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Posts Tagged ‘school’

No Child Left Behind Football

picture of bill signing

This evening, in honor of presidents past and present trying to influence education and of Ted Kennedy, the one who "shepherded" the "bipartisan" No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) through the Senate, I am posting a parody, author unknown. What I'm posting below has made the rounds often by e-mail and on forums and blogs, but it just seemed to be crying out to become a permanent part of my blog archives at this time in our nation's history and here at the beginning of football season.

I read online the transcript of Obama's speech today to school children. I think it's probably vastly different from what he had planned to say before so many parents expressed their concerns about his agenda in doing this speech. He said some very good things that leave me wondering, based on his policies, if he actually believes much of what he said.

picture of banging head on a brick wall

Our son Mark and his wife Katie are teachers in the public school system where they have to deal with the repercussions of NCLB and governmental demands almost on a daily basis and face the frustration of having to spend so much time on peripherals that they often don't have adequate time to do the course preparations they would like to or cover the material that they need to.

If the demands of NCLB were placed on the game of football, here's what it would look like.

No Child Left Behind Football

picture of football goal

1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time, even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!

3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will be kept only in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.


I know that there are probably as many proponents of NCLB as there are detractors. Do any of you readers have any personal insights to add? Any thoughts on Obama's talk with our nation's school children today?


"The repetition of small efforts will accomplish more than the occasional use of great talents." - Charles H. Spurgeon

=^..^= =^..^=

Everybody repeat after me... "We are all individuals."

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What’s Your Motive?

What motivates you? How do you motivate others? Is it even possible to motivate others?

Motivation is an interesting phenomenon. Here at the beginning of a new school year, we teachers try to think of ways to motivate some of our less enthusiastic students to try harder in our classes. Not necessarily an easy thing to do. If you read the "experts" in the field, you find a wide range of ideas and suggestions — instructor's enthusiasm, reasonable expectations and goals, showing relevance of the material, asking engaging questions, active involvement and participation of students, building self-confidence, variety, rewards and privileges, rapport between teacher and students, and on and on it goes.

There's a whole industry out there whose goal is to help motivate people. One of their products is the motivational poster. You've undoubtedly seen them. They generally have a symbolic picture, a keyword, and an inspiring or motivating saying or quotation. Here's an example…

motivational poster on destiny

Here's one on persistence…

motivational poster on persistence

There's another whole industry that is a spin-off of the motivational posters. They call their products demotivational posters. Here's their version of persistence…

demotivational poster on persistence

Their whole premise is that "motivational products create unrealistic expectations, raising hopes only to dash them." They go on to say, "…we created our soul-crushingly depressing Demotivators® designs, so you can skip the delusions that motivational products induce and head straight for the disappointments that follow!"

This poster of theirs pretty well sums up their philosophy…

demotivational poster on motivation

Some of their posters are quite cynical, but many are downright hilarious. Sometimes the picture is indispensable and other times their wording is enough. Here are a my absolute favorites…

demotivational poster on apathy

Blame - The Secret to Success is Knowing Who to Blame for Your Failures.

demotivational poster on burnout

Challenges - I expected times like this - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.

demotivational poster on cluelessness

Defeat - For Every Winner, There are Dozens of Losers. Odds are You're One of Them.

Dysfunction - The Only Consistent Feature of All of your Dissatisfying Relationships is You.

Failure - When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough.

Futility - You'll Always Miss 100% of the Shots you Don't Take, and, Statistically Speaking, 99% of the Shots You Do.

demotivational poster on incompetence

Ineptitude - If You Cant' Learn to Do Something Well, Learn to Enjoy Doing It Poorly.

Mistakes - It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life Is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others.

Pessimism - Every Dark Cloud Has a Silver Lining, but Lightning Kill Hundreds of People Each Year Who are Trying to Find it.

demotivational poster on tradition

Trouble - Luck Can't Last a Lifetime Unless You Die Young.

Underachievement - The Tallest Blade of Grass is the First to be Cut by the Lawnmower.

Wishes - When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

You can see the whole Demotivators® collection on their website despair.com and maybe even decide to buy some of their funny products.

