Monthly Archives: January 2013

Charter Schools — Socializing Debt and Privatizing Profit

Charter Schools — Socializing Debt and Privatizing Profit.

I always enjoy and article that looks at the whole story.  I think this does fairly well.

Charter Schools are kind of a nightmare, not only because I work in the public schools – well that’s about the main reason – but because they kind of have carte blanche with their kids.  They can do a lot of stuff.

I think some things have merit.  Utilizing parents more effectively is good as is teaching students to be a part of the facility maintenance, which may not be a popular view.

However, charter schools are also better capable to dismiss students who really don’t behave well or have severe learning disabilities.  That’s what I’ve seen – kids coming back to the public schools.

And you know what?  Bring ’em.  I love these kids.

Four Hours

The past month or so I’ve been paging through the books of Tim Fenriss – “The Four Hour Work Week” and “The Four Hour Body.”  Both are extremely fascinating reads and well researched to boot.  I’d recommend them for anyone who works.

The “Work Week” is mainly about outsourcing.  As in, everyone should do it.  As in, EVERYONE.  The main point is that a lot of little crap takes up too much of our time and we really shouldn’t let it.  Not when there are people willing to do it for seven dollars and hour and all of our private information (this bit is admittedly nerve-racking, and addressed).  It also describes a grand business model for an Internet business you basically run for a few hours every week.  It’s about trusting people and relaxing a bit.

Of course, not everyone is going to be able to have a four hour work week – it’s pretty hard to telecommute when you’re a teacher – but a lot of the principles within are incredibly applicable.  Ferriss is a big proponent of media-diets and trying not to fill time with pointless nonsense.  It’s a book about “doing,” if if that doing happens to be parasailing or whatever.  I am sure some would find the book advocating laziness, but they would be mis-reading.  It advocates trusting your workers.

In the case of the classroom, this means trusting the students to do a heck of a lot more and it has been working in my room.   I’m incredibly interested in Ferriss’ methods and finding how to teach some of them to my students – he is very good at learning and has several good systems to do so.

The follow up “Four Hour Body” is excellent as well.  It has a lot of useful exercise and diet tips, but involves itself with a holistic body view as well.  Ferriss promotes a “slow-carb” diet which is a lot like the latest “paleo” diet craze.  The Paleo-diet is a pretty decent method with some good case studies I’ve found.  However, as I recently told someone:  I know how to eat healthy, I’m just lazy.

The downfall of the four hour method is that Ferriss doesn’t seem to have any kids.  I suppose he might promote nannies – he can afford them.  But there’s no “four hour parent” strategy, which is fine by me.  I love my kids despite their recent predilection for screaming.

If you’re really interested in streamlining your time and life, you would do well to read the Four Hour series.  Ferriss can come across in both as an insufferable know-it-all, until you realize he does know quite a bit and it’s working for him.


I’m sick.  Packed to the brim with thick, disgusting liquids in my head and chest.  My head hurts a lot.  And my wife has to work, so I will be alone with two very loud children whom I adore and love, but this makes them no quieter.

I have been quite busy at work trying to make things better in my room and it is going fairly well, but what can you do as a 3rd grade teacher when you have a student reading at a Kindergarten level?  And you are expected to perform crazy comprehension feats with children lacking fluency?  Ah well – they are learning bit by bit and I am sad only that I am inexperienced.

Time long ago I desperately focused on my success.  I figured I’d be very rich by now.  As it stands, I love my children and wife and that’s pretty nice.  But I find myself bored far too much – what am I to do with myself?

These are the ravings of the ill.