Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Today, on Facebook friend MaryBeth Matthews shared something that not only shocked me but saddened me. My thoughts and concerns about the threat of a teacher’s strike and the recount of the school district’s handling of assaults on teachers. Violence begets violence, and if consequences are not given if the “assault” does not meet an arbitrary definition what lesson are we teaching our children?
At first, it seems offering condolences to a grieving family for their son being coupled with a discussion of the definition of assault seems incongruous but on deeper refection had a deeper meaning for me.
I have been told by a young man who knew the family that apparently the altercation may have been caused by a difference over a girl. How sad that a young man would turn to a gun to settle a difference, but then if he has witnessed assaults without consequences how far does a young person’s mind need to travel to using a gun which appear to readily available.
For a student to learn, he or she needs to know they are safe and secure. That usually means that they not only see the man or woman standing before them as a teacher but as a protector, a confidant, a trusted adult. Read this, and see if you think our children can believe that when they are in their school they are in a safe and secure place where they can learn.
I was a teacher in Cleveland for 5 years two of the years "threat of strike" was part of my summers and in a third year "all state money is spent we cannot pay you again until January" was a reality. (This statement was shared with us on November 1 so we could prepare for our holiday season.
Throughout that time, the relationship between management and staff was contentious to say the least, but every day we continued to do what teachers do-we taught.
In all negotiations, the highest and best for children should be the goal. And, the community needs to be engaged ALWAYS for that to happen.
"Our message is clear: The members of the Cleveland Teachers Union – teachers, paraprofessionals, psychologists, nurses, speech language pathologists, OTs, PTs, sign language interpreters, and substitute teachers are united in that fight for a contract that is good for kids and fair for educators."
Here are MaryBeth’s thoughts:
“Since 1988 I have worked hard for the students of Cleveland. Typically, I publicly stay out of the politics. There is a lot that is good happening in Cleveland schools and those things need to be shouted from the rooftops, but there are also some awful trends happening to public schools nationally and locally that most people don’t hear about either. This summer our contract is being negotiated, things are not looking good and we may be going on strike for the only time in my lifelong career. This week the CTU president spoke to the school board. I am posting his speech since it begins to explain, but is just the tip of the iceberg. Read to the end about teacher assault.”
and please take the time to read Cleveland Teacher’s Union Board President David Quokle’s speech to the Cleveland School Board:
"Good Evening, I am David Quolke President of the Cleveland Teachers Union. On behalf of myself and the entire Cleveland Teachers Union, I want to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Diamond Russell. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family, Diamond’s classmates at Ginn Academy, his teammates at Glenville, his coaches, teachers, and the entire Glenville community as another young life was taken far too soon. We have a saying in the education community that “to teach is to touch a life forever.’” Our thoughts, our prayers and our support are with everyone whose lives were touched by Diamond Russell as they begin this healing process.
The Bullitt Center in Seattle has been called the greenest building in the world. Its developer, Chris Rogers of Point32, credits the Bullitt Foundation, which subscribed to the Living Building Challenge, a paradigm shifting green building process that Rogers says, "goes way beyond LEED."
Living Buildings put in to bricks and mortar (or bio-based materials) the vision that two decades ago the likes of architect Bill McDonough and futurist David Orr spun from beautiful prose in to the first generation of green buildings. The vision was always to design buildings that act like a tree, that are abundant, producing more than taking. How will the Bullitt Center, which embodies those ideals, shift the paradigm in how we build?
"I think would be great if we were the greenest building in the world—for a week," Rogers told the Building with Nature Symposium which is introducing new ideas about building for the future in to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's rebuilding process. "What we learned can be replicated, but you need to look at local conditions to fit with your climate and culture."
Categories: NEO Environment
"We want a building that itself embodies how we can live in the future, in a highly sustainable way," Cleveland Museum of Natural History Director Evalyn Gates explained to 450 attendees the purpose of the museum's Building with Nature symposium, a free and open to the public event at the museum today. "Our experience with the SmartHome showed us that we want a (new) building that cost less to operate and maintain and will inspire all of us about how we live on this planet."
To inspire the museum to reach for the stars, Dr. Gates, an astrophysicist, and GreenCityBlueLake Institute Director David Beach assembled a high wattage panel—from the designer of literally the world's greenest building to the country's foremost experts on energy who figured out how to green the renovation of the Empire State Building. These are big thinkers but also the 'do-ers' -- practitioners who have faced skepticism and long odds and in the end broke new ground for all of us. That list started with Curtis Fentress whose firm is the architect of record for the Museum's proposed redevelopment and addition.
Categories: NEO Environment