Life and Family:
Life is good. Seriously. I know there are things that are icky and annoying and get us down, but overall, things are good and I have to remember that each day. Focus on the good. One of the really good things this week was our annual visit to the pumpkin patch. We have a great place here in Santa Barbara called Lane Farms (run by the Lane family whose kids were in my first class that I taught at the high school. They are now both teachers!). We do the corn maze every year. Notice I did not say we complete the corn maze. I'd say we have less than a 50% success rate, but this year we triumphed!
We choose our pumpkins, get gourds and corn to decorate the dining room table, and we check out the farm animals (yes, I always "talk" to the turkey).
Here I am with my parents
(not sure why my photos are all grey on the bottom. They are from my phone...)
Every year my daughter and I get a photo of the two of us at the pumpkin patch. It's a staple on our Holiday card
The farm has a great collection of old fashioned vehicles. This one is a school bus from 1901.
The craziness of our new website is almost over. What's been the most frustrating thing for me is working with some of the faculty (hmmm. I wonder if any of them will read this post. Oh well). While most are cruising along, working really hard, taking all this new change in stride, there a quite a few who seem to complain about everything that comes their way. They don't like change, assume it's bad, and whine about it to me. I don't want to hear it. Too much negative.
I went last night to see the movie Waiting for "Superman", which is all about schools, education, and teachers. A friend organized a small group of us from school to go together and we stood around in the lobby for about 40 minutes afterward talking about it, which was great to do.
While the movie made good points about the frustrations of standardized testing, teachers who aren't effective, classrooms lacking in resources, and more I felt like it was missing anything new. Will non educators come away saying "OMG! Education is in the toilet!"? They kept talking about quality and good teachers, but never talked about what that means. They showed good schools and schools that weren't doing as well, but never pointed out that what makes a good school depends on funding, parent support, an administration that supports its staff and is strong, teachers who care (and actually like students), and students who can come to school without so much baggage that they can actually concentrate and learn.
Blaming teachers is just too easy. Education isn't just teachers. It's students, parents, teachers and administrators working to figure out the best way to help our students learn and become productive citizens.
Books and Reading:
I am having a pretty interesting reading week (details to come in tomorrow's It's Monday). My Book Group met on Thursday and we talked about Jamie Ford's The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which I really enjoyed. My other book group meets this coming Wednesday so I am madly trying to finish Mornings in Jenin by then.