Before leaving despair.com behind, I'd like to highlight a couple more of their posters. Here's one that goes to the very heart of this French teacher…

demotivational poster on effort

I wonder if anyone has shown these two demotivational posters to Obama…

demotivational poster on hope

demotivational poster on change

Ever since I first found the Demotivators® website, I have been saving things that others have put together, following the same basic template, satirizing a number of areas of life. Here are some of the ones I've collected…

demotivational poster on cleaning

demotivational poster on committees

demotivational poster on individualism

demotivational poster on misspelling

demotivational poster on uniqueness

demotivational poster on unity

I found one that I altered — I thought that the blank image with nothing but the word Alzheimer's was over the edge, so here's my softened version of it…

demotivational poster on senior moments

I hope that you were more amused than demotivated by the preceding posters!

Anyway, back to motivation… What motivates you? If you are in a position to try to motivate others, what works for you? Like those posters above, what has demotivated you at times?

As cute as it may be, would the following "motivational" poster be enough for you or those around you?

demotivational poster on awesomeness

I fear that that is what is happening in many classrooms today — teachers telling their students how great they are in an effort to motivate them.

I'm really looking forward to getting some reader input on this whole area of motivation.


"When I choose to sin, it's like taking a spoonful of death because sin and death go together." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

In the world of political correctness, people aren't lazy, they're only selectively motivated.

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Did He Pass the Test?

boy taking a test

Does the thought of taking tests fill you with terror? Probably. Classes haven't even begun for us yet, and I'm already thinking about tests. We're in faculty in-service meetings this week on campus and they have been excellent - very helpful and thought-provoking! Next week we'll be working in our offices getting our courses ready to go. Then after several days of course registration, classes will begin September 3. Part of teaching is writing and grading tests. But tests aren't limited just to the realms of academia. Many potential employees have to take tests to show their competencies for the jobs they'd like to land.

Here's a story about a man in that very situation.

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad, and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

Tom seems like a good prospect, and the inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz. He starts off by asking, "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"

Tom says, "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.

"I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.

"Then," Tom continues, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if the phone were busy?"

"In that case," Tom argues, "I'd run to the street level and use the public phone near the station".

"What if that had been vandalized?"

Tom quickly replies, "In that case I'd run into town and get my Uncle Leo."

The puzzled inspector asks, "Why would you do that?"

"Because he's never seen a train crash!"

(So, did Tom pass the test and land the job?)

Now here's a little test for you. It appears to be a list of trick questions with obvious answers, but it really is!

The world's easiest test?

(Answers follow, but NO cheating!)

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get catgut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI's first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Now remember ... NO cheating!

Answers to the world's easiest test…

1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

2. Ecuador.

3. From sheep and horses.

4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

5. Squirrel fur.

6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria — Island of the Dogs.

7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.

8. Distinctively crimson.

9. New Zealand. (Chinese gooseberries is an older name for kiwifruit.)

10. Thirty years, of course! From 1618 to 1648.


If that test made you feel as dumb as it made me feel, maybe this final item about testing will make you feel like a rocket scientist (or at least a rocket surgeon…).

A college football coach had recruited a top talent for the team, but the player couldn't pass the school's entrance exam. Needing the recruit badly, the coach went to the dean and asked if the recruit could take the test orally. The dean agreed, and the following day the recruit and the coach were seated in his office.

"OK," the dean said, "What is seven times seven?"

The recruit looked terrified as he thought it over for a moment then said, "I think it's 49."

The coach immediately jumped to his feet. "Oh, come on, Dean," he begged, "give him another chance!"

Lends weight to the oxymoronic nature of the expression "sports scholarship," doesn't it? Do you have a test experience you'd like to tell about? We'd love to read about it in the comments.


"Right affections lead to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right living." - Dr. Bryan Smith

=^..^= =^..^=

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, then the lesson afterwards.

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Weird Science

A freshman at Eagle Rock High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair a few years back. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to the alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide." And for plenty of good reasons, since it can

    1. cause excessive sweating and vomiting
    2. it is a major component in acid rain
    3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
    4. accidental inhalation can kill you
    5. it contributes to erosion
    6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
    7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients


He asked 50 people if they would support a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was water!

