Welcome! Login | Register
 

$73 Million North High has 31% Dropout Rate—In hopes of improving the dropout rate and…

Tom Finneran: I’m Joe Citizen and I Disapprove These Messages—We’re less than two weeks away from Election…

McGovern and Markey Visit WPI to Tour Robotics Lab—U.S. Representative Jim McGovern and U.S. Senator Ed…

Holy Cross Men’s Basketball Predicted to Finish 3rd in Patriot League—Holy Cross Picked to finish 3rd in Patriot…

Fattman Slams Abraham Over Mismanagement—Stephanie Fattman, appearing Tuesday on The Jordan Levy…

See the Great Pumpkin Fest at the Ecotarium with Your Woo Card—The weekend is fast approaching, and GoLocalWorcester brings…

10 Best Loved Bacon Dishes in Worcester—We all love bacon.

Pagano Media Wins International Davey Award—Pagano Media wins 2014 International Davey Award

Paul Giorgio: Ebola Should Not Be A Political Football—It’s probably a good thing to worry about…

Former Federal Official to Give Lecture at Clark—Dan Sichel, a former senior official at the…

 
 

Dear John: My Wife Is Trying To Save Her Childhood Home

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 

What’s your problem? Write to John at [email protected].

Dear John,

My wife recently learned that the home she grew up in is going to be torn down. It was purchased a few months ago by a couple who apparently had plans all along to demolish it and build a new house more to their liking on the land. (Nice to know some people are still in a position to do that, I guess!) My wife and her three siblings are devastated at the thought of this. They shared what sounds like an idyllic childhood there, and both of their parents have passed away within the past five years, so I think they see this as the unnecessary destruction of a link to them. The four of them have decided that they are going to do everything they can to try and stop this.

I am an attorney myself, although real estate law is not something I have any expertise in. However, I have done a little digging, and from a legal standpoint, there’s really nothing they can do to compel the new owners to abandon their plans. I’ve told them this, and they don’t want to hear it. Their anguish over this has caused them to lose perspective, and they don’t intend to give up until they have “exhausted all avenues,” as my brother-in-law has said repeatedly. I can see how this will play out: they are going to spend a lot of money to learn what I already know, and I hate to stand by and see it happen. What should I do? Try to talk my wife out of it? Her sister seems like the one most willing to listen to reason—talk to her? I’m afraid I’m losing a little perspective here myself and would like your opinion.

Sincerely,
Sympathetic But Skeptical

Dear Sympathetic But Skeptical,

This is one of those times when even though you know how it will play out, you have to let things run their course. If they want to exhaust all avenues, let them exhaust them. It’s the only way they will convince themselves that they have no choice but to swallow this bitter pill.

That’s not to say there’s nothing constructive you can do, though. Perhaps you could contact the owners, explain the situation, and arrange for a time for your wife and her siblings to walk through the house, take some pictures, and reminisce one last time. Maybe the owners would even be wiling to let them take things from the house like light fixtures, sinks, or woodwork that could be installed in their current homes. (If you pursue this idea, though, don’t propose it to them until they’ve accepted the fact that this house will be razed.) As for what you should do now, though, just be supportive and stay on the sidelines. When this is all over, they have to be able to tell themselves there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. Your telling them that will only make them think you don’t care.

 

Dear John,

My son is a freshman in high school and he’s just started playing football this year. This is the first time he’s been on a team like this—up to this point, his only athletic pursuit was swimming. He’s always liked to watch football, though, and he is a good athlete, so this year he had a chance to try out for the team and he made it. And he loves it—he’s quite good, actually.

The problem is me. I am a nervous wreck watching him play. Every time he’s at the bottom of a pile of boys, I’m afraid he’s not going to get up. Watching his games is an ordeal for me because I’m so concerned about his safety. His father is completely unfazed and dismisses my concerns with, “Aah, he’ll be fine.” I feel caught—of course I want to support my son, but these games are agonizing to the point where I’ve thought about not going. Any ideas how I might stop worrying so much?

Signed,
Not Having Fun Yet

Dear Not Having Fun Yet,

This is all new to you, so perhaps it will just take time for you to stop wondering if your son will get up after he’s brought down. Until you get to that point, though, I think he’ll understand if you tell him you worry about him so much you don’t enjoy his games. That doesn’t necessarily preclude the possibility of using your son’s games to have some family time, though. It sounds like his father likes to go, right? Maybe he could record the games (or at least the times when your son’s on the field), then you could watch it together afterwards. Your son could narrate the action and explain why he’s doing whatever he’s doing, and you can revel in his exploits without fearing for his safety. The point is to have some time together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the game.

 

Dear John,

My daughter is in second grade. One of her classmates’ mothers is the subject of a lot of sarcastic comments (behind her back, of course) because of the way she dresses. While she has the body to pull it off, what she wears is way too revealing—the kind of thing you can’t NOT notice and comment on. Now, speculation about what she’s going to show up in at drop-off or pick-up is pretty much a daily topic.

