Category Archives: Conversation

Conversations surrounding: a range of events from education, religion, law, legal, criminal and social justice, public and/or justice administration, and a host of other current event topics.

Longer School Hours & Semesters and Higher Teacher Salaries

Salutations!
Yesterday was my first day of class. I accepted a teaching position with one of the local colleges. It is an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. I would like to make mention of my observation. This ESL class is a six hour class, on a Saturday, for the next four months. The ESL classes are free, at least for the college that I am working with. The students are quite grateful for these Free classes. The students are Motivated. They Want to Learn. They have jobs, they have families, but they remain Motivated and Dedicated to learning to speak English – better.

Last semester, there was one student in particular that is indelibly etched in my mind. This student, a Hispanic male, started his day, six days a week, leaving Houston at approximately 4:30am, driving to Southeast Texas, specifically, Port Arthur, Texas to work construction. Stay with me! He then returned to Houston, specifically, Tomball all the way from Port Arthur, Texas for my ESL class. The class, then, was three days a week, 6pm-9pm. He did this – consistently for Four months.

I am once again, convinced that if we put our minds to something, we can do it. I don’t care what it is. There is an argument against extending the school day, the school semester and raising Teacher salaries. Is there anything wrong with this idea? My humble answer is Nothing! As an educator, I am going to tell you the truth behind this crazy argument about Not extending the school day or school semester for our kids and/or providing a fair salary to our teachers. America is falling quickly behind other countries in terms of graduate rates and academic achievement. This is a most urgent matter. I applaud President Obama for his ideas about extending the school day and/or the semester or both. I applaud Oprah for having a genuine love for teachers and understanding the need for higher salaries for our teachers. If you have Not heard, Dropout Rates in our country are Epidemic. We continue to fall behind our foreign competitors. I deal with American students, adult students, who are reading at a 5th and 6th grade level and some are lower. Yet, there are foreign students who have come to America and read and speak English – Better than many Americans. This should be a concern for all Americans.  Nevertheless, there are those who do Not want longer school days nor semesters nor higher salaries for our teachers. My response – We need longer days, longer semesters, and higher pay for Teachers. Period! Case-Closed!

Successes,

Derek

Welcome to Period! Case-Closed!

As I was enroute to the office this morning, Thursday, September 10, 2009, I received a call.  The call came in at precisely 7:14am.  (I know because I just looked at my cell phone to confirm).   But anywho, I digress.  A friend of mine commenced to explain to me that a congressman yelled out at our newly elected President Barack Obama, last evening, by calling him a “lie”.  I cannot begin to tell you what I felt. I was utterly pissed!  But at a certain level, as I’ve been for several weeks now, bothered by the flat out lies that certain factions continue to spread day after day after day.  Come Hell or  High Water, even at the risk of causing the complete collapse of civility, they lie. Even when threatened with the woes of hades and the scorn of heaven, they continue to lie. Even if it means that they must face the trials and plagues of Old, these factions attempt to paint this illusion that Barack Obama is this worst thing that ever happened to this great country.  Something commenced to well up in me like…well, it was sort of a…I wanted to just…. just…just…I don’t know – Yell! I had a mixture of thoughts and emotions that rolled through my mind and I got to be honest, after the conversation was complete, I had to turn the radio to an inspiration station.  There, as so many times in the past – My Inspiration returned.  My Inspiration nudged at me again, “The Blog, The Blog – The Blog!  You must get your blog, Period! Case-Closed started.  You Must.  You Must. You Must!!!”  And this is where I begin.  I introduce and welcome you to my blog, “Period! Case-Closed!”