Right now, as I type this, I sit in the Communist Factory otherwise known as KIPP. One of the leaders (or so he believes) teaches Government. The level of annoyance he produces daily is unreal. He constantly violates personal space and has a lack of social intelligence. He carries around a miniature composition book scribbling away names and check marks as if anyone really cares. The situation now is that two of the six students in his government class (notice this is a small number because everyone else would have rather taken Sociology than his class any day of the week) turned in a rough draft to a stupid essay. Two weeks passed, and these essays were not given back. Finally, today he has found one of these students essays but couldn’t find the other one, which is so awkward because both of these students turned in their essays at the same time on the same type of paper. And he refuses to take responsibility for losing the essay and instead expects the students to rewrite the entire essay.
It’s teacher like this that intensify students’ hatred for KIPP. Not only do we have to deal with a fake high school but we have to deal with fake teachers. And when I say fake, I don’t mean what you call the girl who ‘stole yo’ man’. I mean fake as in high school and teachers shouldn’t be this way. The way our school is and the way the teachers act is so far from the norm that it doesn’t deserve to be called a high school and these people who reign over the classroom definitely don’t deserve the title of a teacher.
KIPP is obviously unlike any other highschool. We don’t have an actual highschool building, rather we attend school in “modular buildings” or trailers as most students call them. And even besides that, the highschool experience at KIPP differs vastly than any other school. Some of the teachers are not really qualified. The lunches are pathetic. The students can be unruly at sometimes. And overall the school is just ridiculous with its strict rules.
When it comes to hiring teachers, KIPP seems to value where the teacher graduated from more than whether they actually meet the criteria needed to become a teacher. Thus, the teachers come off as not really caring about the students, rather they care more about getting their loans from undergraduate school paid off so they can continue with their careers.
It’s actually kind of sad because KIPP used to have some of the best teachers who actually knew what they were teaching but slowly these types of teachers became extinct and were replaced with these other generic teachers (if you can even call them that).
In this town that I’m in, my high school options are limited. It’s either KIPP or Central. Enough said.
I just wish everyone in my high school could get the real high school experience. Maybe then, they’ll change their close-mindedness. Maybe.
Q:So, what are your thoughts on the amount of power given to teachers.
A:Honestly, the teachers have no power. Unless you mean how they relentlessly hand out detentions or pester over small issues like uniform, there’s really no power to be had as a teacher.
I think the teachers do usually take these small privileges they are given to an extreme but I think that stems from them not actually having any powers so what better way to feel powerful than to take advantage of the little things they’re given than to over use them. I know in Anatomy, at least 30 detentions are given out each day and the teacher of course thinks ‘Oh, if I give them detention, they’ll see I’m serious and listen to me.’ But actually, it shows a sign of weakness. Rather than send a rowdy child to the office to be reprimanded, the teachers constantly threaten students with detentions.
What teachers fail to understand is nobody really cares. Literally, nobody cares! And the fact that they think we do, is laughable.
In all high schools, I feel like there is a totem pole. At KIPP the totem pole is as follows: Mr. Shirey at the top, then Mr. VanDeWalle, then Mr. Dixon and Ms. Graham, the teachers and finally all of the students. The teachers aren’t given much power, seeing as how they are directly above students in the totem pole. But the way they see it, they may not be at the top, but they’re still above us, so why not show everybody that by yelling at students for not wearing the correct color socks or missing a button on their shirt or for laughing at a joke that the teacher probably laughed at too.
There lies the problem. How do you deal with all of this abuse of power even though there’s really no power? That, my friend, is something you must find out for yourself. But you can find comfort in the fact that you will graduate very soon, so shout to the heavens singing songs of praise! Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!
Hey there! :D
We totally agree with you on this end at the very least we believe that the upper-classmen should be able to leave school even if it is just once a week. Why? Well because most of them happen to have study halls last period anyway and only continue to stay at school because they’ve been told leaving would be counted against them.
A ridiculous rule in our opinion but what can you do? The administration says they’ve enforced this rule because grades are low and students should use the time to finish work and get better understanding on things that give them trouble. We retaliate, how can we do this if we have silent study halls and aren’t allowed to leave or ask teachers questions? It makes it impossible.
