May 19, 2020

I recently spoke with Jack from Niagara Falls, NY.  Jack is a 9th grader who has been out of school since March 16, 2020.  He is not returning to his high school this year.  He is looking forward to seeing his friends in the fall, however.  Jack taught me a lot about how he sees the COVID-19 pandemic, not to say that how he sees this pandemic is the same as how other students see it.  Many students are struggling financially and mentally.  Some cannot find a good meal each day.  S...

May 8, 2020

         

          As educators are wondering what the 2020-2021 school year might entail, our students will, inevitably, be going back to their schools and experiencing some rapid, sweeping changes in some shape or form.  They might be seeing smaller groups of students in their school at one time, masks affixed to the faces that provided comfort to them in the past, and an environment that feels strange and weird to them even though it is still familiar ground in some way....

April 28, 2020

I know this kid who likes remote learning.  He is fortunate to have a laptop and a solid internet connection at his house.  He doesn’t miss attending school all that much.  But, he does miss his friends and some of his teachers, though.

Here is how this kid’s typical day goes while staying at home due to the COVID-19 crisis.

1.  He wakes up at 11:00 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m.

2.  He sits down and eats a good breakfast with a spoon or fork, not a rushed one in order to get out of the door with a...

April 17, 2020

Many students think that the Prophet Google really knows everything.  I mean, humanity can easily turn to their web browser for “answers” or shout out a "beck and call" to their Alexa from across the room for an even lazier demand for information, but Google doesn’t know much about our hearts and abilities--especially if I trick it into believing that I like scarecrows and AstroTurf when doing some bogus internet searches to mess with its so-called, marketing-driven, intuitive mind.  T...

March 22, 2020

Disneyland is closed and Googleland is open (WIDE open and HEAVILY surfed more than ever before).  Both of these places are where dreams are supposed to come true.  Disney?  OK.  This magical place on earth provides great dreams that can come true for kids.  Dreams of entertainment.  Google?  Hmm . . . let’s look at this one a little more closely as the dream for seeking knowledge might not be all that it is cracked up to be and could lead us astray while we are alone in cyberspace....

January 16, 2020

I tried it.  Just for one day.  A student let me hold on to his cell phone from 7:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m..  During school hours.  Breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m..  Remedial support classes run from 2:50-3:30 p.m..  One cell phone.  One student.  That’s a longer school day than most schools.  Nice phone too.  An Apple 11.  Super neat.  Expensive, but really advanced.  I do not have one, myself.  Too much money for me to swallow for a cell phone.  Sorry . . . for a...

December 7, 2019

I spoke to some more students last month even though I do so on a daily basis.  Students of all ages.  Students who all feel the spirit or stress of the holiday season in some way.  That is the basis of this collection.  I hope that the quotes below sensitize our communities and schools, our businesses and fundraising pursuits, our gift-giving and outdoor-holiday-light-stringing because these voices are the true "Salvation Army" . . . the army of inadvertently ignored youth who have more going o...

September 6, 2019

NOTE: The following story is based on a TRUE story, without any embellishment or dramatization:

     When I was 13 years old, I was walking through a local cemetery near my house, at night, with a bunch of my friends.  I felt something run by me behind my back, but when I turned around, no one was there and my friends were walking about ten paces up ahead of me.  I felt this cold sensation around me even with the humid summer air in July.  I don’t know why, but I became immediately frig...

August 12, 2019

I spoke to a bunch of students over the summer at the University at Buffalo—students who just graduated from lots of different high schools and are freshman at the university in a few weeks.  I wanted to know the areas that we can improve on in their schools, not only locally in Western New York, but across the nation if others catch wind of this blog.

Rebecca Coda and I are passionate about student voice and I thought I would continue to “walk the walk” and try to get the word out to others...

June 25, 2019

My son, Eddie, is a 9th grader and he was freaking out last night while studying for his French exam.  I asked him about his anxiety and it is real.  And, it is not just real for Eddie; it is real for lots of his friends and other kids too, he told me.

Eddie doesn’t like French.  He doesn’t want to take French.  His choices were French or Spanish in order to have an advanced degree awarded from the state of NY.  “Will French hold you back?” I asked him.  He doesn’t know.  On paper, if he doe...

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Rick Jetter, Ph.D.

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