Tennessee Teachers, Tenure, & Collective Bargaining

There has been a lot of talk in the news about teachers, their tenure, and collective bargaining. I work full-time as a School Counselor so I know what’s going on, but there are some things I don’t understand.

  1. Teacher Accountability – You’re kidding me. We’re just now thinking of this? “Wow! I want the job where no one is going to ask whether or not I’m performing well. That means I’ll be able to play solitaire during AND in between classes. Hooray!” Maybe I would have had a better education had we thought of accountability in 1870 or even in 1970. Maybe my history teacher would have talked about the Alamo rather than regaling us with stories of his caving excursions and why Pistol Pete Maravich was the century’s best basketball player.
  2. Teacher Accountability – Student grades come from so much more than whether or not there is a capable teacher in the classroom. I know of teachers who use every trick in the book to teach their students and still some boys and girls walk out of the room just as glossy-eyed as ever. This can be attributed to playing video games ‘til 3am or too much of dad’s marijuana that morning. Theoretically, a teacher today could get paid less because the class of 1995 decided to get drunk and pregnant on spring break. Our future is bright!
  3. Ron Ramsey, Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee – I heard Mr. Ramsey discuss his love for teachers on Ralph Bristol’s talk radio show. Ramsey said that his mother was a teacher and he understands them. I’m sure he loves his mother, but this does not mean he knows what it is to be a teacher. I lived with an African American for two years. Does that mean I know what it’s like to be a black man? Ramsey has also supported legislation that would enable people to come out of the regular work force and begin a teaching career. How nice. Our schools are crashing and now we are going to put people in the classroom with zero training. He told Bristol that he could teach Tennessee History. I’m sure he could, but probably not to thirty 8th graders; five of which only eat at school, ten that don’t know who their father is, and the rest are just lucky to be there. He wouldn’t last five minutes. 
  4. Teacher Unions – We are in this mess because teacher unions joined the camp of one political party. They sided with the Democrats and now the Republicans don’t want them. Watching out for my pay? Somewhat. They also fight for political issues that I do not agree with. They protect good teachers but they also allow fowl, deranged human beings to educate our most important asset. It takes too much to get fired from a school system.
  5. State Testing – We need a system that determines whether or not schools, teachers, and students are performing well. This, I agree with. However, with our concern over the current system of testing, has anyone asked whether or not we are instilling a love for learning in our students? Whether you have asked this or not, the answer is, “NO. We aren’t.” Kids do not see the value in what they are doing. What is a good answer for, “why do I need to know this?” No amount of “you-must-learn-this-or-you-are-going-to-get-a-bad-score” is going to motivate some students to mark anything but C for the more than 7 hours of testing they must endure in a four day period. I am currently reading Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson & Bill McKibben. It is an extraordinary book that is leading me to believe we are headed down the wrong path with making kids learn facts and figures rather than what it is to be a productive human in today’s world. You can do this and still get good math scores.
  6. Finally, schools can be labeled “failing” regardless of how many advanced students they have on TCAP. That’s messed up.
Who will I trust? People who think I should get less pay and fewer benefits or people I do not agree with philosophically? They both say they have students’ and teachers’ best interests in mind, but I’m divided. Whoever wins, I just hope that the students get a better education and that teachers (and School Counselors) get paid fairly. I didn’t earn 90 graduate hours to eat Ramen Noodles every night.

I’m A Believer in NAET . . . for Now

When Mason was two he had a bite of peanut butter. His lip swelled and he broke out into hives. We gave him Benadryl and rushed him to the doctor. Mason was allergic to peanuts. This was devastating to the Sadler household as Jif Extra Crunchy is a staple. I have a PB&J sandwich every morning for breakfast. I make two gallons of strawberry jelly every spring to go on said sandwiches. We make THE best chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies around, and my homemade ice-cream is always Butterfinger. I was willing to try anything to relieve Mason of this burden. Then, Malita heard of Dr. Clifford, a chiropractor who practices NAET (Nambudripa Allergy Elimination Technique). The claim is that NAET can “eliminate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.” Read more about it here. 

Our first visit went like this. The doctor had me lay down on a table while Mason held onto my right arm. The doctor put 2-3 viles of certain allergens in my right hand. He then told me to raise my left arm to the ceiling. If he could push my arm down, Mason was allergic to what was in the viles. If he could not push my arm down, Mason was not allergic. We went through this process about ten to twelve times, switching out the viles each time. I would not believe this either had I not experienced it. The doctor would lean on my arm with both hands; unable to budge it. Then, when peanuts were in my hand, he could push it down easily. (Mason didn’t do this because his arm could obviously be pushed down easily.) After gathering a variety of allergens into a jar, Mason held the jar in the waiting room for twenty minutes. Then, for the next twenty-five hours, we used a mini-massager to stimulate eight different points on Mason’s body every two hours while he was awake. Mason had his first peanut over the weekend with no reaction. What did he think? He didn’t like it. Oh well.

