We hear so much talk lately about violence among the young people in disadvantaged areas. So much talk about police violence towards young black men. All the conversations about race relations and attitudes and stereotypes. In not one instance have I heard the news talk about the biggest problem facing inner city black and Hispanic youths. That problem is – MACHISMO.
Machismo, as defined by the dictionary is, “a strong sense of masculine pride; an exaggerated awareness and assertion of masculinity.”
Any teacher in our inner cities can explain to you how machismo is the source of so many problems among our minority youths. I’m convinced that the cultural phenomenon known as machismo is partly responsible for the endless cycle of violence in our inner cities.
Some way we need to rid the curse of machismo from young black and Hispanic males. We need for them to understand that real machismo is a father with five kids who works six days a week at back-breaking labor in a factory and never complains and never misses a day of work for thirty years.
Have you seen two boxers stare at each other as the referee is giving instructions right before the start of the match ? That my friends is the type of machismo that needs no dictionary definition. I’ve seen that same look in the eyes of so many black and Hispanic youths as they confronted one another on the playground over a slight or perceived insult.
Some people seem so surprised that a black or Hispanic youth would “talk back ” or defy a policeman as they are being questioned. Experienced teachers are very aware of the “machismo problem” and know how to discipline young black and Hispanic males without setting off their machismo trigger.
I know I will receive complaints about this post. I know I will be accused of making generalizations and of being a racist, but someone needs to bring up the ongoing problem of machismo. I have no idea how you change such an ingrained cultural phenomenon, but until that happens, I can guarantee you there will be no other solution that ends gang violence and all the other problems brought on by machismo.
Maybe the next time we could insist all boxers have pre-planned speeches as they are facing off in the center the ring. While young males watch on t.v., the boxers would engage in the following dialogue. Boxer #1 “I work two extra jobs to support my kids.” Boxer #2, “I work two jobs and do all the housework for my wife and go to every one of my kids’ parent conferences, so there.” Boxer 1, “yeah, well I’m gonna bust you up good because my hands are like stone after remodeling my whole house without wearing gloves.” Boxer 2, “prepare to go down in round one, you chump, I always finish my work early so I can help my kids with their homework.”
I think you get the idea. We need to root out this machismo problem or don’t expect any changes in the level of violence in the near future.
Great news! It’s been weeks since I’ve seen a news report about a bad teacher. Unfortunately, with that good news comes some bad news. Instead of the usual bad teacher reports, the police are now the focus of the news media’s wrath.
Just when the news media had the public believing that most teachers were incompetent people who were constantly molesting their students or abusing them in some way, the focus has now shifted to proving most police are racist thugs who enjoy nothing more than seeking out people to persecute.
Does anyone remember when the news media actually took time to be balanced and report stories in a way that reminded people not to condemn a whole group of people by the actions of a few of their members ?
I’m not sure why any young person would even think about a career in education or law enforcement these days. I’m reminded of the old country/western song, “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.” We need a new one that says, “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be a Teacher or Policeman.”
The Illinois General Assembly’s veto session closed on Thursday with the Senate approving a bill allowing bobcat hunting in the state. This must be the solution to our problems, as the news reported that the legislators “spent considerable time debating the bill.”
Illinois banned the hunting of bobcats in 1972, as the animals were on the “threatened species” list. Now experts estimate there are 3,000 bobcats in the state. Perhaps the legislators will demand $50 for each “bobcat hunting permit”. If 3,000 permits are sold, imagine, that’s $150,000 right there. Yes, that’s why the legislators devoted so much time to the bobcat debate, that extra $150,000 should about solve the pension crisis, right ? Or not ?
I’m just glad to see our legislators have their priorities in order. Let’s solve this crisis, one bobcat at a time.
We will know the “education crisis” is over when we see hundreds of people on Black Friday charging into a Barnes and Noble store and fighting over a book on nuclear physics the way they fight over remaining big screen televisions at Wal-Mart.
Why is it that people will happily wait hours outside a store in the freezing cold to snap up a bargain, but if a teacher’s conference times are running late, and those same people must wait an additional half hour to see the teacher, they become impatient and angry.
The latest “teacher rage incident” being viewed by millions of people online is that of a Florida gym or swim teacher allegedly dragging a 14-year-old girl into a pool because she refused to get her hair wet. Apparently the girl had previously been in the pool but refused the part of the instruction that involved her putting her head under water.
This teacher was supposedly a ten-year veteran with no previous problems. I’m sure this teacher’s career is now over and who knows if criminal charges will be brought against him. As I have said so many times before, no matter how frustrated or stressed out a teacher might become YOU MUST NEVER TOUCH A CHILD UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Teachers must have the most patience in the world, because one incident of rage and you are done.
The real reason most of these teachers get into trouble has to do with POOR PLANNING. A teacher must prepare for EVERY EVENTUALITY. You must have a plan in place to PREVENT student misbehavior before it happens. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time a student refused to get their hair wet or whatever the case might be. I’m sure there were various appropriate punishments and detentions in place for such incidences, but those are always “after the fact”. You must have a POSITIVE plan in place to motivate otherwise reluctant students to do what is required.
Here is an example for you beginning teachers of how a “planned prevention device” could have been in place to avoid just such an incidence at the pool. You should know that 14-year-old girls might be reluctant to mess up their makeup or get their hair out-of-order, so you must MOTIVATE THEM TO DO SO by planning ahead. Before the class even begins, the teacher should have placed a Justin Bieber waterproof CD at the bottom of the pool. When the girl refused to get her hair wet, the instructor could simply have whispered to her, “oh, look, is that a waterproof Justin Bieber CD at the bottom of the pool?” Bingo, the girl dives into the bottom of the pool, problem solved.
You see, my young teacher friends, that is an example of how you plan ahead to prevent problems. Remember what my old principal used to say, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is what makes teaching the most difficult job in the world. You must plan for EVERY eventuality. Now, find out what motivates each and every one of your students. PREVENT PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN.
Retired teachers of Illinois won a small victory today when the 7th Judicial Circuit Court ruled that the pension reform law was not legal. Now the Supreme Court of Illinois will have to rule on the case.
Illinois retired teachers need to stop celebrating and realize they still have a lot of work to do. Even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of retirees, the State of Illinois is going to have to do something to shore up the terribly underfunded pensions. In the past I have suggested many ways that the State could start to pay back some of the money that was “stolen” from the pension funds over the past decades. I’m sure many of you have ideas as well. We need to continually bug legislators to do more to fund the pensions.
We also need to keep a close eye on the rate of return that our invested pension funds have been getting. The past few years have seen a soaring stock market that has a 20 percent or more rate of return for many savvy investment firms. The next financial report from the Teachers’ Retirement System had better show a real healthy gain. If the people who are investing our pension money are getting anything less than an overall return of 15 percent, we need to grab torches and pitchforks and march to our TRS headquarters and demand the resignation of our investment people and the hiring of some worthy investment managers. I realize a pension fund can’t make “risky” investments, but so many dividend paying stocks are not risky. May I suggest purchasing many millions of shares of Apple corporation? You think that company is going under any time soon ? We could put the names of several big growth companies on slips of paper, lay them on the ground and select the ones that a somewhat trained chicken might peck at.
Seriously, we better see a great rate of return on our investments or demand new people do the job. Retirees, you must keep on top of this. Illinois could go the way of Detroit, and then you would have to take what a bankruptcy judge gives you.