Translating and communicating

Bird droppings June 25, 2022
Translating and communicating

“Scientific management is always on guard against people who don’t fit securely into boxes, whether because of too much competency, too much creativity, too much popularity, or what have you. Although often hired, it is with the understanding they must be kept on a short leash and regarded warily. The ideal hireling is reflexively obedient, cheerfully enthusiastic about following orders, and ever eager to please. Training for this position begins in the first grade with the word, don’t.” John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 2010

I looked for a copy of John Dewey’s Experience and Education a few days back. As I traveled the bookstores, the only one available was a tiny version that old folks like me have a hard time reading and is the one I already have. The new printing is a slightly larger font and much easier to read. While looking for Dewey’s book, I found Gatto’s latest endeavor. The book’s subtitle is A schoolteacher’s journey through the dark world of Compulsory schooling. While a teacher of thirty years, Gatto sees the issues rampant in education today. Teaching to the test is not just a catchphrase but a method of teaching that is being taught to teachers. Here is what is on the test. Now teach just this.

In about two months, I may have students in a classroom again. I will walk down hallways and talk with students and teachers, and I wonder if anything will be different from when I left. I wonder if teachers have studied how to be more effective and if students read and became more scholarly over the weeks of summer. Some teachers have attended graduate school, and many will have attended leadership training programs teaching them how to manage teachers and students better and move them through the education processes so that required tests get passed. A few may have opted for philosophy, literature, psychology, social studies, or other more liberal arts courses.

“An effective teacher is one who is able to convince not half or three quarters but essentially all of his or her students to do quality work in school.” Dr. William Glasser MD.

In his book The Quality School, Dr. Glasser explains his ideas. I found it interesting one of his first references is to Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who revolutionized the industry in Japan. The Japanese contracted with a US quality expert who US industry barely recognized to improve quality. In a few short years, they overtook and surpassed the US industry in production and quality. I can recall only a few years ago when a certain US car company used the slogan “Quality is job 1”. A good view of quality is the resale value of cars and trucks. Amazing how nearly all of the top ten best resale vehicles are Japanese.

“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” Dale Carnegie

Carnegie provides a quick guide to life for teachers, parents, students, and children. I have always felt example is the key in almost any aspect of life. I wish it were not so but how we look and or are perceived is often how we are judged first in life. What we say can affect those around us and how they determine whether or not to believe us or not and always how we say it. What do we mean? Looking at Carnegie’s words, I wonder if there is more to communication somewhere?

“A world community can exist only with world communication, which means something more than extensive short-wave facilities scattered about the globe. It means common understanding, a common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals.” Robert M. Hutchins

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins

Although both hold elements needed for people to communicate worldwide, even in another town, a common language, a standard set of words, and ideas are needed to initiate thoughts. It also knows that each person may see the world differently and be able to work around that and through that.

“The higher you go, the wider spreads the network of communication that will make or break you. It extends not only to more people below but to new levels above. And it extends all around, to endless other departments and interests interacting with yours.” Donald Walton

I went by Wal-Mart yesterday looking for a particular item, a movie my son and I wanted to watch, no luck, but as we were walking out, he and I had both been thinking the same thought. This store was a mini-mall for this community; people were just shopping, walking about looking, everywhere. Wal-Mart had become a focal point for this town. I had recently been to a Wal-Mart Sam’s club, talking with a manager and other staff. There is a network of communication.

As I sit here going back through my morning writing, I have used many industry icons as featured quotes. I started using a quote from an educator who implicates industry as a culprit in this systematic process of education we now have. Creating workers, yet each of the industrial leader’s quotes does not imply that. Yesterday as I emailed back and forth with several friends, we discussed building a network of teachers, and working that network would not build a powerful teaching tool. What about a parent network where issues could be in the open immediately and clarified and discussed rather than become a sore and fester? Communication is an essential item in today’s fast-paced world and so overlooked. Today is a day where a week is nearly over; please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your heart’s namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)

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