As a student that waited for their senior year with so much anticipation to not even be able to use my seniority and leave school when appropriate I feel as if I have no privileges at all. So in a nutshell MOST DEFINITELY!
From your question we’re going to assume that you’re a female and that is where your problems lies.
Currently at the K.I.P.P. we have a no touching rule in affect, whether you agree with it or not unfortunately it is a rule. So it’s actually not that Mr. Dixon believes that your friend is attempting to touch you inappropriately but rather that he doesn’t want him touching you at all. Whether he’s gay or not has nothing to do with the issue.
If you recall there have many incidents where heterosexual (“straight”) males have touched males perhaps in passing or greeting. Though it was completely innocent they have still been reprimanded by the establishment; and don’t think that it’s only with guys, girls receive the same treatment. Even I have a story of a female friend and I simply walking around with our arms linked. Scolded we were; and told to stop touching immediately.
But then who knows maybe he’s just jealous your friend has female friends and he doesn’t :D
First of all, let me say that I believe the word “prey” is a bit too much for the context that you’re using it in, but beyond that we understand what you’re essentially asking.
Of course we don’t fully know the answer to this question, but we believe that it’s due to the strictness of KIPP’s rules at the moment. Though many teachers have expressed their concerns with having to administer punishment for rules they themselves don’t believe in, what else are they to do?
In a sense, dear anonymous, it’s almost like slavery. Just as slaves were brainwashed to fear their overlords, they believed that they could make no change towards their own betterment. This is exactly what’s happening here. The teachers [slaves], though aware of the ridiculousness of their situation, carry out the administrators [slave masters] wishes because it is their job and there is really no way they can turn down their massah’ without being ‘whipped’.
Thus they incriminate and destroy the students they came to serve. Maybe you should talk to some of them about how you feel. Even if it causes no change, at least you’ll have gotten these things off of your chest.
Dear Kipp Student
This is a question that seems to come up not only every year but every few days as we kippsters make our way from deck to deck and wonder why we aren’t entitled to many of the experiences “normal” high schoolers have.
“KIPP strives to be professional” and perhaps the rules in place attempt to steer the students in the same direction. As for the “normal” high school argument this is one that has been had since the class of 2010 entered their first day of 9th grade. Perhaps it’s because at “normal” high schools the administration doesn’t need to worry so much about what goes on between students. Whereas in our community relationships between our peers can easily spiral out of control.
Living in such a small town can affect these decisions on whether relationships should be public. Everyone will know about it. It’s not like you attend a school of thousands of people where you’re unnoticed. Everybody notices everything and they all talk. In order to prevent this gossip and other drama, KIPP has set the standard that relationships don’t need to be public.
This particular question reminds me of an incident where there were two students walking together and Mr. VanDeWalle stopped them in their tracks and said “There will be no courting at this school.” And perhaps KIPP doesn’t approach this issue in the best way, but you have to think about it. Do you really want everyone to know every moment of your relationship? It’s not really something that’s important when it comes to school.
Again, KIPP strives to be extraordinary, especially in the academic department. Knowing that Billy Bob is dating Sally Sue is not going to help any of us prepare for the AP exams and it certainly won’t help us pass those notorious Calculus exams given by Mr. Whitfield.
Having a relationship is all fine and dandy, but at some point you have to realize you’re just in high school. There will be plenty of time for that later on, but you only have four years in high school. Only four years to make an impression on your dream college, to show them that you have not only the personality but also the academic ability to achieve greatness. A relationship may be great, but I doubt it will help you reach this goal.
I don’t necessarily believe the school leaders feel a certain way about love. It’s just that they feel that students need to prioritize better. After all, an education is much more important than dating Joe this week and Sammy next week. At a young age, even the slightest bit of lust seems like love. As you mature and grow older, you’ll realize what you thought was love actually wasn’t. Maybe KIPP is trying to avoid these mistakes and regrets later on in the future. There won’t be any “I wish I had done this” and “I wish I had done that”. Instead, KIPP is preparing you for college the way they think it should be done: with no distractions. And though it may seem crazy and unusual, these rules are only made to help the students succeed in life and have a better future.
We are so happy to receive your question and we are even happier that it’s pertaining to current events. It lets us know that you are an intelligent young man and want to be involved in what happens in not just your community but others’ as well.
