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Showing posts from May, 2015

Graduations Require Reflection - Let's Reflect On What It's All About(It's For The Students Too)

Recently, a local story was picked up nationally about a high school that was not going to allow a Native American student to wear a feather in her graduation cap. For more info, see the link here (http://goo.gl/vM3lZU).      Their rationale was that the district has to “maintain the integrity of the graduating class.” First of all, what does that mean? Is that gobbly gook edu speak or what?       In the end, they may have decided to wisely reverse their decision.  However, there will be plenty of these kinds of rules at thousands of graduations at American high schools in the coming weeks.    For better or worse, graduations serve as one of the foundational rites of passage in our culture.  These graduation ceremonies mean a great deal to parents, grandparents, families, educators and communities.  But they are also extremely important to the graduates themselves. They serve as their rite of passage to adulthood.      I’m not here to discuss if these ceremonies should be so cultural…

Sports And The Arts Have Always Worked - Maybe The Rest Of School Should Pay Attention

A number of years ago, a veteran and almost retiring science teacher shared a rather profound thought with me that has continued to provide me great reflection.
      He said, “Why don’t we make all schools like the two things that people care about and that actually work? Sports and the Arts.” For a moment, I thought he was being somewhat facetious. But he was really acknowledging the success of those and wanted the rest of school to pay attention.        We both exchanged thoughts on this for awhile and presumed that we were on to something.  It's true. Sports, Band, Choir, Drama and so on have always engaged students and their communities. Why? Maybe it’s not that complicated.      First of all, they are PUBLIC.  That’s right.  All sporting contests and arts performances have public culminating activities on a regular basis. Both sports and the arts have fans and audiences.       In addition to being public, they are REAL.  We talk about real world things like they are so dist…