Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Time of Purple Penguins

Purple Penguin Create
clubpenguin

Ms. Tyrone nervously brushed her new shirt supplied by PTA funds, and glanced around the classroom.  This was her 40th year teaching, her last year.  With 100 sick-day accumulation, Ms. Tyrone would be teaching only 84 days.  How can I make it to day 84?...

She opened the door to Trailer 34 with a big smile, and received a loud welcoming and clapping.  Her 32 students wore shirts matching hers which pleased some parents but most parents were clearly unhappy.
Bath and Body Works Purple Penguin
Bath and Body Works

“Here are your desk numbers…Can you find yours!?”  Ms. Tyrone threw on a chipper, oh-this-will-be-so-much fun smile.  Confusion covered the children’s faces.  The parents who clustered in the back of the room were equally confused.

Finally smart 32 # raised her hand, bold and brave.  

“Mrs. Tyrone…why do we all have just numbers?
  
And why are the numbers followed by #, % or *?
  
And, why are we all wearing these tee-shirts of “purple penguins”?  And why…”

Ms. Tyrone held up her hand.  “I am to be called ‘Ms. Tyrone’ since that will not indicate whether or not I am married…er… 32 # .  The Purple Penguins shows all that being a girl or boy or one who is not sure, we all are exactly the same.”

Oh those parents are not happy, not happy at all.

Some really cute shirts

Ms. Tyrone continued, sweat covering her face. “Having a number completely eliminates having your own name, which invariably would indicate that you are a girl or boy or one who is not sure.” 

Dear Lord, I hate this, I hate this…

"And then finally, 32 #, we have these symbols---  # or a * or %--- next to your number. These will help me call you up by groups, to work especially with you or to arrange the desks.” 

I wonder how long that will last…

Some parents snickered, some looked confused, and a good number looked angry.


“Well, then!  26 % , will you please read the rules on the board, and we’ll get down to all the wonderful new history we will be learning this year."

I think I am going to vomit…” which she did, on 32 #.

Purple Tin Bucket / Pail
partyplace: nice stuff
"Purple Penguins" is also a computer game in which children can play with other children in a protected site and monitored by the parent.  That is all I know.  I'll ask my gr-kids. 

For further information on this issue in education, please go to these sites:

This is a huge issue in education, and will increase.  If you want to know more, access Google where both sides will be presented.  The above sites are a mixture.
                                                    And, now....


# * %... These are entirely my idea, maybe my projection into a time where this will become reality.  A bit of 1984  thrown in, followed with Attica, The Giver, Hunger Games, and with Animal Farm on the side.

Now, "Common Core" is radically changing education.  Please research this and come to your own conclusions.  And the Purple Penguins say, "Hi!"

 Twenty years ago in a staff meeting, the Principal informed us that there were some big changes in education coming in 15-20 years.  The NEA (National Education Association, one of the most powerful unions in California, if not all of the USA), along with many lobbyist and special interest groups, were promoting changes in the curriculum that would drastically change education to reflect new approaches, all of which would require revisionist viewpoints.  

I asked what-if questions:  What if the changes conflict in the teacher's  beliefs?  What if the changes eliminate or rewrite important elements of education ?  He told me (all of us), "Those are good questions."

As a teacher and a parent, I believe that math should be taught as math, not with an agenda.  Reading and writing should promote improved reading and writing skills, not a chance to indoctrinate.  History should reflect the history of our nation and world, including every single person in those events.

I also believe that any student who bullies another student should receive severe consequences.  Anti-bullying should become part of instruction in the classroom and at home.  Every child should have a safe classroom.  

What is deemed to meet these standards should be approved by independent educators, not special interest groups.

Parents should be given back the power they once had, and teach standards at home.  They must make the decisions that were/should be theirs to make.  



Source: Very Interesting

So here we are, and he was right.  I am retired.  



23 comments:

  1. Well said! Nothing in schools should be based on an agenda.

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    1. Thank you! Schools should be a place for learning, not for influencing the thinking of the next generation.

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  2. Purple Penguins...numbers....symbols....I have chills. Thank goodness I no longer have kids in school...but oh, my poor grandchildren.

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    1. Yes, oh, our grandchildren! Parents will have a rough job. Or maybe it will be up to the grandparents to be the stop gap.

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  3. Wow, that is taking PC crap to a whole new extreme. Not sure where these idiots get off thinking this way. Should be how it is, not how they want things to be perceived with some agenda behind it.

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  4. What a great post, Susan. Sounding as old as I am, I must say that I do wonder what the future will bring and so glad that I grew up in different times.

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    1. Same here. In our country school, we all knew each other well, knew their families. Anyone who picked on another kid paid for it at home, via the gossip grapeline.

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  5. I went to Catholic schools which had an agenda, no matter the subject. However, there should be nothing like that in public schools but all children should be treated the same and feel safe, no matter their race, creed or sexual orientation. Tolerance of other's ideas and respect for the other person is the only way we can hope for any peace in this world.

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    1. That is the key: Tolerance of other's ideas and respect for the other person...all children should be treated the same and feel safe,

      That should be a given; but to take everything to the extreme is when things go strange.

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  6. hmmmm i am not too much about pc these days :)

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  7. Not something I’ve ever come across.
    I am glad that I no longer have children at school. I don’t think I could cope with the constant change of rules in UK public (not private) schools.

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    1. Private schools have more control over what is taught and how. Public schools are swinging in the air, from one side to the other.

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  8. Sounds like your schools are in as much trouble as ours. We have a broad curriculum, too broad, so there isn't enough time to properly focus on the basics, literacy and numeracy. And so as not to be seen as discriminatory these days, aboriginal studies have been added to include the indigenous cultures, but-get this-NOT as a separate subject. no no no, the aboriginal cultures theme has been worked into every subject somehow. It's all so confusing. There is a huge call these days for going back to basics, making sure kids can read, write and do math before branching out into more complex stuff. We're also in trouble because many of our teachers don't know proper grammar or even how to teach. It's been said in our newspapers here that many Math teachers haven't been qualified as Math teachers, so while they may know their Math, they don't know how to teach, so students and teachers alike are floundering. I'm astounded myself that teachers are teaching in subjects they didn't study themselves. How can they possibly impart knowledge and know how to make it interesting enough to hold the attention of the kids?

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    1. Wow. We are all floating lost at sea here. What you have written is part of the PC world in which we must do the right thing, which may or may not involve learning. There are many Charter Schools here in California. Parents tired of the constantly changing correctness, which resulted in education and learning decline. Thank you, thank you.

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  9. Went off on the wrong tangent there and totally forgot the PC thing. I wish PC everywhere had never reared its ugly head.

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  10. Ha! Purple Penguin. That's my daughter's code name.

    Too much educational policy is formulated by people who are far removed from the classroom. Every teacher I know - and that's quite a lot - just wants to be able to do his/her job. The system does not always make it easy.

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    1. Most new curriculum/textbooks come out of Texas, and it is frightening to hear what will and will not be included in them. WW2 was reduced to two pages in my daughter's highschool history class, while other PC issues merited almost a chapter.

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  11. Interesting! My kids' school district has been making the news the last couple weeks because they're fighting having common core. It's not so easy as to just choose not to do it. They're legally required. But they're fighting it. I'm watching with interest.

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  12. It's so hard to work in a school where administration supports change that is not going to beneficial to the students, and that is going to take away the autonomy from teachers that makes their teaching special.

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    1. Autonomy is a key word. Teachers now to walk "Lock-Step" in accordance to the guidelines. Scary.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!