34 The QUEE NS Courier • september 11, 2014 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com editorial Go to www.queenscourier.com and search “Identify This letters IDENTIFY THIS PLACE REMEMBERING 9/11 I am sad to say that another anniversary is coming near of when terrorists attacked our nation on Sept. 11, 2001. Now here is an idea for all Americans to not only remember those brave men and women who lost their lives on that day of infamy but I hope will show support for our brave men and women who are serving our nation today. On Sept. 11, I feel all Americans should fly the American flag outside their homes, apartments, offices and stores throughout the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display the American flag on this the 13th anniversary of our country’s worst tragedy. We do this in honor of all who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms. In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American Flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some times and it shouldn’t take another attack to galvanize us into solidarity again. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds. Fly the American of any size on 9/11; and, in all honesty I believe that all Americans should fly the flag year-round, but let’s start with flying the American flag on every Sept. 11. I am thanking everyone for your participation. May God bless you and may God bless America. Frederick R. Bedell Jr. Glen Oaks LEAVE LESSON PLANS WITH THE TEACHERS Let’s clear the air about lesson plans. Teachers don’t mind doing them. They’d do them anyway, even if they weren’t mandated. But for the right reason. As a performance aid. More a cue card than a script. Not for use as a blueprint for rigid instruction or a micromanaging supervisor’s tool of entrapment. But that’s what it’s degenerated into. A lesson is a living organism. A lesson plan can estimate in advance how many breaths to take but not dictate when to exhale. But many supervisors are would-be dictators. This is especially bad because never in the modern history of public education has the average principal been hired with so little training, experience or depth of knowledge. Lesson plans should be created by and for each teacher according to whatever design works best for them. They know their students best. All 30-plus of them during a typical 40-minute subject period. Students are not uniform. Learning styles differ. Intellectual curiosity takes off. Levels of comprehension vary. And every child must be reached. Allowance must be made for spontaneity and improvisation, exploration and discovery. Teachers must demand the freedom to break free of the shackles of a lesson plan because in a vibrant classroom one never knows where a lesson will lead. Sometimes the best use of a lesson plan is to leave it resting undisturbed on the teacher’s desk ready for inspection. But some supervisors feel it is their duty to control every detail of a lesson plan’s construction and execution. And any teacher whose independence crosses them may face disciplinary action, including termination. It doesn’t matter whether the supervisor’s overstepping of authority springs from a misguided sense of duty or a head game of domination. That’s why, many years ago, the Department of Education and the UFT, in a legally binding agreement that is still in effect but widely flouted, prohibited supervisors, in most cases, from regulating the format of lesson plans and collecting them ritualistically. And that’s why, I think, the teachers union has filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Not because teachers are lazy, have something to hide and are spooked by supervisors just innocently trying to do a good job. Through their union, teachers are re-claiming their eroded rights. Whoever stole the “no trespassing” signs from their professional territory, put them back now! And stop using those rights as political footballs. Teachers are protective of those rights because they are protective of their students, and they cherish those rights because they cherish their students. And it’s their students’ education that is being intercepted. Ron Isaac Fresh Meadows Place” to find out where this is 9/11 REMEMBERED Thirteen years. The pain lingers, the dead are still mourned and more victims suffer and die each year from the toxic fallout at ground zero. But the 9/11 attacks, for all the pain and agony they caused, failed utterly. Despite the attack on America, our ideals, our freedoms, our economy, our attitudes toward religious freedom and the role of women in our society remain strong. Stronger in fact than in 2001. Because our ideals and goals and national aspirations were put through the forge of 9/11 and, like steel, have emerged tougher and more durable than they were before. We mourn the loss of life on 9/11 and after, and we grieve our casualties in the ensuing wars. But 13 years on, we laud the bravery of the survivors and we rejoice in the strength and ideals of our country. THAT SINKING FEELING OK, so there’s a sinkhole in Forest Park. Not necessarily a big deal. We understand things happen. And sometimes holes open up in the ground. What we don’t understand is how it has sat there gaping at the world for two years. Somebody, do something, please. Sure, there are barricades and caution tape to keep park-goers from falling in, but surely a more permanent solution can be devised. Soon, please. MALBA SNIFFS AT SMELLY REPORT Luxurious Malba, a waterfront community of multi-million-dollar homes perched over Powell’s Cove, was deemed the smelliest neighborhood in the city in a recent report. The findings were based on per capita complaints made to 311. So only a few complaints would put tiny Malba pretty high on the list. Well, we visited Malba the other day to follow up on the report and, like the overwhelming majority of its residents, found Malba to be a pretty sweet place. DAM, DAM, DAM It’s nice to see governments getting along. The Ridgewood Reservoir may actually be saved in all its natural beauty thanks to the efforts of the Parks Department and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. It appeared that Parks was going to have to pony up $6 million to tear apart the natural splendor of the reservoir system, breaching the berms separating the three basins there after the reservoir was declared a high hazard for flooding. But, after some serious lobbying by Parks and some open minds at DEC, it appears the reservoir will be reclassified as a low hazard for flooding, thus enabling the nature preserve to be, well… preserved. It’s not finalized yet, but the communication and outlook are great. To both agencies, a heartfelt “well done.” THE QUEENS Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Bob Brennan William J. Gorta Amy Amato-Sanchez Nirmal Singh Graziella Zerilli Stephen Reina Ron Torina, Jennifer Decio, Cheryl Gallagher Liam La Guerre, Cristabelle Tumola, Angy Altamirano Katrina Medoff, Eric Jankiewicz, Salvatore Licata Cliff Kasden, Samantha Sohmer, Elizabeth Aloni Cristabelle Tumola Demetra Plagakis Louise Cavaliere Celeste Alamin Maria Valencia Daphne Fortunate Victoria Schneps-Yunis Joshua A. Schneps Publisher & E ditor Co-Publisher Associate Publisher Editor-In-Chief VP, Events, Web & Social Media Art Director Assistant to Publisher Assistant Art Director Artists Staff Reporters Contributing Reporters Web Editor Events Manager Senior Acc ount Executive Classified Manager Controller Office Manager President & CEO Vice President Schneps Communications, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361 718-224-5863 • Fax 718-224-5441 website: www.queenscourier.com e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Entire Contents Copyright 2014 by The Queens Courier All letters sent to THE QUEENS COURIER should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. 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