Ask The Principal

Monday, March 10, 2008

My how time flys when you're having fun!

Been a while, but it has been a good respite and time of detox having left public education for good. I am a seminary student now....and enjoying every challenging minute of it! It is a temptation sometimes to think of that time as a public educator wasted, but that would be like saying that God was not sovereign. He it really wasn't. Though I try to distance myself in some ways from that time, in other ways I am constantly faced with reminders of the effects of the public schools on our culture, and on Christendom in general.

Of course I see the blatant "shock attacks" of the establishment trying to control the lives of freedom loving Christian families as demonstrated in California. I suspect they will back down...but keep pushing, and pushing, further and further. We saw that a few years ago with the 9th circuit ruling in favor of the Palmdale School District.

What I constantly see are the nuances, the subtle long-term effects that show up in the oddest places. Like the parent comment that she is dissatisfied with the youth work at their church....I see that it's not because they actually know what's going on, but because they are tired of their teenage kids complaining that youth group is boring.

Back to 9th circuit, etc...I taught in Palmdale and even worked with the man who was the principal of the school that administered those conscience-searing surveys. We were both teachers at the time...he was a nice enough guy...good sense of humor, etc. I cannot say with certainty that he was being devious...I doubt that he was, but I do know that groups like the ACLU are very missional in what they believe in. My experiences with groups like those are that they are like vultures circling high in the sky looking for something ripe and stinky to gorge themselves on to further their agenda. At least vultures do something good for the planet, these characters leave a wake of destruction and chaos...and they do it with a great deal of personal satisfaction. Oh, and the truth is helpful sometimes, but if it isn't...well, they just change it of course! It's their perceived right because they are least in their own minds...and that's all that matters to them really.

So we have some child-advocacy characters that think they know more about anything than anyone regarding children and with a sense of mission and entitlement find a case they can leverage to it's fullest. Every now and again a situation pops up and all the signs look right to make a great play...and they do. So now a 3 judge panel outlawed homeschooling in California. I have to say that I really like the idea of all Christian families pulling their kids out of school. Someone was saying 600,000. At about $45/day for 180 day for 600,000 students....well that's $4.8b/year. Wow....why doesn't Arnold suggest that for the state's budget...California would be out of debt in no time.

I'm sure someone may have already figured that one considering the state of California's budget...but it was fun for me just to think through it for a minute....ok, back to the task at hand.

So what do we do? What Christians are doing now...pray first then fight back through the system as God allows. If we don't the personal costs will be higher. We shouldn't think that what happened in Stalinist USSR, or fascist Germany, etc, last century won't happen to us or our posterity in this century. But we don't do it because of a fear of what may happen, we do it to the glory of glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!

I'll post periodically...if anyone is even still out there ;-). One of the main reasons to post is to get the writing thing's always a good idea to write something before writing a paper for a class...which is what I am going to do next

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Resolution!

It's not too late to decide to educate your child at home. In fact, the holiday season is a good time to make a transition. Most schools won't start until January 8th, so you have a week to get on-line and do a little checking around.

It's my guess that more homeschooling moms read this blog than homeschooling dads, that's because there are more homeschooing moms than homeschooling dads. But I really want to encourage the dads to get active in the homeschooling of their family.

The HSLDA weekly address last week featured Scott Somerville, who started a new ministry called the K-dad network. If I ever grow up and leave public education, I want to do what he's doing...that is, to empower dads to actively disciple their families. Of course Scott's 6 kids are grown now, and my five are still 8 and younger. I'll be in the "discipling and engaging my family" stage for a few years.

In an article from the HSLDA website the following is said about Scott:

Having homeschooled all six of their children, Scott and his wife, Marcia, are now pouring more of their time and energy into ministering in other ways to homeschooling parents. “When I got to HSLDA, I thought the biggest threat was the truant officer,” says Scott. “We moved into a new phase where the biggest threat was the social worker . . . I am genuinely convinced that the biggest threat today is the disengaged dad.”

Beginning this fall, Scott and Marcia will be offering five weekend and one-day seminars for couples, moms, dads, and single adults. “I've had 20 years to make all the mistakes I can think of as a homeschool dad,” laughs Scott. Now he will have the opportunity to help others learn those lessons through a special weekend session for homeschool dads called “Principles for Principals.” The session will encourage fathers with biblical insights and practical tips for becoming stronger leaders of their families

I would like to attend one of those seminars and will if they ever make it out my way I will, but in the meantime I'll listen to the CD's and post a review at a later date. If you don't want to wait either you can purchase them here.