As it turns out, my daughter has befriended this woman’s daughter and has already had a couple of play dates with her. I’ve gotten to know her a bit and really like her. Her personality doesn’t really jibe with her exotic dancer wardrobe. She’s nice, funny, and warm. I have thought about talking to her to let her know she wouldn’t be the object of so much derision if she dressed in a way that was more age appropriate, but is that out of line? I would put it more diplomatically, of course. It’s just that now that I’ve gotten to know her, I feel bad thinking of the snarky things people are saying.

Sincerely,
That’s Underwear, Not Outerwear

Dear That’s Underwear,

It sounds like some of those parents are right at home in a second-grade schoolyard. Instead of talking to her, maybe you should pass this mom a note.

For whatever reason, this woman wants the attention her provocative style of dress gets her. As you get to know her, you may learn more about what motivates her style choices, but have no doubt that she’s aware of the effect she has. So talking to her will only, a: tell her something she already knows; and b: suggest that what these busybodies think is relevant and should be taken seriously. It’s human nature to notice someone like your friend. But to make the way she dresses a daily object of ridicule is slightly pathetic and very immature. I’m not dismissing the possibility that a woman who dresses in such an overtly sexual way may have emotional and self-esteem issues she needs help with. But you’ll have a better chance of finding out if you talk to her about her, not about what she needs to wear if she ever hopes to get invited into the book club.

 

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence, Rhode Island. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at [email protected]. He's away from the advice desk this week, so he's chosen some of his favorite letters from previous columns to share.

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA School Districts with the Highest Teacher Evaluations

During the 2012-2013 school year, Race to the Top (RTTT) districts in Massachusetts were required to implement the new Educator Evaluation framework with at least 50 percent of their educators district-wide. Of Central Massachusetts’s 52 school districts, 26 implemented the Educator Evaluation structure. These 26 school districts are listed below ranked from the lowest teacher evaluation score to the highest. Keep reading to see where your district’s teachers rank, as well as to view the state and regional averages.

Prev Next

State Average

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 7.4%

Percentage with proficient scores: 85.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.7%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 37,940

Total number of educators evaluated: 61,441

Prev Next

Central MA Average

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 5.1%

Percentage with proficient scores: 88.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.04%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 8,843

Total number of educators evaluated: 5,987

Prev Next

#26 Quaboag

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 75.0%

Percentage that need improvement: 18.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 131

Total number of educators evaluated: 80

Prev Next

#25 Oxford

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 8.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 73.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 17.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 168

Total number of educators evaluated: 46

Prev Next

#24 Uxbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 84.2

Percentage that need improvement: 15.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 162

Total number of educators evaluated: 19

Prev Next

#23 Fitchburg

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 8.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 77.3%

Percentage that need improvement: 13.3%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.9%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 456

Total number of educators evaluated: 233

Prev Next

#22 Westborough

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 86.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 1.5%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 335

Total number of educators evaluated: 67

Prev Next

#21 Lunenburg

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.4%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 1,209

Total number of educators evaluated: 495

Prev Next

#20 North Brookfield

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 2.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 86.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 59

Total number of educators evaluated: 37

Prev Next

#19 Millbury

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 2.2%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 158

Total number of educators evaluated: 91

Prev Next

#18 Blacktone-Millville

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 10.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 81.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 7.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 162

Total number of educators evaluated: 94

Prev Next

#17 Southbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 9.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 83.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.7%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 212

Total number of educators evaluated: 152

Prev Next

#16 Worcester

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.2%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.4%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 1,859

Total number of educators evaluated: 1,825

Prev Next

#15 Webster

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 10.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 83.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 159

Total number of educators evaluated: 101

Prev Next

#14 Hudson

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 90.8%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.2%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 288

Total number of educators evaluated: 153

Prev Next

#13 Gardner

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 91.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 227

Total number of educators evaluated: 120

Prev Next

#12 Dudley-Charlton

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 88.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 4.2%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.6%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 320

Total number of educators evaluated: 168

Prev Next

#11 Northbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 4.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 229

Total number of educators evaluated: 200

Prev Next

#10 Winchendon

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 3.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 139

Total number of educators evaluated: 137

Photo: Flickr/AdmissionsQuest

Prev Next

#9 Bellingham

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 3.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 215

Total number of educators evaluated: 206

Prev Next

#8 Quabbin

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 4.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 92.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.5%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.5%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 207

Total number of educators evaluated: 199

Prev Next

#7 Grafton

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 97.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 253

Total number of educators evaluated: 178

Prev Next

#6 Ralph C. Maher

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 2.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 94.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 79

Total number of educators evaluated: 76

Prev Next

#5 Marlborough

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 96.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 434

Total number of educators evaluated: 423

Prev Next

#3 Auburn (Tied)

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 99.1%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 202

Total number of educators evaluated: 116

Prev Next

#3 Leominster (Tied)

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 99.1%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 523

Total number of educators evaluated: 332

Prev Next

#2 Wachusett

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 29.1%

Percentage with proficient scores: 70.3%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 534

Total number of educators evaluated: 334

Prev Next

#1 Douglas

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 9.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 90.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 123

Total number of educators evaluated: 105

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.