Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not sure I would have passed the test

The same people who thought it was a good idea to let me run a school encouraged me to attend a conference exclusively for administrators. At the beach. Which is an especially cruel place to make people sit inside listening to boring speakers while others were outside riding bikes and building sand castles.

One of the speakers talked about how it was critical that we teach children how to problem solve. Apparently it is more important for them to figure out real life situations than it is to learn their multiplication tables. Who knew?

Now if only they'd get the state test changed. We could set up some real life situations. For instance, we could put the students outside right before a storm and rate them on how they respond. The ones who came in from the rain would clearly be ready to be passed up to the next level while the ones who stayed put would need some type of intervention and face possible retention.

At the end of the first day, a 5K beach run was scheduled because apparently somebody thinks it is fun watching a bunch of out of shape administrators huff and puff down the coast. They got us all in a line on the beach and sent us off running.

About a mile into the race, lightning began zapping, thunder started booming, and the rain poured down. I can only speak for myself and the poor kid running near me but it was a downright Billy Graham experience. Right there on the beach.

I thought I was going to die.

So, I did what any normal person would do. I grabbed that boy and made him run faster than he has ever run in his life.

After all, only the ones who finished the race got a t-shirt.

44 comments:

♥ Braja said...

You should have "THANK YOU FOR THIS T-SHIRT, BILLY GRAHAM" printed on it :)

Mrs. K said...

ha!it's always about the free loot isn't it?

Hit 40 said...

I can't believe you finished the race or even ran in it!!! OMG!!

I would have faked a twisted ankle from the start!! This woman does not run!!

only a movie said...

So, did you have fun at the conference? :-)
When do you have to go back to school...?

Beth said...

Braja - There is room on the back. I may seriously add that line.

Mrs. K - I am a sucker for something free.

Hit40 - I've got to keep trying to be a runner so I can catch the kids.

Erin - The conference was actually great. And I go back to work in the morning. Ack!

Kristina P. said...

You are an amazing woman.

beth said...

i gotta tell you...i am really glad they don't test like that! my 9 year old would have never passed a grade yet!

Beth said...

Kristina - Amazingly stupid. That would be me.

beth - Well, I probably wouldn't have passed either.

otin said...

I have always thought that school is not really about learning every possible bit of information, but really just a place where you are taught to fit into society, follow rules, and get groomed for the real world. Smart ass kids like me, end up smart ass blue collar workers like me! I am a good problem solver, though! :)

Comedy Goddess said...

You're giving out Billy Graham t-shirts?
Do I have to run in a thunderstorm to get one?

Kulio said...

ooh, free shirt.

YES!

almost as good as free food.
almost.

lakeviewer said...

In the rain, with thunder and lighting? You passed your test!

Yeah, I'm Still Here... said...

Woo-Hoo Free T-shirt!... huff... puff... huff... free T... huff... puff... shirt... huff... free... puff... shir...

darsden said...

I didn't know you were a runner till now LOL I have been on the beach that me and friends sailed too during a bad storm like that and it is truly was a COME TO JESUS MOMENT! But I didn't get a tee shirt


Braja-Hilarious!

TechnoBabe said...

Did they all have to run? You must all be in good shape for that to be on the schedule. 5K is not for those out of shape folks.

Reinvent Dad said...

I lunged in front of my wife at a basketball game to catch a t-shirt. If it's free, it's for me. I was very disappointed however that the t-shirt did not have my favorite team's logo. Uh uh, it was from Subway.. Yippee!

Beth said...

otin - Good perspective in trying to get kids to fit into society. And to fit in, they need to solve problems. No matter what color their collar.

Comedy Goddess - Come run with me and I'll give you a t-shirt. No thunderstorm necessary.

Kulio - Food is better even if the t-shirts last longer.

lakeviewer - Actually, I think the ones who passed got out of the storm. Or stayed in to begin with.

Yeah, I'm Still Here - You are right on! That is about how I sounded!

darsden - I'm still pretending to be a runner since I've only been running just over 2 months. I'm not sure when I'll be official but I'm still waiting for my card.

TechnoBabe - They advertised it as a run/walk but out of the approximately 100 people there, only a handful walked. Runners must have a few loose screws from all that jostling about.

Reinvent Dad - It totally bites to get a free t-shirt and then it have a crap logo on it. We call those shirts painting shirts.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

My competiveness would have made me do the same thing!!!

Hallie :)

A Free Man said...