There. I've actually made a post in December, and hopefully encouraged someone to make the plunge into the world of home-education and family discipleship.

Remember to "Consider the End", that being, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever". Making a decision to educate and disciple your children at home this year would be a great resolution toward that end indeed!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Vote!

My younger brother, happy to send me the following, did so.

The Teacher Applicant After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching Prospect said,

"Let me see if I've got this right: "You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their Dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning." "You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. "You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job." "You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of Antisocial behavior , and make sure that they all pass the state exams." "You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card." "You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. "You want me to do all this and then you tell me.."


Funny thing is that it isn't far from the truth. Note how many of the things the teacher is called upon to do are parental responsibilities. This has been floating around the web in those emails with the subject line starting with "fw. fw. fw" Emails that circulate ad nauseum....but that's just a pet peeve. What's real is that the anonymous author of this derives the humor/irony from the fact that the teaching that happens occurs because of a huge disconnect from parents and their children.

I dare say this is nearly as rampant in the church. I haven't shown my hand with regard to the church, but I will now. If you haven't already, read Voddie Baucham's blog here on "Education: the lost art of discipleship" and further here on "Answering questions on the YM issue".

So the short answer to Brian who commented on the previous post on the new ministry of Stephen Williams of is this: Teachers need to be able to teach truthful content regardless of the angst it causes to the PC crowd. Teachers do make a difference one way or the other, so bravo to the teachers that teach from primary sources that show the soul of history, not just the boring facts, or the twisted revisions to accommodate a relativistic/transient PC worldview, without the knowledge and passion that drove men to act, according to the sovereignty of God, to do what they did.

I don't agree that parents need to fight this battle merely to keep their kids in a public school though.

The current public educational model had it's birth in this country in the 1830s-40s. So did the American Sunday School movement. Similar in purpose, similar ends in the beginning, but the Sunday School movement was modeled after a method designed to create a different society apart from parental influence. Like the public school.

This excerpt quoting Henry Barnard from the Connecticut Common School Journal,1839, from a book by John S. Brubacher: Henry Barnard on Education, McGraw-Hill, 1931

If education was properly understood-if all the influences which go to mould and modify the physical, moral and intellectual habits of a child, were felt to be that child's education-parents and the public would not tolerate such school-houses, with all their bad influences, indoors and out of doors, such imperfect and illiberal school arrangements, in almost every particular, as are
now found in a large majority of the school districts of the State. If they had a proper estimate of the influence of teachers, for good or for evil, for time and eternity, on the character and destiny of their pupils, they would employ, if within the reach of their means, those best qualified to give strength and grace to the body, clearness, vigor and richness to the mind, and the highest and purest feelings to the moral nature of every child entrusted to their care.

(He suggests parents would pay to give the parenting priviledges to teachers...even in 1839!)

He continues:

If the ends of education were regarded, something more would be aimed at that to enable a child to read, write, and cypher, or to attain to any degree of mere knowledge. As far as the individual is concerned, it would be to secure the highest degree of health, powers of accurate observation, and clear reflection, and noble feelings: as far as the public is concerned, the prevention of vice and crime, and the keeping pure of the peace, order, and progress of society.

Parents and society must be made to regard education in this light, as their first concern:

(or else what!)the common school, as the chief instrumentality for accomplishing it; (what about the church?) and the teacher, (Go me! Oh wait! What about God-ordained parental responsibility?), as determining the character of the school. If this can be effected, the work of
improvement will be begun in earnest, and will not cease, until each district school shall witness the triumphs of education.

...We mean a proper preparation for the real business of life

I took this quote from a book by R.J. Rushdoony written in 1963 The Messianic Character of American Public Education, pp 56-57, Ross House Books, reprinted 1995. Get your copy here.

This is now a felt missionary type zeal in all levels of government education. When confronted this zeal turns to an arrogant condescending wrath with outcomes like the 9th Circuit Court's "public educators are better than you parents so butt out and don't expect us to annoy ourselves by taking your desires into consideration" . Of course the court said it in their vernacular here...

