I keep meaning to tell one of my favorite school stories ….
I heard this from a friend of mine who teaches in an urban school.
The school sounds like a happy place. It sounds like a reasonably effective place, too, although listening to the stories makes me even more convinced (if that’s possible) that all schools need field-tested, proven curricula. They need books that can carry the teacher if the teacher needs carrying.
Teachers who need carrying aren’t the only reason schools need field-tested, proven curricula, but they’re one of them for sure.
I should add that I think most teachers probably need carrying at least some the time. I certainly have. When I decided to re-teach math to C., a project that required re-teaching math to myself, I chose Saxon Math for that exact reason. This book will get us both through algebra, I thought.
Anyway, back to my story.
Once a year my friend’s school has career day, when they invite an employed person, usually a parent, I think, to tell the kids what it’s like to work as ‘X.’
This year they had a policeman.
All the kids were interested, and had lots of questions to ask.
My friend’s favorite question, by far:
How much time do you get for Grand Larceny in the Third Degree?
Talk about missing background knowledge. I didn’t even know Grand Larceny in the Third Degree was a thing, let alone how much time you might spend in jail if you get caught doing it.
This reminds me of that great Kevin Bacon line in Diner: “Do you ever get the feeling that there’s something going on that we don’t know about?”
Answer: Yes. Yes, I do.