I went to once conference at the beach. Actually I should say that I didn't go to one conference at the beach. I was enrolled just didn't attend any of the sessions. I mean, seriously, what did they expect?

sun lover said...

I guess that is why they say "quitters never win". Only us smarties know that a free t-shirts is totally worth being struck by lighting. :)

Jules said...

You should have gone inside and said, "I passed!"

And how are they supposed to figure out the problems in math if they don't KNOW their multiplication facts? We've had this discussion over and over and over and over.......

M.J. said...

The education system in this country is so broken. In Baltimore, there's no science classes in most elementary schools because science isn't on the standardized tests. How sad is that?

Leslie Hanna said...

Do NOT get me started on the school system ...

But on the topic of problem-solving, my kids were in Montessori for the first few years of their schooling, and one of the things they took away from that experience, even from pre-school, was the ability to think through a situation and come up with alternatives to make things work. Problem-solving skills instilled at a young age cannot be over-rated.

bernthis said...

so it was the t-shirt more than the potential of death that made you move faster? u and I have a lot in common

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I don't completely buy into the "real Life" and "relevance" that is in vogue on this particular pendulum swing. Yes, it needs to be a part of the curriculum, but so does a lot of basics. I've seen the worst of project based, real life, authentic, and relevant curriculums and it is not pretty.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Without getting too "preachy", I think we're spreading our schools too thin. Sure, teach problem solving skills embedded in the curriculum, but when we have to add in tooth-brushing, eye exams, hearing tests, Don't Smoke programs, it gets silly. It would be like asking McDonald's to also manufacture auto parts. Not their field.

Anyway, I guess I got preachy after all.

Did you get your T-shirt?

Beth said...

Hallie - I had no idea you were competitive. Kidding.

A Free Man - You are obviously smarter than me.

sun lover - Free t-shirts rock!

Jules - You are right! I can tell we'd have some fun discussing the pros and cons to the standards/curriculum going on in the world we call school.

MJ - No science in Baltimore? Damn, teaching to the test is sucking the life out of education! How are we ever going to get ahead in this world?

Leslie Hanna - I agree! I used to set up Montessori-type activities when I was home with my kids. They loved it! There are many, many broken things about the educational system and I do not think there is one right answer. I truly believe each school will need to grow their own solution.

bernthis - Sometimes you scare me. :) The t-shirt was definitely worth the risk!

Pseudo - It all goes back to that saying, "This too shall pass." I don't know what the answer is for education. There are so many opinions and so many types of students (and their parents). Like you, I do believe that students need basic skills before they can ever begin to problem solve.

Chris - You forgot Gang Education, the Bullying Program, the Health initiatives, sex education etc. Ever ill on society falls squarely on the shoulders of educators. Every time.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

You mean you had a conference at the beach and you actually went to the conference?

Jan said...

I'd have smiled sweetly and told them I have enough t-shirts, thankyouverymuch.

Michel said...

Wait? You WENT to the conference!? Is that what we're supposed to do in that situation??

Because all these years, i"ve only gone to the venue and called it good.

Too funny though. T-shit was totally worth it.

Hit 40 said...

You do not have to catch the kids!!! Just trip them as they run past you

Vodka Mom said...

I"m with you- if it's free - I'm in. Even if it means sacrificing myself.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

A free t-shirt is always an inspiration to me.

carma said...

Don't you loved it when such novel ideas as "teaching kids problem solving" need to be presented at a conference because it is so earth shattering that a simple memo could not do it justice ;-)

H.K. said...

That kid will always remember you for helping him finish the race!

Joanna Jenkins said...

There is not a tee shirt on the planet that could get me to run a 5K :-) You are good!

Brian Miller said...

ha, wear it with pride.

Gaston Studio said...

What a great person you are for grabbing the kid. I probably would have just left him there and ran like hell for cover!

Jason O said...

ok, since running is involved, i DO NOT want to be an administrator.

anymommy said...

Free t-shirts are awesome. Having to actually think on the beach, not so much, but I'm glad you got to go.

Not The Rockefellers said...

I almost got killed and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?

Cool Beans! :)

Peace - Rene

Jack and Kernel said...

5K? was that you we were chasing after? We love chasing people!

Funny Girl said...

OMG I would have failed the thunderstorm test. I love thunderstorms. I am one of those people who is drawn outside by an alien force when the sky goes dark and the clouds roll in and then the thunder claps and the lightning streaks across the sky offerinng burst of angry light. The the warm rain falls...I love it!

Miriam's Art Journal said...

Yoy are hilarious.....thanks for sharing.