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Former NFL QB Jon Kitna finds ‘gold mine’ at a school where other teachers only saw problems
| Les Carpenter
Posted on 12/19/2012 1:30:40 PM PST by DFG
Before he left the Dallas Cowboys to come home again, Jon Kitna had one request of the two principals who run Lincoln High School:
Give me your worst students.
The other teachers told him to stop. This was last February and it was going to be hard enough to teach three algebra classes in the middle of a semester. He was two months gone from an NFL career that went for 16 years, after all. Yes, this was his old high school, the one where he was a star quarterback in the early 1990s, but didnt the new football coach understand what he was getting into?
Didnt he see the numbers? Didnt he know that four of every five of the students were on free or reduced lunches? That finding a meal was more important than understanding negative integers? Inspiring the best students was going to be difficult enough. Save himself, they advised. Start slow. Make it easy.
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.yahoo.com ...
TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: algebra; kitna; lincoln; nfl
posted on 12/19/2012 1:30:46 PM PST
Well done Kitna. He was a class act when on the Cowboys.
posted on 12/19/2012 1:36:17 PM PST
("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
To: VA_Gentleman; DFG
It’s nice to hear some good news for a change. Good on Kitna.
posted on 12/19/2012 1:40:27 PM PST
Something worth reading on Yahoo. Thank you for posting this!
posted on 12/19/2012 1:43:56 PM PST
(First they came for my tagline, (it's back). 2008, the Decline of America)
I’m sure this was less of a challenge than standing behind the Dallas offensive line.
posted on 12/19/2012 1:46:22 PM PST
(Wisdom is learned, cynicism is earned.)
What a great human story!!! Thank you for posting it. It was long but worth reading every word. Kitna is a class act.
posted on 12/19/2012 1:53:10 PM PST
(It's the !!!!TREASON!!!!, stupid!)
Well good for Kitna, but the idea that students on free or reduced lunches are having problems finding food to eat is ludicrous. I seriously doubt the problems these students have learning is due to having difficulties finding food to eat.
Leadership. How refreshing.
posted on 12/19/2012 1:56:49 PM PST
("As for God, His way is perfect" - Psalm 18:30)
Great guy. However, not a village in the sense of so many liberals think; but one person who can lead in the right direction.
posted on 12/19/2012 2:03:16 PM PST
(Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
I seriously doubt...
Just curious: are you speaking from extensive experience in being exposed to such environments, or are you merely exercising your considerable cynicism?
posted on 12/19/2012 2:29:10 PM PST
by Hebrews 11:6
(Do you REALLY believe that (1) God IS, and (2) God IS GOOD?)
. . . but the idea that students on free or reduced lunches are having problems finding food to eat is ludicrous.
If you think this, then you've never been to someplace like St. Vincent de Paul or other place where meals are served up. It's more than a little unnerving to understand that some of the kids are living in family homeless shelters, and this is the one or two meals they get every day during the weekend or school holidays. Have you ever stood in front of 7-11 and realized that the kid hanging out on the curb is there to do his homework because the family doesn't have electricity, and he's there for the light? And he's having to swat away the gangbangers and the dealers who want his business? Some people need to open their eyes and see what's going on around them.
posted on 12/19/2012 2:52:24 PM PST
(Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
Classy guy, John Kitna is!!1
posted on 12/19/2012 3:00:53 PM PST
(More Republicans stayed home then the margin of victory of O's Win...)
The question is how many of these kids aren't learning because of lack of proper nutrition? Sure, you're going to have some like the kids in your story, but the thrust of most stories about inner city schools in that these kids aren't learning because they're hungry. The fact is: the poorest third of the country is the most overweight. I seriously doubt the problems with the great majority of kids in the inner city is related to not having enough food. If you believe that it is, you're being blind to lib propaganda.
You mentioned gangbangers and drug addicts. That and parents who are either totally unequipped mentally or just don't give a rats behind about their children are much bigger problems than lack of food.
He always had a reputation of having nervous feet while with the Bengals et al but now I realize it was just his wings working under the uniform. Great story.
posted on 12/19/2012 3:25:37 PM PST
I seriously doubt the problems these students have learning is due to having difficulties finding food to eat.
You may be right but personally, I wouldn't know since I never grew up in an environment that they have.....
Can you tell us what it is like?
posted on 12/19/2012 3:28:15 PM PST
by Hot Tabasco
(Jab her with a harpoon.....)
The question is how many of these kids aren't learning because of lack of proper nutrition?
No it's not, this thread is about John Kitna and the students he has to deal with.
It's you who are now hijacking this thread and turning it into a food vs. learning thread..........
I ain't falling for it so get back on subject, ok?
posted on 12/19/2012 3:32:11 PM PST
by Hot Tabasco
(Jab her with a harpoon.....)
Who would have thought that such results could be gotten by having a teacher who knows the material and has enough force of personality to make the students respectfully pay attention?
I wonder whether it could be duplicated by grabbing a number of Marine officers and NCOs?
posted on 12/19/2012 3:44:26 PM PST
(You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
That does put it into perspective, does it not? :)
posted on 12/19/2012 3:54:34 PM PST
by Delta Dawn
(The whole truth.)
Kitna shows how public education can work. It starts with caring. Setting high standards. He did spend some money on gym equipment, but it wasn’t money that made the difference. The self esteem expressed by those kids in the story? Wasn’t lavished on them. They earned it. And they know the difference.
What a great story on how to make schools work.
posted on 12/19/2012 4:00:45 PM PST
(Add your own danged sarc tag)
Sounds like a God thing to me.
posted on 12/19/2012 4:12:37 PM PST
by Some Fat Guy in L.A.
(Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
To: Hot Tabasco
I’m not “hijacking” the thread. I’m just observing that the person who interviewed Kitna wrote about how hard it is to teach kids who are hungry. It might be true, but how many kids who are not learning are not learning because they’re hungry? I’ll bet very few. But the writer felt warranted to add the hunger angle. That’s my point mister thread dictator.
This reminds me of a teacher I had in the mid 70’s. English teacher and took her Public Speaking class. What a wonderful person. She did not take bull from any one and brought all students up in a positive way. She took the shy and made them confident and we had fun. Her students ended up the leaders in society.
She has a son who then had just graduated as starting QB at U of Minnesota, got drafted as a wide receiver at Pittsburgh. You may have heard of him, Tony Dungy. Mrs Dungy was a wonderful person.
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