... we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs...and that the asserted right is not compassed by any other fundamental right ... We conclude ...that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject [sex] to their students in any forum or manner they select.

This all said, we need to start first in the church. The "Exit Strategy" by the Southern Baptist Convention, that didn't make it, but will keep coming back, is a start. There has to be a strategy, and the church has to be involved, but not copying a worldly system. The church needs to support the home-school model/methodology so that Christian parents don't take their children out of school blindly.

Fortunately for parents wanting to homeschool, but attend churches that start their missionary program by sending the pre-schoolers of those under their care into the world to be "salt and light", there are a myriad of resources now that make homeschooling feasible. It often merely becomes a lifestyle choice for the parents.

The real difficulty comes when parents who want to take their children out of the public school cannot do so (single parent with financial issues, a mom with an unsupportive husband, etc). The church is, I think, unprepared to handle a large scale exodus. But, I hope I am wrong and I'd love to see the current public schools fail. Oops, they are failing, but I mean to the point that we as Christians feel a powerful conviction to raise our children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord, not in the world. Actually, upon further reflection, it is my prayer that God's mercy and grace is shed on the church that the families choose to take back responsibilities God gave them, rather deferring them to the public school system or Sunday-school teacher, or youth pastor.

I like the family-integrated church model. See what I mean here. I'm glad this is a growing movement across this country. It is a model that is the antithesis of the public school model, and is resisted by other models that have bought in to the methods of the public school (like the Sunday School/Youth pastor in-lieu of parent models).

There, not a short answer after all and I have put all my cards on the table. Strong words and unpopular in many circles, but there you have it.

Oh yes! Be sure to vote today! We don't want anyone in this country thinking they can pull off what they're doing in Germany now to the homeschooling families.

Update....Elections are over and they are what they are. God is sovereign! I have modified this post a little...the way it read before was a little arduous. I did add a little extra content too, and realized that it is a little hard to blog and hold a teething child at the same time. :-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Good morning! Good morning!

I start my day at school doing my assigned yard duty by the bus drop-off. I help students make the trek in the right direction to the playground. During that 15 minute assignment I go out of my way to give these kids a "Good Morning!" and "how are you?". We're not that big of a school so with a little checking with my colleages I can find out what big assignments are due for the different grade levels. I ask "how's your biography going?" or when they bring their projects by I always give an admiring encouragement.

At first only a few kids would give me an acknowledgement to my good-mornings. Now though many make eye contact with me first in anticipation of the friendly greeting. It's a time where I can give these precious ones a quick prayer (silently) and an encouragement.

The first period of the day I have a "prep" time where I do everything from run copies, to grade papers, to enter scores on the computer, team meetings with the grade level teachers, parent conferences, etc. It never seems long enough.

The next period I teach math (32 students). The students at my grade level have been ability grouped by their test scores from last year. I have the group that measured in a category that was below being proficient according to state standards. Of the five teachers at my grade level only one is teaching a class to students that are at grade level according to state standards. The rest of us are playing catch-up.

The next period we (33 students) are reading "Acorn People". It has the word sh!t in it, and a few others. Some kids aren't comfortable saying those words in a read-aloud. I let them say "hmmmm" in place of whatever word they are not comfortable saying. Not my choice of books, but part of a "course of study" for the grade level in the district I work for. It has been taught in the district for more than 10 years at that grade level. It's a mainstay and on the state "adopted" list.

4th period is History (34 students), or as the public schools like to call it, Social Studies. I'm teaching about early man, the progression of evolution, paleolithic humans used simple tools and were hunter-gatherers, etc. This is all presented as factual. No words in the text like "theory", or anything else that suggests that these suppositions are anything but factual. There is a section on interpretation of data and how it depends on a scientist's background and amount of evidence found, but it seems to only relate to the way that hominid society lived. No questions as to whether or not that hominid was, for example, a neandethal man, because the strata that evidence was found in was determined to be during the time period that neanderthals were said to exist. We don't question that, but we can question what sort of tools the neanderthals used.

