Monthly Archives: November 2013

Casual Friday—Professional Development

This is an actual thing.  It happens to teachers all the time.  They are also forced to do parent conferences for their at-risk students on in-service days (assuming the parents of at-risk students care enough to show up for a conference).  If grading papers and actual teaching were all of teaching, we’d probably not have a teacher shortage.  Instead, they get paid slightly below the national average, are hobbled in their subject matter and presentation, and then are forced to spend countless hours on meaningless paperwork and bullshit seminars that help them about as much as shouting advice at a chess player.

I’m not a professional educator, but I’ve known quite a few for quite a lot of years, and my view of the problems existing in the field of education can be outlined thusly:

  • Standards of education are defined by politicians who are more interested in making voters feel good about themselves than they are in educating children.
  • Those standards are further confused and debased by fad-science presented by researchers who have never set foot in a classroom.
  • Smart kids are frustrated by slow advancement and often become problems because of it.
  • Mediocre kids are ignored (or worse) artificially inflated by meaningless flattery.
  • At-risk kids don’t get the specialized assistance they need because their parents combat any form of remedial instruction as if it were a personal insult.  Yes, these are the same parents who didn’t care enough about their child’s education to ensure he was doing the work or understood the concepts in the first place.
  • Teachers are not allowed to fine-tune their classrooms to fit the needs of their specific classes.  Instead they are expected to fit their kids into cookie-cutter molds that fit the expectations of an overpaid and faceless bureaucracy that occupies the vast realm between the schools and the school boards.
  • Text books are clearly written by people who hate joy.

These subjects—and others—will be revisited in the comic from time to time.

Casual Friday—Odd Things

So there were originally supposed to be a bunch of single-panel gags framed by the increasingly cracked egg.  Then I discovered that I’m not very good at single-panel gags.  So this was the only one.

I don’t know when or why, but at some point, Bunnyhat and I started referring to situations that went well enough by the phrase, “…and nobody had to die.  At least, nobody who matters.”  It’s one of those in-jokes I probably shouldn’t have inserted into the comic, but I did, so there.