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8585Re: [WWWEDU] Rant

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  • TeacherBC@aol.com
    May 25, 2006
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      Good evening, everyone. As I finally sit down, following a sixteen-hour day
      of the daily trivial pursuit that is often the job of a principal in a
      public school in NJ, I feel your pain...all of it.

      Recently, we began the process of completing annual reviews. As part of
      that process, I requested that staff members download, complete, and send back
      to me as a file a survey in order to assist me in this process.

      Of a staff of eighty, I had 15-20 who couldn't download an attachment,
      locate the directory it was in, if they had succeeded at step one, and were unable
      to attach a file, even with the gosh darned paper clip as a choice on the
      menu bar. (Where is the file?) Where does a person begin??

      A grievance ("we have never done this before") and several innane
      conversations with the very few staff members who think a mouse is a foot pedal later,
      and I squashed it. I directed a technological goal in all of their
      professional development plans for next year.

      As a second-year principal, having taken over for a technophobe, I feel like
      Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the mountain. To Ted, and anyone else who
      would despair I would offer the following:

      A dwarf on the shoulders of a giant sees the farther of the two...I think
      that fits here.

      Also, at least ONCE a day, I read the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Using
      the computer just now, I did locate it in 4.5 seconds, copied and pasted it
      here in 2.4 seconds, and saved the several hours it would previously have
      taken me to go to the library, photocopy the poem, bring it home, and bang it out
      on my IBM Selectric. :-)

      That being said, we may lose a battle now and then; however, this is a war
      that we are going, inevitibly to win. After all, our students, within one
      generation, will be the principals, superintendents, and Board of Education
      members who will build the "highways." You are all the trailblazers, leaving, as
      Longfellow said, "footprints on the sands of time" for them to follow.

      If this is forwarded to you all, the text of "If" appears below. I read it
      at least once DAILY and it helps me to maintain that so fragile hold on my

      Keep the faith everyone. The whispers of this group, taken collectively in
      each of respective professions and locations, will become a roaring crowd
      when the voices are joined....

      _Rudyard Kipling_

      If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
      But make allowance for their doubting too;
      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
      Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
      And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
      If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
      If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
      If you can meet with triumph and disaster
      And treat those two imposters just the same;
      If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
      Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
      Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
      And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
      If you can make one heap of all your winnings
      And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
      And lose, and start again at your beginnings
      And never breath a word about your loss;
      If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
      To serve your turn long after they are gone,
      And so hold on when there is nothing in you
      Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
      If all men count with you, but none too much;
      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
      Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
      And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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