5th period (36 students) we do a combination of silent sustained reading (SSR) and Spelling during a 35 minute period. We want to create a culture and a love for reading (treat a student like a reader and they will become a reader, to which I reply 'treat a student like a pianist and he will become a pianist?') When I was the principal we used this time to teach students to read. My premise being that a love of reading doesn't come by osmosis, but by knowing how to read. The scores improved for everyone that year, even the minority and lower socio-economic status (SES) students. We met all our state and federal goals last year. Never the less the pressure to go back to the quiet reading time w/out guidance or instruction has pervaded. At my grade level we include Spelling because we still want our kids to know how to spell the words they are reading.

6th period is my 35 minute lunch and the SSR time for other grade levels. Hooray! Straight to the restroom before anything else. I think teacher bladders stretch with time. If not, well, maybe that's another reason why half the teachers leave the profession during the 1st 5 years. Then quick lunch, make some more copies of hand-outs for the afternoon.

7th period(32 students). Language Arts and writing. I don't know the research, but I think there is a close correlation between a student's reading level and his/her writing level. We are doing grammar, sentence structure, paragraph building. I find myself all over the place with the wide level of abilities in the classroom. Frustrated I cannot give enough time to the low students and really stimiulating the gifted. Inevitably someone gets cheated out of my direct instruction at his/her ability level.

8th period(33 students) is Science, and the last period of the day. The kids are wired and hard to settle down. We are working on the Scientific Method and the book starts right off applying the Scientific Method to the determining the age and situation of the earth and the dinosaurs that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Hmmm. You are supposed to ask a question before making a hypothesis, and then testing it. I guess to be politically correct there are some questions that you are not supposed to the age of the earth and the origins of life. Yes, that must be it, because a couple of lessons later we learn about global warming and the flooding of coastlines due to shrinking glaciers, ice caps, etc.

Well that is my day. I don't have the same group of kids all day. Some are in more than one class, some only once. My intent is not to remind people why they are glad they left teaching, though I don't condemn them at all. Not one bit! It's a tough profession, but remember that God's grace is sufficient for us wherever He has us. If you're not in public education then you don't have the grace for it. If you are, then you do, if you'll lay hold of it and acknowledge the sovereignty of God. That actually goes for everybody regardless of his/her station in life.

Being a teacher is one of the best ways to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. These demonstrations of the fruit of the spirit I suspect are ways that the goodness of God that draws men to repentance are demonstrated. Your reflection of Christ in a hurting world cannot help but bring glory to God and spread His love to the lost, even if you cannot verbally express "God bless you" without a letter of reprimand.

The hard part is to reach the educational needs of all the students in your charge in good conscience. I spent all day (yes, Saturday) grading, assessing and diagnosing and thinking of teaching strategies. I'm pretty sure that a mom with a loving heart can do as well, probably better than I can, in educating her child(ren) than I can, and in half the time, at home. In fact, I'm sure of it. And I'm a really good teacher, even if I do say so myself!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A letter to the Honorable Ambassador of Germany to the United States

September, 24, 2006

To the Honorable Wolfgang Ischinger
German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
(202) 298-4000

Dear Sir:

About 20 years ago local American governments were reacting to home schooling families in a similar fashion that local German governments are acting now toward German home schooling families. Since then the local American governments have come to realize the great positive impact on society that home schooled children have had, as well as the superior education most receive over the public and even private school counterparts. Our most prestigious universities now seek out these home-educated students. Laws have been challenged and changed to allow this basic principle of liberty for parents to be able to freely educate their own children without state interference.

German governments also need to make home schooling legal. Over 40 families are being prosecuted in Germany merely for teaching their children at home. These families have been given huge fines, some parents have been jailed, some have been forced to flee to other countries, and they are all being threatened to take their children into state custody. This is deplorable and unacceptable for any free nation to persecute Christian families who are providing an excellent education for their children. We ask you to stop prosecuting these families like the Maisches, the Pletts, the Bauers, the Rudolphs, and the many others. We as Americans have learned this lesson. (Though in all honesty we still battle a desire by state bureaucrats to continue to encroach upon these freedoms.) I hope that Germany sees the need to make Home schooling legal as well.

My own children, descendants of German immigrants, are home schooled, and as a public school educator myself, I see the tremendous positive growth my own children enjoy far and beyond what the publicly educated children of my own community enjoy. We have exceptional schools here in my community as evidenced by state test scores and local community sentiment, and yet I would not have my children in that environment any more than I would have my children consume a diet of junk food and soda pop. They would be alive, but not healthy. Please allow German families to provide an educational diet for their children that would not leave the soul of their children malnourished and their minds under-educated, which is typical of any public educational system in any country compared to the home-education model.

