Wednesday, April 15, 2009

School and chess

What does chess have to do with school?

Last night I watched the 2005 movie, Knights of the South Bronx, starring Ted Danson and Keke Palmer. If you care about kids and believe in them, this is a must-see movie.

Danson portrays the type of teacher so desperately needed in our schools today. Teachers who care and show it. We have a lot of teachers who "say" they care. OK, I'm going to ruffle some teachers by challenging them to "show" that they care.

How many teachers have ever gone to a student's home to see the conditions in which he lives? Maybe then they'd understand why the student comes to school in a bad mood or dirty or hungry.

When a teacher asks, "How's everything at home?" and hears, "Uhhh, okay" and never follows up. he or she will not have a clue about what goes on at home.

I've had more than one school administrator tell me that their responsibility stops at the curb in front of the school building. Well, that's not so. They have the obligation to understand everything that affects the student's ability to learn, and sometimes they are just going to have to leave the comfortable confines of the school building and go on a little field trip to a student's home.

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