Thursday, June 17, 2021

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What’s your plan? (03/18/2021)

About the turn of the century, I worked for the County of Sutter in the Data Processing Department, dabbling in all things personal computer-wise for 800 plus county employees. It was interesting to me how many of them shared my church affiliation. I had, up until that time, considered myself a very poor reader. One of my weaknesses in college was my reading. I spent many additional hours over my peers gleaning the material even before I could start memorizing to regurgitate for tests. At this season of life, it was technical content. You ask me to what? You want me to read for fun? I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon. With that in mind, I am still somewhat taken aback as to how one of my sisters in the Gospel left a book in my hands (maybe pun intended). It’ll be good for you is something of what she left me with.

By my growth today, the book was an easy read. Besides that, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a smart read. The title says it all, and Robert Fulghum makes his point wittingly. The quick summation is the application of the Golden Rule. The back dust cover tells us that he considers himself a philosopher that likes to think about everyday things and then expresses what he thinks by writing, speaking, or painting. I don’t paint yet. Fulghum has my admiration as well as a spot on my list of heroes. He instructs as to why we need to play in the sandbox because, in the end, we need to know how to get along with each other.

Not all is well with Pierce HS. To my extreme disappointment, we let some young talent slip away from us. These are teachers that have proven to me that they are more than capable of molding students’ minds toward achieving academic success and making that experience fun. Band class is fun, so I will give you credit. Math isn’t at the top of most students’ list of thrills. To let teachers go when their students are learning and enjoying just doesn’t make sense. Life outside the sandbox is tough.

And so goes the revolving door at Pierce High School; teachers are sent packing, and students are given a diploma that neither prepares them for college or work in the world. I question the culture of a school district that doesn’t put students first. I sit on an advisory board (Site Counsel) that neither seeks my input nor the committee’s desire to benefit. The school board received a petition from students asking to hear them and retain their teachers. Compare the number of student signatures on the petition presented to the board to maintain the teachers’ votes in the last board election. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Who do they represent? It would be quite another story if the students elected their representatives. I am amazed at the number of letters that went to the board favoring these teachers’ tenure. I wish you could have heard the comments from the open portion of the meeting. All this fell on deaf ears.

I am one frustrated parent. We at PJUSD could benefit from those lessons penned by Robert Fulghum. We need to start somewhere; the present situation isn’t going anywhere but backward, and that’s not pleasant. Godspeed.

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