Thank you for passing on my concerns to the officials who can rectify this situation.


Home School father
American Public School Educator
Concerned Global Citizen

This letter is in response to an HSLDA bulletin requesting homeschoolers to respond to this HSLDA E-lert here. This in response to a homeschooling family that had to flee the country while the mother was taken into custody and imprisoned, as well as other atrocities. See link here.

I couldn't help calling myself a "Concerned Global Citizen" . It sounded so.....United Nations or something. I guess that's what happens when you work in an environment that is so "sensitive" to other's predispositions. Please don't call the P.C. police. I'm not really that bad off. Just a little mischievous sometimes. :-)

I do encourage everyone to make contact with the German embassy this week. I think we all would like the German homeschoolers we would be supporting to support us in the same way should we be in similar circumstances. In fact, I'm sure they would feel compelled to do so given their current experiences to help anyone going through what they are enduring now. You can see how I used part of the HSLDA template in my letter and modified it. It's not that hard.

I know some may think that they are not clever or important enough to respond to an embassy of a foreign power, but think of it this way....if you were in the house of the German family invaded by police to cart off their children to the local sewer, I mean public school....Wouldn't you at least voice your outrage to these officials? Put yourself there, then write or call next week. Be diplomatic :-) Maybe just a little honery too. :-). Try not to mention Hitler, though it was his regime that made home education illegal in Germany in the first place in 1938.

Pray for these precious German homeschool families.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A teacher's work is never done....

The last time I was in the classroom as a teacher I was newly married and my bride was just finished working as a classroom aide for my mom who was a teacher at a Christian school. She was the bulletin board princess and she gave my classroom some real pizzazz. It's different now with 5 children and her homeschool responsibilities. I'm left to do more of that myself.

In a lot of ways I'm like a new teacher. All the experienced teachers have the routine down and work as a well oiled machine with the curriculum, hand-outs, routines, procedures. I've found myself putting in 60 hour weeks just to stay up. I'm buying bins and files and dividers at K-mart to get my system in place and running. It takes too long to go through the requisition, purchase order, plead with the principal for the money, and 1 month wait to get the supplies.

I have also seen the best an the worst of classrooms and I am determined to mimick the former and shun the latter. Sometimes perfectionism is really hard.

I have the oldest and worst classroom furniture because any good stuff was "traded" by some unknown teacher elsewhere in the building that, say, noticed the desk chair in my room was better so over the summer traded up and I got the old one, etc.

My computers all had hard-drive crashes and it took 2 weeks before I was online. I just got my grade program installed last Wednesday so I was going to enter 3 weeks worth of student data this weekend into the program. I could have installed it myself, but didn't have the necessary priviledges and had to wait for the availability of a district tech. Still, the time saved by doing things on the computer is worth the wait over the old gradebook method. The district server is up for maintenance this weekend though and no one is allowed to log on until 8am Monday morning.

I have my lists of English Language Learners, my Special Education students, my students with health issues (asthma..some can have their inhalers on their persons, others in the health office, and I have to know which is which).

I have IEP meetings (Individual Learning Plans) for students needing accommodations or modifications (there is a difference between an accommodation and a modification and I have to make sure I am accommodating instead of modifying, or vice versa).

I am also "learning" how to communicate with my EL (English Learner) students since our school population is growing with students south of the border. I am taking a class for experienced teachers who haven't gone through the latest training on how to "effectively" teach the EL students in a regular classroom. I have spent 6 days of training so far to learn a whole bunch of industry related vocabulary, to talk slowly and deliberately (but NOT more loudly) and with exaggerated body language to make the EL kids more at home. I joked with somebody at yesterday's (yes, Saturday) class that it's taken 6 days of training in the summer and on weekends to have us act like American tourists in a foreign land trying to communicate. Interestingly, the methods taught are what any good, intelligent teacher would already be using to help these kids transition into the English speaking American classroom. Nevertheless the state needs to know I have been trained in their latest methodology, and I need the state's notation on my license that says I have the training.

So I have all my meetings, my trainings, my conferences, back to school night, and a myriad of issues great and small for my 33 to 37 kids (depending on the period). I'm worn out.