What is happening? The treatment in the office tells Mason’s brain that the items are OK. The items give off an electromagnetic field that his body picks up on. Our bodies cycle every two hours and the massager reminds Mason’s brain that the items are OK. Our doctor told us that a colleague of his from Vanderbilt was skeptical. She said that allergies work on a cellular level, not within terms of the brain. Well, she’s a believer now. We’ve also stopped Mason’s allergy pill and nose spray. So far so good.

The doctor, to illustrate, also told me of a woman who was talking to her son on the phone while he was away at college. Suddenly, there was a gun shot and the phone went dead. From that moment on, the woman was severely allergic to peaches. She had been eating one during the call and since she did not know what happened, her brain said, “it must be the peach.” This is akin to a somatization disorder where you see something so horrific that you temporarily go blind.

Why is NAET not more popular? We are conditioned to believe that medications are how we are cured. The thing is, we become more and more dependent on them as we go back again and again for more and more shots for years. You think the pharmaceutical companies are going to promote NAET? I doubt it.

With NAET, it can take up to 15-20 treatments, but you can go back after every twenty-five our cycle. Compare this to years of shots and the difference in time invested is astronomical. NAET doesn’t work for everyone but neither do allergy medications. Once we get Mason cleared, I plan on working on my dependency on Clarinex and Nasonex.

“He then answered, ‘Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.'” John 9:25

This Propaganda Brought to You by Nickelodeon

Well, it finally happened. My five-year-old son saw his first piece of propaganda from the homosexual community. It was a commercial on Nickelodeon with Wanda Sykes. She was telling some teenage boys not to use the word “gay” in a derogatory manner. On the surface, the commercial does have a very positive message. The campaign and the website are entitled ThinkB4YouSpeak.com. Who would disagree with that? Well, what about when the word “gay” meant something totally different and wasn’t offensive to anyone? I miss those days. A very important Christian lesson is being missed: God does not approve of homosexuality. Romans 1:26 & 27 says this clearly. God even destroyed a city because it was so wicked and practiced homosexuality. Not everyone thinks it’s OK.
This commercial only gives one side of the issue and millions of kids saw it. While they were obviously not told anything wrong per se, this situation does illustrate very plainly how groups can get a message into American homes and teach the next generation. If presented in the right context, almost anything can be communicated. For the uninformed viewer, the television never lies.
Watch what your kids are watching and make sure they learn your values, not someone else’s.

"I’m Disabled . . . I Can Prove It."

I have a disability. My plight comes from working hard at my job and caring about how well it is done. I obsess over details and take it personally if I’m criticized. I’m only as good as my last accomplishment and ultimately the job is never done. Muscle tension, headaches, and sleepless nights are just some of the side effects. If I don’t keep my flare-ups to a minimum, high blood pressure and obesity (leading to a premature death) could be my lot. This disease is hereditary as I’m raising a son and daughter with the same affliction.

My work disability sometimes goes into remission when I get home to face my other disability: my love for my family. This ailment keeps me focused and disciplined in the rest of my life and it means I might not give in to some pleasures such as self-centeredness and anything that might make me put my family second. I say “no” to my kids, “yes” to my wife, and “stay out” to anything that might harm them. I would leave my job, shoot an intruder, and walk through fire to save them. The television is not our guide, the Bible is and we believe in those things that it teaches. We think you should too. I have a daughter to protect from mindless boys, a son to protect from himself, and a wife to shield from my bouts of stupidity which is thankfully only an occasional fever instead of a disability.
There are others who have these same disabilities. They go in early and stay late. They save to buy something and take care of it when they get it. They work when they’re sick and get sick if they can’t work. The only thing they hate worse than paying taxes is looking at able-bodied people who do nothing but live off of someone else’s dollar. Those who do nothing do serve one purpose. They spawn other generations that will expect to get something for nothing.
While these disabilities are made up, they’re not any more made up than the disabilities many others get by with today, bleeding our country dry. At least mine contributes.
Now, where’s my check?

Adoption vs. Abortion

September 23 through November 1 is designated as 40 Days for Life, a time in which pro-life advocates pray, fast, and rally for those who can’t defend themselves. To say the least, this campaign is met with tough opposition, one of which being teens who know little about what it is to protect a life that is not their own. Don’t get me wrong, there are many teens who want to keep unborn hearts beating, but here’s a story where hopefully some good was done to change some impressionable minds.
Their argument was, “are you going to adopt the babies you save?” Well, maybe not those pro-life advocates specifically but with the extensive line of those wanting to adopt in America, I’m sure the unborn can be taken care of. Furthermore, despite the fact that the foster care system isn’t what it should be, that’s no reason to slaughter the unborn. There are nursing homes that need improvements. Are we going to euthanize grandma or is life more important than that?
Another argument I’m familiar with that comes from the pro-choice camp can be summed up in this statement, “Make babies you can’t feed.” I’ve seen this as a bumper sticker. How silly. Again, there are thousands of adults wanting to feed newborns because they can’t have their own. With the previous statement in mind, I have come up with a good slogan for Planned Parenthood, the supposed non-profit provider of abortions, “Have all the sex you want, we’ll take care of the consequences.”

