Tonight was graduation. It’s always a good feeling to have another year done.
At my school, we try to make graduation last only an hour. The student speeches have a time limit, the faculty speaker has a time limit, the school board member is told a time limit. Some people adhere to the limit, and others ignore it – or think that everyone wants to listen to them.
This year we were lucky enough to have our Superintendent speak at our graduation. She spoke for five and a half long minutes. She’s only been to my school a handful of times. But she did her research. She found out that my school was a hockey school. And we were having graduation in a hockey arena. We have a rather famous alum who is known all over the hockey world and the rest of the world. So she assumed (ass-u-me) that hockey analogies were the way to go with her speech.
Guess what? My school does have a hockey team, but long ago were the days when the team had a chance at making it to state. The home games aren’t even in this huge arena. They’re in the practice arena behind the school. By focusing on hockey, you are playing to a largely white crowd. The crowd in attendance tonight was every color of the rainbow and white wasn’t the majority. She talked about the preparation of home ice – where they paint the team logo on the ice and then freeze another layer over it. These are the layers of your education. There are lots of people who tend to the ice. Your teachers are like the Zambonies that use hot water to make the ice smooth again, so everyone can skate. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what she said, but it’s close enough. At this point I tuned out. Me? A Zambonie? Give me a break! You’re full of it.
It would be nice if for once there was someone at the top who actually knew what they were talking about. Someone who has spent significant time working in a school. (4 years is not enough, Current Carrie) Someone who actually knows how to work with teachers and administrators…
The thing that gets me about this speech is the fact that she’s going around talking about the achievement gap. We’re being accused of not knowing our students – not finding out where they’re coming from. It’s our fault that there is this gap between different racial groups.
I’ll tell you what. I know my audience. I know where they come from, what their home life is like, if there’s a parent around, if the child is the parent, if they’re supporting themselves, and a whole host of other things. It would be nice if the Superintendent who is accusing us of not doing this, would have done her homework and figured out her audience for tonight.