Monday, November 10, 2014

What Snow Days Tell Us About American Education

Arguably my greatest rant against teachers and the public schools. (language warning)


Peregrine John said...

Language warning on a Cappy Cap vid/aud seems a tad redundant. Like "sky is blue," "boobs are nice," and "girls just wanna have fun."

Southern Man said...

Back in the day we had snow days because the principal went out at 5:00 AM to scope out the roads and make a decision. Today we have snow days because the insurance companies specify the weather conditions in which the school cannot run the busses. In both cases, the teachers provide no input.

My favorite non snow day occurred when our school wasn't on the "closed" list that the TV stations put out that morning, so we went on in. Turns out the principal had gone out as usual in the early AM to check the roads, slid into a snowbank, and didn't get pulled out until mid-morning, after we were all at school.

LongLostFriend said...

The usual logic fail from Clarey.

I didn't have some great antipathy toward my education or my teachers, but who the hell at age 10 wouldn't rather go play?

Jew613 said...

I always enjoyed snow days but not like you did. It was an extra day to play in the snow but nothing that amazing. But I went to a private parochial school.

Andrew Stallard said...

I grew up in upstate New York in a school district that was a stickler for staying open no matter what. One snowy morning, since there was no blizzard in progress, the superintendent decided to stay open. I got on the bus and it was in the ditch within half a kilometer of my stop. The back door broke open so it became impossible for the driver to keep us on the bus no matter how many incoherent shrieks about "write-ups" and "detention" she bellowed.

Today I work as a teacher and since I live in Vietnam we have no snow days but we do have typhoon days. The faculty looks forward to these no less than the students. We are even more excited to see the administrators as the students are to see us!

Anonymous said...

well done ! this is an important topic for me as a large number of people in my family work in education. we debate this topic often and since i also think the presentation is often monotonous id love to have the cappy's input. we believe that the students who are the most engaged in school are kindergarteners ( before they realize its work ) and college students ( who choose their subject matter ). its that enormous gap in between that wants to shoot themselves. where we live the teachers have their lessons chosen for them by the state mandated programs ( ex: open court ). since so much rides on the standardized testing the teachers i know are very focused on sticking to the dialogue they are given. i remember reading the captain taught dance. does he have experience in academic curriculum or the educational system as an adult ? it doesnt even have to be professional experience. if he has any literature or experience/suggestions id love have them in my arsenal.

Peter Rhod said...

Out in California we didn't have snow days. I had to improvise and fake being sick. I would stick a thermometer underneath my dogs armpit, rub my nose really hard so I would start sneezing, and scratch my eyes so they would get all red and watery. I despised elementary and middle school with all my heart and soul. Those were my snow days.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's all about teachers being boring and not interesting.

I think that the main reason why snow is so welcomed by young students is because school attendance is COMPULSORY and based on the carceral model.

School is prison. Given that students are forced to attend school, teachers don't need to be entertaining and interesting.

Also, schools are very large and are basically small cities. There is a huge lack of security in school, so bullying, intimidation and fights take place.

It could be the general toxic environment of compulsory attendence, boring teachers and bullying etc.

Boring and uninteresting teachers are just one among many reasons why students are happy to miss school.

There is no way that interesting teachers would make up for the compulsory attendence of school.

There is also the compulsory curriculum that doesn't let students choose what they want to study.

I would have liked to study computer programming when I was young. It would seem that the curriculum is not teaching anything of value.

There was not enough math for example and not enough science and not enough technology.

There was a lot of language and morality courses and sports and religion and drawings and unnecessary daytrips.

Plus the whole packaging around school wastes time and is inefficient.

The yellow school bus, having to commute, having to change schoolrooms, needing a locker etc.

In school, you are basically wasting your time learning nothing of value and being constantly ruled, disciplined, micromanaged.

It's actually a waste of human potential.

Anonymous said...

And yes, school children are not stupid, they are actually a lot more intelligent than adults think.

They KNOW that they are wasting their time learning nothing of value and they would rather go outside and play. They would get more value for their time that way.

Ever since I was very young, I knew that the world around me was at war against my potential and was underestimating me on purpose.

Children don't want to be treated like children, they want to be treated like future adults. They want to learn useful things and start earning money and develop skills.

Donald Trump started to work and earning money at the age of 3 ! Yes you read that right.

His father brought him to his construction yards and started to give small tasks to Donald Trump and paid him for it. And he started to save money and learn how to manage it.

There is an 11 year old boy where I live that started his own pumpkin growing farm and he sells them to grocery stores and he wants to grow his business.

Children need to stop being treated like children and need to be thought marketable skills at a young age.

This infantilization of children is actually abuse to satisfy adult's ego and it is some kind of power trip that robs those children of their future.

Then, when they become adults, they are all of a sudden expected to know the ropes and be ready for adulthood, it doesn't work out that way.

The current parenting and teaching paradigm focusses too much on discipline and authority and not enough on skillbuilding and autonomy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some other posters. It's not the teachers that I don't want to see, it's simply that I hated being forced to do things. This included chores, going places I didn't want to go, etc.

I guess the litmus test is, if you go back to 1925, way before teachers unions and former suburban princesses ruined the profession, did kids act the same way?