Mommy Mayhem · Podcast · School Talk

Stop the Gloating, Honor People’s Personal Stories, Ugly Leggings and I Can’t Even With This Caterpillar Rash!

On this very rainy Tuesday (when, yet again, all baseball games will be cancelled and the pressure will be on for me to actually make dinner), Keri and I hit the airwaves with our sixth episode of Planet Mom Radio. We talk about the never-ending gloating going on over Question 2 in Massachusetts: you won, we lost. Stop talking about it and start coming up with alternative solutions to the problems Q2 was supposed to help solve.

We touch on the ugliness that seems to ensue every time someone shares a personal education story critical of the status quo or “the system”. We specifically speak Michael Robert Biagoni who had criticisms about a school system in East Hartford and has found himself in the crosshairs of nastiness because he shared his story with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Gasp!

Respectfully, I responded to angry teachers who told me I was wrong for sharing my story. These teachers are part of a union that rallied against the secretary for using my experience as an example for what is wrong with the current educational system.

I didn’t expect to get calls from reporters, or for my name to show up in my hometown paper.

I didn’t expect nasty things said about me on social media.

All I did was share my story with someone who wanted to listen. (Hartford Courant, June 4, 2017)

Keri shares what she’s dealing with around her middle son Miles and where he will go to school for kindergarten. He won’t get off the charter waitlist, the local district school’s record with Latino boys like him is not good enough, and so, she will be looking for additional income to pay for parochial school. She could sell those LuLaRoe leggings if they weren’t so damn ugly.

We give shout outs too. Keri talks about how she’s trying to get her son’s pre-k teacher acknowledged (and how hard that’s shaping up to be ) and I talk about my local district’s Teacher of the Year, Tanya Rao, whose own mom was told she’d be lucky if her daughter even graduated high school. Luckily, neither Tanya or her mom were letting that hold them back!

We break the hearts of music teachers everywhere with a recorder smack down—at least Keri allows kids to play instruments in her house unlike yours truly. (They make the dogs whine, cry, and howl too much!)

And in a lightbulb moment, it came to me that our philosophy around educating and serving kids should look a lot more like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Their commitment to eradicating childhood cancer is such that their lab is open every day, 24 hours a day. They aren’t in the business of turf wars or getting credit. They serve all children regardless of their family’s ability to pay. They patent nothing and instead share every breakthrough far and wide to save as many children as they can.

Imagine if we could say the same about how we educate the children in this nation.

We didn’t even get to the rescinded admissions at Harvard or to Kathy Griffin so we are hoping to try our hand at Skyping this week so we can chat again before too much time goes by.

Hey parents, teachers, coaches, superintendents, policy wonks! Want to be a guest on our Planet Mom Podcast launching soon? Let us know.

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