Friday 26 June 2009

Last Day of School - Graduation

Every year this day roles around. A day to launch out the next batch from the factory institute/school were I work. I realize that you can't relate to each kid and the process of processing them can be a drag. Meaningless rules and layers of bureaucracy. Yet, the advocacy of students and the ability to relate to the students is a criteria that my superiors look at every 5 years when they evaluate us teachers...disconnect.
The only teachers that meant anything to me are the ones that made an effort to relate to me as a person - not some robot marching through the halls that was there to be built and launched from the front doors. Too many teachers forget what it means and meant to be a kid. Which teachers did they like, and thus work hard for and with? I bet they all hated the ones having meeting to think of new ways to keep the kids in line.
I have no desire to antagonize a teenager. I just want to meet some, work with them, help them out, relate to them human-teacher to human-student. There is a distinction, but we, as teachers, should be more positive more often and be the teachers that we would want, need and respect in the teenage version that we once were.
To end this, less than tight, ramble let me say. Props to Dubeau for getting up in front of his colleagues and hammering home the need for positive thinking. To paraphrase: "mention the good things, because other are sure to bring up the bad" - he also has his students mention two things the they liked about the year and one that they didn't. Smart: more positives than negatives. Good on him for sharing this with us.
I head out now to reload, refresh, rethink and prepare to meet more students in September.
Wish me well, and always: send me your wisdom.

Tuesday 9 June 2009


About a week ago the band, Graven, pulled into town and ripped things up - down in the market. I had to pull my creaky bones out of my soccer-dad lawn chair and see this event in person. Other Ottawans and Iawahians of all shapes and creeds rambled out of the suburbs to hear "the lads". Many old friends got together and bent a few taps. The beer flowed smooth and cold like Matt's sonic power chords. Graven played a tight set - so check these lads out. I asked my friend Bill Henry if liked the rock show. He replied: "yes". Nuff Said!
I went home later, shaken', cranking the Graven CD over the fields of Navan. Cows, chickens and sheep looked up in shock - and oddly enough - pleasure. As an aside: Farmer Henkl, my neighbour, told me that because of Graven's EP his cows gave more milk than ever. Right on.
Graven brought the sound and reforged a community. The revolution has begun.