THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Ice is nice

I’m sorry, “ice is nice” just seemed like the thing to leed with today. Being the relief that a bag of ice on top and bottom of my foot felt. Just following the doctor’s orders and if this doesn’t work a steroid shot. I don’t imagine that shot would be comfortable so I’ll freeze this foot off to avoid that one.

I’m waiting for sunrise when I started this post. I wish I was on the beach when I shot this one a while back but I’ll take a sunrise anywhere. It’s an inspirational thing to me. Even when it’s the end of my day and I’m going to bed after it.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I hope to see another beach sunrise or two before the year’s end. The different colors it generates in the sky and on the water and sand seem endless.

But till then I’ll do some local shooting this day if I can get my left leg working.

To the surprise of (NOBODY), lots of kids are way behind at school from the past few years of remote or no learning. And probably at every grade level. So why don’t we make some changes now that could try to recover some of the kids? At least discuss the ideas that could help make up for lost time.

I heard one suggestion of a longer school year and maybe summer school, but with teachers in short supply and already increased class sizes now stressing that resources, how likely is that? Plus a lot of them think about leaving the profession as it is. And then you’re going to make them work year-round or longer days. Not without a lot of renegotiating and that takes time.

Here is a novel suggestion. How about parents and teachers and communities and businesses pulling together to do their best at a problem that went on for a few years and will take at least a few years to correct? I’m worried that parents are just going to point fingers at the education system and teachers and administrators immediately because either they will probably have to fail a huge percentage of kids and we all know how that will fly. (Honesty is always a bitter pill to swallow)

Or maybe look at early detection of students and the levels they are at and put them in the right classes from the start. Leaving someone in class levels above them seems counterintuitive to me. But I know that is a very bitter pill for parents also to choke down. But who’s good and interest are we serving here? The kids or the parents? Obviously with a new school year starting either lots of kids will pass which will be a disservice to them and create a firestorm down the road or a firestorm now when they are held back.

One thing that comes to mind is if teachers could get parents to be active secondary teachers. To help catch up and reinforce lessons covered during the days. To have them actively involved in what their kids are being taught. Yeah, I know this has the chance of a snowball rolling through hell but if I were still a parent of a school-aged child you can bet your ass I’d be more involved in getting them on level or above again. Well, at least my better half would be. I’d pitch in. But it would be done.

I’m just spitballing here, I’m no educator. But I know we all know this is a major issue for kids that have been (not been) in school. Maybe it’s time companies give the parents a break and let them use more of their summers to educate. Maybe teaching colleges can be enlisted for more actual working internships to help kids at different levels in the same class? It’s hard enough to teach a large group of students on the same level. It’s almost an impossible task to expect success from teachers with students 1-2 grade levels behind the current grade.

Maybe instead of video games, we focus on education for a while. I do know no amount of bitching or finger pointing or protest or name calling is going to solve it or make it better.

If I were a parent and I had a child that had kept up I’d be worried they might not be moving along as fast because so many others have to catch up. So you are probably smart so keep them ahead yourself. Know what the material is and even ask them for more just for you. Be a partner with educators for a few years.

Thankfully there are a gazillion people smarter than me that are hopefully thinking about solutions and ways to implement them. But we all know how the wheels turn slowly, so each of us needs to do our part now while waiting for the machinery to catch up.

Random Thoughts of the Day (morning edition)

  • If I pretend I’m going to have company each day I tend to clean up more and get rid of old crap.
  • I need to work with my hands today so I think I’ll do some carving. That will be in between sanding down the back door frame. (Note: I got most back door done between the start and end of this post.)
  • I wish I had time yesterday to take some pictures of the family when we were all together. But family cookouts are a busy time for me.
  • If you ain’t learning you ain’t living.

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Howard County Maryland – Teachers

Today marks another significant change in my lifetime. This Tuesday evening I got the call from the Baltimore County Superintendent of schools. Well yes it was a call and a recording and it was for my daughter, but none the less it was the mark of yet another school year for my daughter who teaches in that system. Her 5th by the way. But this year is different. For she got married this summer and isn’t here to hear his words. Nor is she here for me to see the new outfit she got for the first day of school. Nor is she here to give a big hug and kiss to and wish her well.

But I digress, this is about teachers, who people always make a fuss over in a number of ways. I wish people had the ability to look at it from both the parents and teachers perspective. I’ve learned allot from listening to her stories. I’m looking back at how we interacted with teachers for our own children. We got better as they progressed but in the beginning I think we probably hovered a bit more than we should have.

In thinking about teachers and the work they do, its beyond me how we got to this point. But I can see it because both sides are so strong. What I mean by getting to this point is that I think that the gap between teachers and the public has grown to an unhealthy state. Parents are concerned about bad teachers. Yes I’m sure there are a few. Maybe more than a few. But I can attest to the fact that a great majority are wonderful people who most should consider blessed to have in front of their children every day. Then you have the teachers unions which really protect the teachers but also protect the bad ones.

So how do we get this done. We can’t have the general public picking our teachers and police and fire people at will. There isn’t any job consistency in that life. I think the system is more than capable of policing itself if it was allowed to. I think some general change of standards, based on the kids performance can be really unfair to disadvantaged areas where teachers are not only have less tools, they have more problems outside the school that the kids are dealing with that sometimes make school seem like small change. To me those teachers have to be graded on some kind of curve but there still needs to be accountability on every level and area. But not taking social inequity into account could damage those areas even more.

All I do know is that education is very important. We have and continue to fall further behind other nations in education. It’s not our teachers faults. Its our systems faults and if we don’t correct it soon we will not be the strongest nation in the world. Because knowledge is the true power. Its something we used to know and pride ourselves on. Now we can’t get our asses off of Facebook and Twitter and other mindless games and crap.

So lets all help and step up and make this a discussion and point that this country turns around quickly. Keep in mind, while Howard County has one of the best school systems in the country, we are bordered by some week ones also. Those are our neighbors. Were in the State of Maryland where we all need to be strong. Lets think about how we can share the wealth.

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Howard County Maryland – Schools

Well, this article isn’t really on schools. Its about those big Yellow vehicles that transport our kids to and from school. You know the ones that have the RED stop sign come out at the front and back of the bus when it stops. Oh and there are those yellow and then RED flashing lights that tell most normal people that they need to STOP.

For I’ve had it watching people just drive past buses when they are loading or unloading the children of this county and state. Now these people aren’t going to be inclined to read this article. Maybe that is the issue, some of them can’t read and don’t know that RED sign says STOP. But I digress. What I think we need to do is to start recording these infractions and put some stiff fines to them. Either us citizens or the bus drivers or the county by installing cameras need to remedy this before a innocent life is taken.

So keep in mind that Schools in the county are starting today. Keep in mind that getting there 30 seconds earlier than you would have if you had stopped isn’t worth the risk of hitting a child. And keep in mind that I might spend some time video taping you passing a stopped bus and I might just send it to someone who can do something about it.

So do the right thing. Slow down, stop when prompted and be careful. It’s school season again.