Welcome Back Tim Latham

An update to a June 13 post regarding Lawrence, Ks teacher Tim Latham. Seems that the attention paid to Mr Latham’s firing was noticed. His firing has been rescinded. Outgoing Superintendent Weseman said” Having considered all information submitted… I find that there were inconsistencies  in the evaluation process…Because of my commitment to the highest standards, I conclude that Mr Latham’s teaching contract with the District should, and will be continued for 2009-10.” Mr Latham was of course very pleased and both he and the superintendent were tribute to each other and the process that took place.

So, Lawrence High has a new principal and a new(promoted) associate principal and Tim Latham is still there. No doubt, there will be some awkwardness from an administrative standpoint but I bet his classes will be quite popular.

So, what can we take from this. Are all teachers liberal-no. Are those who are liberal out to get those who are conservative- no again. This is no truer  than the opposite statement would be true. Students, both pro -Latham and not pro Latham saw a system work, with some help from Facebook, I guess. What about Tim Latham, wonder what he takes from this? Admittedly, this can only be speculation. I’m certain he was gratified to be supported , perhaps surprised. No doubt he has enjoyed, to a degree, being a bit famous. I would hope that he remains devoted to his craft, teaching critical thinking, giving opposing sides equal time  and illustrating tat  processes work.

I would hope that the outcome would have been the same, regardless of the personal political views held by an individual teacher. Teachers can be liberal or conservative and students need exposure to both. In retrospect, I cannot remember a teacher’s political views being an issue for me, although I  know I had teachers  from both sides of the spectrum.

I will close with a question or two? Should he or should he not have had a bumper sticker promoting a political candidate? Are there professions in which these views should not overtly be displayed in the workplace? Hint, these are  not trick questions. ( Did Obama care about any of this, not very likely, since he is a bit busy)

FYI, In the midst of all this Lawrence High won the state baseball championship. Way to go, fellows. The school and district need to move forward.


June 24, 2009 - Posted by | education, Politics | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. “Should he or should he not have had a bumper sticker promoting a political candidate? Are there professions in which these views should not overtly be displayed in the workplace?” Yes and yes. And teaching is one of them.

    Having a political bumper sticker on your car in the school parking lot is incidental to teaching; kids aren’t sitting outside staring at your bumper sticker all day. The only way a bumper sticker should ever become an issue would be if it were an abscene bumper sticker… THEN you may rightfully have a problem.

    But “in” the workplace? No. Wearing a political button is, in some states, protected free speech, but in many states, teachers are not allowed to wear such buttons within the school walls. There, the kids ARE staring at your button all day (or, at least, they could be when they’re not nodding off).

    Teaching social studies can be tricky, because it’s almost always impossible to divorce personal opinions from teaching. Some teachers make it a point to never give away their personal leanings and to steer away from topics that might lead to “iffy” discussions. But others feel like it actually inhibits education to behave that way, so they let their students know when they’re hearing a personal opinion and then try to present the opposite viewpoint, too. When a kid gets to high school and, certainly college, that’s probably the better and more honest approach.

    Comment by larrys | June 24, 2009 | Reply

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