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"You Lie" -Joe Wilson

I don’t usually write about politics but I have some thoughts on this topic and plus it’s a good way to get traffic to your site; writing about something that people are searching for.

Joe Wilson’s interruption of Obama’s speech last week has received a lot of attention. Hours after the incident you could get ties, shirts, and hats promoting the Pelosi head jerking moment. It was rude, but I think a good bit of dissension is good for our country. It keeps those in power from thinking that everyone is buying into what they say or do. The British have a shouting match every week over the previous week’s decisions. It’s a raucous. We’re a bit more civil here (at least in that respect) but that can leave us looking like a young calf whose only place in life is to be turned into veal. I don’t like a vice around my neck either. If we disagree with something, why shouldn’t we be vocal? It may be considered rude, but as of late, that seems to be the only way to get noticed and to be heard. I’m sure glad those involved in the Boston Tea Party weren’t civil.

"Advanced Society vs. Conservative Beliefs"

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl went to Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago to meet one of the most powerful men in the world, Ali Al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister and de facto head of the OPEC oil cartel. In the interview Stahl said to Al-Naimi, “You have one of the most efficient, cutting-edge 21st century companies in the world . . . within one of the most religious conservative countries in the world. It’s almost a paradox.”

Why is this a paradox? I suppose she believes that if you are religiously conservative then you must be some sort of back woods hill-billy who needs a flashlight to go to the bathroom. My beliefs as a Christian are based on faith but also on hard evidence grounded in science. I’m at least smart enough not to make a blanket assumption the way Stahl did. “You’re an advanced civilization. I suppose you have thrown out everything that remotely resembles a spiritual belief system.” This is why I don’t normally watch television beyond my local news. The pervasive liberal stance they take is sickening.

Visit the following sites for intelligent answers to difficult questions:
Apologetics Press
Focus Press

"A School Gone Too Far?"

This video is a prime example of schools indoctrinating children with an ideology that some groups find offensive. They are teaching on a matter that is outside the realm of academics. School systems should be neutral on some matters and homosexuality is one of them. Should schools teach that we must respect people’s differences? YES. Should they teach that some families have two daddies and two mommies? Yes, because this is a fact; there are homosexual families. The next two questions show where their neutrality comes in. Should they teach that homosexuality is right and good? NO. Should they teach that it is sinful? NO. This is not their place. Now, pay close attention to the following points. Should they teach that SOME PEOPLE believe it’s OK? YES. Should they teach that SOME PEOPLE believe that it goes against God’s will? YES. In a similar fashion, when schools teach abstinence, they should also teach the use of birth control. This is a balanced view that gives students sufficient knowledge in a vital area of their lives. Otherwise, we are doing them a disservice by only telling them part of the story. This balance, even though I might disagree some with one side of it, gives credence to families who are different than my own.

School systems should be neutral, and they should inform parents when they are teaching things that involve family values and are clearly not academic because parents should have a choice in some matters. The school in the video is using the book mentioned to teach that something is morally right when many families believe it is not. In their efforts to promote equality and acceptance, good ideas to be sure, they have swung in the other direction and marginalized families that believe differently than them. They have made a judgment and said that conservative families don’t have a place in their school. This is simply reverse discrimination.

"Jesus and Politics"

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD . . . .” (Psalm 33:12) During election years people become engrossed with politics, and there are as many opinions as there are people. I find it fascinating that people who are so similar on many points can be so different politically. I think this is the nature of the beast. We like a candidate’s stand on certain issues and we want to give him our support. I don’t believe a person’s Christianity can be separated from their politics. This could lead to hypocrisy if the person supported their candidate on a sinful topic. I am hesitant to give a candidate my 100% endorsement because there will be things I do not like about him. Personally, I consider what he believes on a few key topics and vote that way. What should a Christian do in light of Biblical teaching? I believe one crucial indicator is the above verse. Of the two candidates in a presidential election, which will take us in that direction? If you say neither, and choose not to vote, that’s your decision and not a sinful one. We must be able to live with decisions that we believe please God. Others believe that voting for the “lesser of two evils” is the right thing which is also a good point. What is not a good decision is voting exclusively on the basis of financial gain or some issue that scripture frowns upon. Because, what will it matter if you gain the whole world and our country loses more of its soul?

How do you resolve the struggle between voting for someone who may think differently than you, but you like his stance on other topics?