Teen Thoughts (Parenting Tips 2 Go), asked me, based on my travels to 25 Manhattan public high schools in one wacky year, “How do teens feel about school?” My answer: Anxiety, for sure. Here’s what I discovered from some of the kids I met:
- Kids in top schools are anxious about grades and getting into good colleges…
- A couple of kids in one of the underserved schools I subbed in are anxious because they expect to go to jail. One for armed robbery. He’s in a gang.
- Kids in dual language programs are anxious about fitting in…they just want to become American teens, get the language down, buy their Foamposite sneakers and Hollisters. Highly motivated, they are being tested to weariness and they continue to fail. We are teaching them failure.
We need to honor their light, their value, what they love and find ways (we have them – think project-based learning, for example) to give them academic and personal victories. Meanwhile….
I’m grateful to have these opportunities to air their voices. Thank you “good” media.