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Rude and disengaged? Not so!

Wade Bishop, assistant principal at Ennis High School

Have you ever noticed that good news about a school, a teacher or a student quickly fades from the spotlight, but news that is about something wrong or bad takes on a life of its own and spreads like the proverbial wild fire?

A teacher in Pennsylvania recently wrote on her blog that her students were being “…rude, disengaged, lazy whiners.”

Her comments made the national news, and several weeks later the blog is still the subject of newspaper and magazine articles as well as the subject for news and talk show programs.

Comments like this really bother me, because I fear that people who hear and read these kinds of comments will come to believe that most of today’s young people are really “rude and disengaged.”

As an assistant principal who works with kids on a daily basis, my view of them is very different.

I see young people who have to grow up too quickly because of social pressures and because of the need to work to help support their families…and yet still keep working to meet the demands of a very challenging curriculum.

I see young people who refuse to let a label keep them from being successful.

Rude and disengaged?

I don’t think so!

I wish that each of you could see the example of greatness and selflessness that I get to see in young people here at Ennis High School on a daily basis.

They march confidently onto the field as the Ennis High School Band, and perform flawlessly as Lionettes and EHS Cheerleaders.

They become part of Ennis Lion athletic teams and perform feats of amazement while demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship.

They make up our UIL competition teams and proudly bring medal after medal back to Ennis High School from surrounding schools and districts. They participate in the successful FFA/Ag Mechanics teams that consistently bring home ribbons and scholarships for their efforts.

They are part of the many school clubs that build camaraderie among their members and do tons of charitable work for the school and community.

What I love and appreciate about all of these groups and organizations are the life-altering traits these students learn that will enable them to have successful careers and productive lives.

Take my word on this – these are not disengaged students!

The thing that I find most frustrating about the Pennsylvanian teacher’s blog is the fact that we teach our students to practice proper behavior on social networking sites, yet they see a teacher using it as a tool to attack students.

Unlike what we stress to our students, the teacher chose to break the old adage — “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.”

Like every other profession, school people have “bad” days, and I hope that is the excuse of our Pennsylvanian friend.

But most importantly, I hope during her “time off” she realizes just how much she misses her students and how much they actually do need her.

She was not just an English teacher, but to some of her students, she was a role model.

What I would like to know is where are the comments about the good kids?

Why do we not hear about all of the good things happening in our schools? Why does no one seem to care what the really good teachers are doing?

I can tell you one thing for sure. At Ennis High School, they are not sitting around and blogging about what is wrong because they are too busy doing things that bring credit to themselves and to their school.

Wade Bishop is the assistant principal at Ennis High School.

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Posted by on Feb 24 2011. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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