Monday, March 03, 2008

Good Ideas For Inhibiting School Growth (II)

I gotta think that not much is accomplished when a school-assigned police officer detains/ cites the push-cart vendor who, daily, plies our kids with mango and soda and those fried dough things soaked in bags of chili. See, kids don't get issues of permits and whatnot, they just go home saying an entrenched part of our community got in trouble by the cops cuz he didn't have his papers. Right? Didn't have his papers. That kind of thing that doesn't make families real eager to come on by school; doesn't quite get the word out that we're an open and welcome place; doesn't send the clear message that everyone here is about kids, first and foremost.

But man, it sure does keep everyone safe from the unpermitted menace that's been wreaking havoc on our community lo these many years.


Anonymous Mr. K said...

Here's what I struggle with about this:

I have a bunch of kids that don't get this either. They would see something like this as persecution by the man. And they think that someone selling food without any certification is the most normal thing in the world. And it is, in their world.

Yet part of my job is to get them ready to step past that world. Many of them, their siblings, and even some of their parents never leave that couple mile radius where they are secure in their culture. They are isolated, though no fault of their own, and the longer it goes on, the less suited they are to take a step out to the rest of the world.

That other world is neither more vicious, nor more gentle than their own. It's just different, and they are as likely to succeed there as someone who has only ever seen a soccer game will succeed in a game of basketball - it's not that they can't, it's that they have no idea how.

If I was doing my job properly, I could find a way to teach them about that. It wouldn't involve citing the corner guy, that's for sure. But in order for them to even start to consider that there might be a reason for someone to need a license to sell stuff, I'd need them to want to get to that outside world, and I'm not sure I'm so good at that yet.

9:42 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Mr. K:

I hear ya. This is part and parcel of what we talk about when we talk about taking the scaffold away. Every decent teacher spends more than half their time building those scaffolds for kids, and huge portions of PD are devoted to analysis and blueprints of those scaffolds, but we almost never talk about how to take the scaffolds away.

At the same time, this type of worldliness seems more product than input, y'know what I mean? This is what you get back when you input improved education which leads to improved opportunity which leads to an opening of the world which leads to... worldliness.

I don't know if that's too reductionist, or if it's a cop-out. It may be putting too much on what occurs with objectives and assessments while ignoring other responsibilities. But it strikes me that given and limited timeframe and great need, I've got bigger fish to fry in getting them ready for that big blue-green marble.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you frame it differently as combating a fight against childhood obesity instead you might see your kids understand.

Check out this policy report on street vendors in LA:

12:38 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Fight child obesity?

Go cite Jack in the Box and the makers of Hot Cheetos. Leave our guys alone.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Ivory said...

I'd do an impromptu lesson in microbiology and the need for public health laws. Unpermitted food? Run away! Run far away!

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't cite Jack-in-the-Box or Cheetos.

Don't even cite the Mango Con Chile or Maize Con Limon guy.

Don't be afraid to say it.


Who gives them the money to get fat on this crap?

Who allows them to sit at home in front of the tv watching Cartoon Network or playing video games?

Who doesn't talk to them about the importance of exercise or set a good example by practicing a good diet?

And it's not a cultural thing. It's about moderation and knowing what's good for you and your body.

BTW, if you get deathly sick from these vendors...who are you going to sue?

2:07 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...


Why are you spackling my blog with this stuff?

1:23 PM  

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