At the mere cost of $5 billion, Bill Gates once had the brilliant idea to train cameras on every teacher in every classroom. What better way to improve teaching...or is it testing? No matter what ed. "reformers" say, surely, the two are not the same.
Well, just when you think Mr. Gates could not possibly outdo himself, along comes another brainy idea. After all, if he can finance turning poopy to drinkable water, there must be no end to his natural brilliance: Why should Big Brother just watch you, when he could be telling you what to do?
Let teachers wear earbuds. They're experimenting with it in Memphis, Tampa and New York. If you're doing something wrong, like looking too relaxed, why study the play-by-play later, when it's too late? Why wait for an outside observer to hold a private conference with you? Why wait for a written formal observation? You ought to know right then and there, in front of your kids, what's wrong with you and how to fix it. And students should see teachers following orders like so many dogs. There's surely a lesson to be learned here!
Earbuds are all the rage today. We've seen them in classrooms around the world for everything from replacing boring lectures or test prep with the music of one's choice to cheating on exams via electronic transmitters. Usually the buds are hidden beneath a cap, hood or long hair, but sometimes they're flaunted. Now, let teachers flaunt them, too. Let them be put straight via wireless technology. Let them perform like circus animals because, surely, teachers are incapable of thinking for themselves. There's surely a lesson to be learned here!
This earth-shattering idea has so many unrealized possibilities...
Have you ever asked your kid to do something...like clean up a mess in his or her room? Does it seem that your voice is filtered out like white noise? Well, who's to say teachers won't act in the same vein? Big Brother, coaching, perhaps, from thousands of miles away should have the power to transmit an excessively shrill noise into a teacher's ear. And, if that teacher will not "wake up" to a better way of teaching...or prepping, perhaps, an electric shock would do the trick! Remember, coaches never need to be coached.
The potential of ear buds is only just beginning to be realized. So many markets are left untapped.
Politicians should be given ear buds. Give one to every governor. Why not give two to the president? Let some hedge-fund operator, Jenny Sedlis or even Michael Bloomberg tell our elected politicians what to do. Let the highest campaign donors coach us out of democracy. There's surely a lesson to be learned here!
Suppose you're a Unity hack. You have a really nice office job and a double pension. You don't care much for your classroom and you're not sure how much you should fret over ed. "reform." You live in perpetual fear of failing to move up the Union ladder. What if you fail to back Unity's line? What if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time? What if you accidentally stand up against the Core or you think annual testing is shameful? Well, there's a way to allay your fears. You need someone up the totem pole to talk down to you and tell you what to do. When teachers ask why the sub-par contract is so good and if there are any copies in print, let your ear bud answer for you! "There's strength in Unity." And, maybe some day, you'll be dictating policy down the line! There's surely a lesson to be learned here!
If you're a charter school operator or a politician in Albany, you, too, probably want an earbud. What if you're being questioned by the FBI? You might not know what to say. You might not know where all the money went or even where it came from. You, too, can be coached. Just plug in your earbud 'cause anything you say can be held against you in a court of law! Your earbud, of course, could deal you expert legal advice...or it might make you the next fall guy. But, then, an earbud would never lead anyone astray. Right?