Teaching under with Bill 44: Start by taking control of class and curriculum

…Send the ones whose parents won’t co-operate down to the cafeteria for Cokes and deep-fried Twinkies. They won’t miss a thing.

As we all get used to the new reality of educating young people in Alabamberta during the era of the Edmonton Hillbillies (Let me tell ya a story ’bout a man named Ed), wise counsel for teachers preparing for the new term arrives in this morning’s mailbag.

One Skinny Dipper, a blogger from Ontario who sounds like a teacher to me, suggests notifying parents right from the get-go that all learning during the upcoming term may turn to such topics as sexual orientation, sexuality, religion or … God help us all! … evolution at any moment. (OK, I added the E-word myself, but I’m sure Skinny would approve.)

“Alberta teachers need to fight back by sending a permission form to the students’ parents and guardians that lasts for the whole school year,” writes Skinny.

A teacher could do this, Skinny suggests, by declaring “world studies” to be their classroom’s theme, explaining what that might mean and making parents and guardians agree on Day 1.

“Essentially, it is a 10 month permission form that the parents would need to sign,” he (or she) says. “It puts the onus on the parents to accept a whole-world concept of teaching and learning rather than a piecemeal approach of exclusive teaching and learning.”

Skinny notes that some Ontario schools do this now with permission forms for such commonplace activities as tours of nearby natural areas to study science. “This is much easier than sending permission forms every time a teacher wants to take his/her students offsite.”

This strikes me as sound advice for public school teachers. The problem, I’ll wager, will be principals, most of whom didn’t get where they are now by being bold.

I expect that the typical school principal, in Alberta as elsewhere, will counsel trying to fly under the radar, hoping against hope that one of the forbidden topics never comes up. Say, for example, what if someone asks, “How old is this rock?” (Recommended answer in the Hillbillies’ Alberta: “Very, very old.”)

The problem with that, of course, is that some kids ask the darndest questions, and others are sure to run home and tell their moms and dads how Teacher answered.

It’s going to come up. And it’s going to cause someone grief. Sooner or later, some bright spark of a kid who reads too much is going to ask: “Teach, what’s a ‘two-backed beast’?” (Suggested answer: “It’s just some metaphor that meant something to the author. These poets are always coming up with stuff like this. It’s impossible to know what he had in mind.” Thanks for that one, Mr. Kendrick!)

So why not do as Skinny suggests and sort them all out on the first day. Send the ones whose parents won’t co-operate down to the cafeteria for Cokes and deep-fried Twinkies. They won’t miss a thing.

Class dismissed!

3 Comments on "Teaching under with Bill 44: Start by taking control of class and curriculum"

  1. Skinny Dipper says:

    Thanks for this blog posting.

    In Ontario, I think evolution is taught as one small expectation in one of the secondary school courses.

    When I deal with sexual orientation, sexuality, and religion in the public school classroom, most of the time these are indirect issues that come from other topics. For example, how to students perceive boys participating in ballet? Which words rhyme with bay? I do give the students a meaningful definition of gay if they ask for it. Gay doesn't just mean happy. Why do Hindus celebrate Diwali? Why do Muslims observe Ramadan? Why do Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter? I do get the students to ask questions about the religious aspects of these celebrations. I am not trying to convert them. I just want them to be aware of other people's religions.

    I just hope that the teachers don't dilute the quality of their teaching and student learning because the the new Alberta law. I think there are ways to get around the law.

    (Mr.) SD, BEd

  2. Greg says:

    I wonder if they realize how much this could interfere with education. It's not just evolution and sex education. A parent to object to huge amounts of non-global-flood-related geology, history, environmental studies … even math … the bible does imply that pi is three.

    And I object to the use of the term "Alabamberta".

    It's pronounced "Albertabama". I'm sure you'll agree it rolls off the tongue more easily.

  3. Socred says:

    Your a communications director for the AUPE? I would have thought that someone with those supposed skills would be able to write something beyond a tirade?

    Parents do not have the right to remove their child from a classroom teaching evolution, because evolution does not involve sex, sexual orientation or religion.

    While I personally despise the human rights commission, I think the bill itself is a step in the right direction.

    Parents should be free to determine the course of their child's education. Hopefully, this will lead to the day when the socialist propaganda machine known as the public education system comes to an end, and parents are free to choose which school, and which curriculum their children will be taught.

    It amazes me that this bill is even an issue, but when it comes to socialist desires to impose their will on others, nothing surprises me anymore.

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