The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?" He believes that the conclusion is obvious.


Water is on the minds of a lot of us right now - the flooding in the Midwest and the severe drought in the Southeast. Our lawn is crunchy because I simply can't afford to spray dihydrogen monoxide on it as well as the Lord can. Speaking of water, just today I received a link to an interesting picture from nasa.gov - a picture of water on Mars - http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0504/WaterOnMars2_gcc.jpg

Though we try to live responsibly in our house, I for one am getting sick to death of hearing the expressions "green" and "global warming" - basically having them crammed down my throat. I strongly suspect that it is driven more by agenda than by science. And people are gullible enough to fall for it, lapping up whatever the alarmists dish out.

Now some more weird science, possibly as credible as some of what we're being assailed with lately....


Then there are those students who aren't quite as lucid as the freshman in the first story....

A teacher sent me the following list of comments from test papers, essays, etc., submitted to science and health teachers by elementary, junior high, high school, and college students. As she noted, "It is truly astonishing what weird science our young scholars can create under the pressures of time and grades."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water"

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube"

"When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide"

"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."

"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."

"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."

"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader."

"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire"

"A super saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."

"Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas."

"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."

"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."

"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars, and eight cuspidors."

"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."

"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."

"Equator: A managerie lion running around the earth through Africa."

"Germinate: To become a naturalized German."

"Liter: A nest of young puppies."

"Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat."

"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."

"Planet: A body of earth surrounded by sky."

"Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"Vacuum: A large, empty space where the Pope lives."

"Before giving a blood transfusion, find out if the blood is affirmative or negative."

"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."

"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops."

"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it."

"For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."

"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."

Who knows, one of these young scholars could have first come up with the global warming hoax....


The poll that I had up for a week revealed that over 80% of my visitors prefer that I leave the picture of the Paris skyline at the top of my blog, and so there it remains. Thanks to those who took the time to give their input.


My most recent blog post was about senior swingers and their personal ads. This weekend we received some pictures of a young swinger ... our grandson Drew. Here are a few of the pictures we received:

our little swinger

a driving ambition

having lots of fun


"Today people boldly redefine right and wrong. ... The reason we want to redefine things is because we don't like the guilt we feel when we keep falling short" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

After eating, do amphibians have to wait one hour before getting out of the water?

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What Does a Teacher Make?

This past school year was my 35th year of teaching, and I still love teaching and students. This blog post is a reposting of something I sent out exactly five years and one day ago, at the conclusion of my 30th year of teaching. I can think of so many people in my past whose influence on me continues — several of them are reading this right now, and many who have passed away but who, in a sense, live on in their students. I'm sure many of you can think back to a teacher who made a huge impact on your life.

What does a teacher make?
by Taylor Mali

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He went on to tell the other dinner guests that he thought it was true what they say about teachers - "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To corroborate his statements, he said to another guest, "You're a teacher, Susan. What do you make?"

Susan, who had a reputation of honesty and frankness, replied, "You want to know what I make?"

"I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like the Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face if the student did not do his or her very best."

"I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence."

"I can make parents tremble in fear when I call home."

"You want to know what I make?"

"I make kids wonder."

"I make them question."

"I make them think critically."

"I make them apologize and mean it."

"I make them write."

"I make them read, read, read."

"I make them spell "definitely and beautiful" over and over again, until they will never misspell either one of those words again."

"I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on their final drafts in English."

"I make them experience music and art and the joy in performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves and their accomplishments."

"I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart ... and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you pay them no attention."

"You want to know what I make? - I make a difference."

"Now, what do you make?"

Updated 9/1/2010: Someone kindly sent me the name of the author of that poem, and I have inserted his name under the title. He himself mentions that there are several unattributed, "sanitized versions" of the original that have made the rounds and he's not bothered by it. I'll leave what's a sanitized version up since the original contains some stronger language not typical of ivman's blague.


"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself." - Chinese proverb

=^..^= =^..^=

2 teach is
2 touch lives
4 ever

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