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Teachers and Honor Rolls

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

   I face Old Glory, hand over heart, extending respect to educators wherever they serve, and at whatever “frazzle” level they are. Hopefully, their heads are above water in the “tides of March,” or victims of “ides” attributed to the same month.

Some are smiling at the prospect of spring break coming soon. And there are sniffles from the noses of others who have just finished this respite. Reality sets in as countdowns begin toward the school year’s end.

Those doing “education right” carry heavy loads, and their growing pressures–greatest today–weren’t even on their radar a decade ago. Take bathroom rules, for example. Not too many years ago, teachers had only to watch for uplifted hands, and fingers extended to indicate requests for “one” or “two.”

The earth spins on the same axis, but we who whirl thereon are having hard times “holding on,” whether at the schoolhouse or not. We may all be spending too much time grading ALL experiences, school related or not.

Soon, we may be asked to grade “political correctness.” And, if such is done by the A-B-C system, we may need to use both pluses and minuses as well, and be prepared to defend whichever grades we give.

School folks usually have to face such assignments first. I feel sorry for that first year teacher who shall remain nameless. So very committed to handling her assignment in an exemplary manner, she is–at mid-spring–wobbling a bit. Her confession to a fellow beleaguered colleague says much: “I feel like the 10-year-old, struggling to do math homework and with little to show for it after 30 minutes. Finally, he tossed his pencil aside, saying: ‘I wish I had this homework done, was married and dead’.” Boils it down to a pretty small package, doesn’t it?

These days, I’m working on titles for in-service presentations at schools in August. I’m favoring this one: “Hung Out-to-Dry” Feelings in a World Hanging Out When it’s Tough to Hang In. Another may include Artful Packaging of Alternative Facts. Or maybe the topic should be more introspective, like If I Give Myself a Grade for Teaching, Will I Make the Honor Roll?

   Wayda minute.

I forgot they want short, punchy titles. Picky, picky, picky.

Having straightened my tie and adjusted my posture, may I suggest that the lot of us–educators or not–daily apply biblical gleanings, and there are many. Heavens to Betsy (unless such reference is politically incorrect), bedrock laws at all levels have Good Book origins.

You can look it up. Okay, so what you look up is your business. (But, PLEASE don’t spend your time calling 9-1-1 JUST TO MAKE SURE it’s working.)

Further, we can “hold on tight” to centuries-old convictions. How about this one? The same God who has intervened in the affairs of man throughout history is still in charge. And this: We can see around the world in seconds, hear around the world in seconds and travel around the world in hours. But we must do so with the same nervous system Moses had when he led the children of Israel from the land of bondage.

Finally, and yes, in closing, I offer this rambling about how SPORTS TELEVISION has affected our culture. (It’s a big topic, worthy of later detailed inspection.) It is at the root of a culture where sports figures like Tony Romo are nearing worshipful status, or close thereto. Hero or goat, he seems adrift in the NFL world.

Next up for the vaunted QB position is Dak Prescott, whose first-year exploits were akin to working a 1,000-word picture puzzle with only 998 moves. He’ll do well to remember that “Dak” spelled backwards is “Kad,” and to remember they’ll name a street after you one day, and chase you down it the next.

Oh, well. Maybe we’d be better off trying to steer clear of “ides and tides” this month.

 

   Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to:

newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com