You asked “Why would he only help that many people and make it sound like a big deal?” Well, to start off there, 307,006,550 in the United States according to the latest census. You’re right 2 million isn’t nearly a large enough number when you put it next to 300 million. However at the same time you always have to keep things in perspective. 2 millionpeople will always be better than 0 people.
Even though he is President, he can do nothing without someone sending him a bill that proposes it first. So what does that mean? That means that legislators who are voted in by the public haven’t sent him a bill that can help those 4.3 million people who live in Tennessee with their own education.
The nation’s debt doesn’t have anything to do directly with this particular issue but remember everything affects everything.
Have a good day!
Can America handle a woman president?
Barack Obama broke the color barrier in the American presidency. In 2008, he was elected as the first president with any percentage of African American in him. America seemed to be ready for a change in race when it came to the American presidency, but is America ready for a female president? When Obama ran for president, Hillary Clinton also ran for president but dropped out. Why? Some say she had too much confidence coming in and when the citizens of the United States began to favor Obama more, she freaked out. More recently, Sarah Palin, who, in my opinion, had a fair chance of making it as a possible Republican nominee decided to no longer run for president in 2012 on October 5, 2011. Michele Bachmann is still a possible republican nominee for the 2012 presidential election. However, most believe that Bachmann has no chance. Dumpbachmann.com is one website that points out all of Bachmann’s flaws and is used to persuade Americans not to vote for Bachmann. Does our society view females as being less intelligent than men? Are we not capable of becoming the President of America?
India, Finland, Liberia, Chile, Argentina, the Ukraine, Germany, Ireland, Mozambique and the Phillipines are just a hand full of countries that have had, or have, female democratic leaders. America seems to be out-of-date; we seem to be too stuck in the gender of our president and not what they can give to America. Imagine if Hillary Clinton would have been president. With Bill as her adviser, America would have been even more powerful than it is now, considering that Bill Clinton was one of our nation’s strongest presidents. A lot of times America is stuck on stupid. To the rest of the world, having a female leader is old news. They’ve been there and done that.
Although we may not want to admit it, America still undervalues women and their ability to lead. Take, for example, the hierarchy at KIPP: Delta. Mr. Shirey, Mr. VanDeWalle, and Mr. Culburn are basically in charge of everything. Both the middle school and the high school have male principals. The elementary school has a female leader, but what other male could they have gotten to lead the school? No other male teacher has been with KIPP as long as Ms. Johnson has. The men of KIPP: Delta treat the women as if they are inferior to them—ordering them around and forcing them to do the dirty work. Mostly, the women punish students and form the interpersonal relationships with them, while the men call the shots.
Women also gained their rights later than most groups of people. For instance, African Americans gained their voting rights in the 1800s, while women began to be recognized in the 1920s. Women’s role in society is still not 100% fair.
If America forgets about their indifference towards having a woman as president, a woman can be successful at being President of the United States. We just have to be given the chance. After all, statistics have proven that women are better at discernment than men. Women would more than likely be slow to start wars and weigh out the options. America needs change in leadership and maybe a woman is this change. Americans should put aside their sexist ways and make 2012 the first year that a female is elected for president.
- ‘Twas the week before Christmas break
And all through the school
The days seemed to drag on
Which seemed oh so very cruel
- The semester exams were printing
In the office up front
And the students could be seen praying
For the grades they so desperately want
- But don’t worry too much
Don’t pull out your hair
For the spirit of Christmas
Slowly fills the air
- Chestnuts roasting on the fire
The sound of family and friends
And the smell of candy canes
That’s how the holidays begin
- But for some
The holidays aren’t so jolly
Huddling on the corner for warmth
As we deck our halls with bowels of holly
- As we sit in our kitchen
Singing our Christmas carols
They sit on the street
Singing of the many perils
- So this Christmas holiday
Let’s lend a hand
Try to help others
As best as you can
- Don’t complain
Because your car isn’t brand new
Just know that there is someone
Who is worse off than you
- So as Christmas comes up
And we journey along
Don’t forget the words
I sing in this song
- I wish you a Merry Christmas
Yes, ‘tis true
Enjoy your holiday
And think of others as you do