What's funny (not funny "HA HA") is that my experience is being repeated thousands of times across the country as the school year starts. I at least have the experience to manage my classroom well and diffuse the "situations" between students well before they become serious issues. Many new teachers have already been thinking they have made a mistake being in the classroom. Statistically half of the new teachers that enter public education will have left the profession within 5 years.

All in all it has been a really good experience for me. Especially now that I am homeschooling my kids. It further strengthens my convictions about homeschooling. All of the methodologies that need to be employed to meet the needs of all the students (gifted, retarded, EL, other-health impaired, average, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, Attention deficit, multi-cultural, motivated, unmotivated, affluent, neglected, impoverished, loud, quiet, traumatized, victimized, loved, unloved, etc.) will inevitably leave some children behind. All methodologies need to be incorporated, but not all work for all kids, and rarely can more than one methodology be used at the same time. That means that for many kids, their learning styles are being addressed only a few minutes out of each hour.

I mentioned this multitude of necessary methodologies conundrum to my table group yesterday as we were discussing methods for assisting EL students. You cannot effectively reach all of the students all of the time. Not nearly as effectively as in the home school environment. They all agreed. They all were frustrated at the enormity of the task to reach such a diversity of students in the classroom. All felt as if they wished they could do more, but do not have the time or stamina to do it all.

The bottom line is, for me, for anyone, is this: can even the best trained and talented public school teacher provide a better education for children in a public classroom as what the loving family can provide for their own children at home? I maintain that the public school system will generally come short for the children in it. Even when there are good and talented teachers in it like me :-)

I wouldn't even have my own children in my classroom with me as the teacher because I know I would be divided in providing instruction different ways to so many students. My kids would come up short, as would everybody else's. No, my kids will be at home where their individual learning styles will be accommodated, and learning customized as only a mother or father could do, in order to train them in the best manner possible. A learning experience so rich, so wonderful, so focused, so intimate, that it makes even the best public education seem outright pathetic.

There is no way the public school teacher can surpass the educational opportunity provided in the loving and disciplined homeschool.

That's not just an opinion, it's a fact.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'm back and there are a few changes around here.....

I am back after a month's hiatus. Not really a hiatus, but up to my eyeballs in new changes.
I should say dozens of changes, but most of the changes are attributed to my 2 youngest, several times a day, though the older is going through the tell-tale signs of pre-potty training.... like finding a secluded place to "do his business". He's doomed. We know he knows when! Now comes the fun transition from diaper to diaperless.

The first major change is that I've left the principalship for a season to work in the classroom. The time necessary to be a good principal and a good husband and father of 5 kids 8 years old and younger doesn't exist. At least not for me. Something was going to have to give, and it wasn't going to be my family. So my workdays are a little shorter, and certainly less intense, and it has been a real blessing to me and my family.

So do I change the name of the blog? I've thought a while about it and haven't decided. For now I'll just leave it, but mention my current status as an honest disclosure. I haven't forgotten my experiences. Maybe I'll be like the Colonel for KFC and just wear the title because I've been there and done that.

So do I decide to join my local, state and National Education Association? NO WAY!!!

I saw Stossel's follow-up piece on 20/20 Friday night and I really think that he went light on the unions. Yes, there are great teachers in the profession, but if you want to see bully-like behavior, go to an educator's association convention. The unions bring shame to the profession. I won't have anything to do with them anymore, except to expose the hypocrisy. I'll comment more on the 20/20 piece later.

The other change is in regard to my desire to change professions and get a good Bible/theological education and pursue the pastorate. I am accepted to Reformed (in Jackson MS) and Westminster (Philadelphia) Theological Seminaries. Hence my roadtrip this summer with my son to Mississippi. I hope to visit Philadelphia later this year. This was another factor in leaving the principalship. It is difficult to find a good leader mid-year, so I put in adequate notice and we have a good principal in place now. As a regular classroom teacher now, I am relatively easy to replace with a competent credentialed instructor.

It has been hard going back to the classroom though, (we just finished our first week of school) but it has been professionally enlightening. I encourage all administrators to pop into the classroom for a few weeks every now and then. It really is eye opening, especially if you haven't been at it full time for nearly a decade or more, like me.

Finally, I haven't paid too much attention to the blog for the last month so some comments went unnoticed until today. I replied to several of them so you might want to go back through the last series on bullies and have a look.