School’s back, and depending on your perspective (and your age) it’s either cause for sad emojis…or happy dancing.
We think there’s probably a little of both, and we salute the new school year and all the joys (predictable schedules, yay!) and challenges (half days, boo) it brings. As the big yellow bus makes off with both the lazy days of summer and our progeny (not to mention the days of pleading with friends for playdates while we work), we nod to a few news items in education news that are getting the new school year off to an energetic start.
Meet the Teacher
Think all pre-first-day welcome messages are all boring, formal how-do-ya-dos? You haven’t met Mr. Dwayne Reed. The first-year teacher in Chicago said “welcome” to his incoming fourth graders with a video that included original rap, some ace dance moves…and Captain Underpants. His students-to-be are probably counting the minutes until the bell rings. Heck, we wish we were in fourth grade. Say it with us: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Give this man a shiny red apple (and a TV show) stat!
To Homework or Not to Homework
Even before the school year started, students in Brandy Young’s second-grade class got a big zero on homework. And by zero…we mean, no homework. “There will be no formally assigned homework this year,” wrote the Texas teacher in her welcome note. “Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success. Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.” We’ll take the fifth on how much homework is a good idea (the NEA has some good guidelines). But we’ve got to hand it to the teacher for reopening an important conversation on together time, the great outdoors, and family dinners. Mangia!
A little blue cartoon fish may have coined the phrase, “Just keep swimming.” But Olympic swimmer extraordinaire Katie Ledecky has given it a whole new meaning, opting to turn down a bunch of lucrative endorsement deals to swim for Stanford instead. “I’ve always wanted to swim collegiately and have that experience,” Katie, winner of four golds and a silver in Rio, told ESPN radio. “I think it is going to be a lot of fun to be on a team with some really great friends and great swimmers and also just go to class with them.” Did we mention said endorsement deals were estimated to be worth about $5 million? We applaud Katie for her commitment (not to mention her smarts) and her inspiration for kids everywhere to go for gold. And we expect to be rooting her on again in 2020 in Tokyo. Just keep swimming, Katie!
The New School Year is Here!
Those are just a few tidbits to start your semester. To working parents everywhere who are lacing up the new sneaks and filling up those new lunch boxes…we wish you all a good first day and many great days to follow.
And to Dwayne Reed….we love your idea of teaching some of your subjects by song. We only ask that you keep posting them on YouTube. May we suggest putting your own spin on this one?
Happy new school year!