Joe Graves is the superintendent of the Mitchell School District. He writes a weekly column for The Daily Republic during the school year.
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Recently, I was reading Scott Adams' (creator of Dilbert) new book, "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big." (Yes, in fact, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from commenting on why I would read a book with such a title.) In it, Adams lauds the virtue of simplicity and in fact points to capitalism as a system that works incredibly well for many reasons, one of which is the simplicity of its goal: profits. I have long envied that very point about capitalism, i.e.
One of the things I do not like about my chosen profession is its tendency to wander from its hallowed, proven traditions, a phenomenon teachers often call the pendulum effect. Select any issue in education, any pedagogical method, any instructional goal or any student achievement measure and a veteran teacher can quickly describe how education has drifted from one extreme to another on it, much as the pendulum shifts from a central point to two opposing extremes.
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Are you a newspaper subscriber but...
In what may simultaneously be a personal record for delayed reaction and a remarkably pathetic example of failing to notice the forest for the trees, I was pondering something Gov...
Recently, at a gathering of professional educators, as well as "civilians" with a high level of interest in schooling, a fellow put a question to me that I have had asked any number of times during my career. It runs something like this, "If you could make one change to schools that would have the greatest positive impact on students, what would it be?"
As an undergraduate political science major -- a pursuit which always met with the same response from my father, i.e. "Ever considered a field at which you might be able to make a living, Joseph?" -- at South Dakota State University in the early 1980s, I had the great fortune of enrolling repeatedly in the courses offered by Professor Bob Burns. Professor Burns was an entertaining lecturer but, more importantly, he was also one who provided a comprehensive review of any field on which he was expositing.
By Joe Graves Mitchell Superintendent When I walked out the door of Sioux Falls Lincoln High School some 33 years ago, I felt the odd mixture of joy and melancholy...
When I think back to my first year as a school superintendent — now 23 years in the past — I marvel at just how hard I worked, how many...
People will sometimes ask me, usually after I've announced some initiative or decision that is bound to be controversial, why on earth I would willingly gore such sacred cows. I think they see me as someone who just loves to stir the pot, who can't quite be happy unless somebody else is rankled.