Bruce Lear

Good people making bad gun decisions

Bruce Lear lives in Sioux City and has been connected to public schools for 38 years. He taught for eleven years and represented educators as an Iowa State Education Association Regional Director for 27 years until retiring.

Educators need quite a few things. They need unlimited paper, markers, books, pens, glue, multicolored construction paper, and high-speed internet. They also need more school funding, freedom to teach, more preparation time, more respect, more salary, better benefits, and smaller classes. 

But they don’t need guns.

Continue Reading...

It's a unique profession

Bruce Lear lives in Sioux City and has been connected to public schools for 38 years. He taught for eleven years and represented educators as an Iowa State Education Association Regional Director for 27 years until retiring

There really are some jobs your guidance counselor never imagined. For example, some people work as professional cuddlers for those struggling with loneliness, depression, and trauma. Some are paid to test water slides at resorts and hotels, to make sure they are safe and fun. Specialists ghost write online dating profiles for people short on writing skills, but long on virtual romancing. And there are even professional bridesmaids, for the brides with few close friends but big wedding plans. 

All a bit strange, but real occupations held by real people.

Teaching isn’t as unfamiliar as those jobs, but it is unique from other professions in at least four ways.

Continue Reading...

This election is saturated with anger

Bruce Lear: Voters must stop reacting to red meat appeals and start voting like compromise isn’t a dirty word.

A few times during my career, a problem-solving meeting morphed into a scene from the Walking Dead

Adrenaline surged and the sides shifted into attack mode. Anger trumped reason. Both sides worked to score a knockout. By the end, no one remembered why we met. Everyone was hungover from anger and worn out from attacks. Nothing was solved.

What happened in those meetings reminds me of what our elections have become. Based on recent polling, it’s not a surprise. 

According to a recent NBC News nationwide poll, 80 percent of Democrats and Republicans “believe the political opposition poses a threat that, if not stopped, will destroy America as we know it.”

Continue Reading...

Six things for Iowa educators to consider before voting

Bruce Lear lives in Sioux City and has been connected to public schools for 38 years. He taught for elevent years and represented educators as an Iowa State Education Association Regional Director for 27 years until retiring.  He grew up in Shellsburg, Iowa.  He can be reached at BruceLear2419@gmail.com. 

Dear Iowa educators:

Some things are obviously not in our best interest. We don’t follow the GPS when the path leads into a river. We don’t tell our spouse he or she looks fat in those jeans, and we don’t wear a University of Iowa shirt in an Iowa State bar, or vice versa.  

It’s common sense. 

On November 8, Iowa’s educators will face big choices. To avoid trouble later, we need to make decisions rooted in our best interest, because public education is on the ballot.

Continue Reading...

Governor Reynolds, don't become Donald Trump

Bruce Lear lives in Sioux City and has been connected to public schools for 38 years. He taught for four years in Alden and seven years in Cherokee, then represented educators as an Iowa State Education Association Regional Director for 27 years until retiring.

Anyone who watches television has seen the Progressive Insurance commercial where Dr. Rick helps young homeowners becoming their parents. He gives advice like, “We don’t need a line monitor.” “You don’t need to clap after a movie because no one in the theater made the movie.” “Don’t leave a long message on an answering machine, just text.”

I had three thoughts when I first saw this commercial. First, I was amused. Second, the old guy in me thought, young people would benefit quite a bit from becoming their parents. But the rational guy in me questioned, in a fast-changing world, do we really want young people becoming their parents? The answer was an emphatic no.

My third thought was that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds might benefit from a little advice on how not to become Donald Trump.

Continue Reading...

Brenna Bird's tv ad is over the top

Bruce Lear highlights misguided messages in Republican attorney general candidate Brenna Bird’s tv ad, now airing in heavy rotation.

The old saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” seems true. TV executives find the formula for a hit medical show and then order five more imitators. If one Marvel movie superhero captures our imaginations, why not dig a little deeper into the comic book vault for a dozen more?

Political commercials also imitate. For example, how many right-wing politicians shooting guns can the voters watch? How many east or west coast politicians running for president do Iowans need to see dressed in flannel shirts sitting on bales of hay proclaiming their undying love for ethanol? If it worked once, consultants repeat, repeat, and repeat again.

One political imitation ad recently caught my attention. It tries to catch the vibe of Joni Ernst’s “Make ’em squeal” ad from her first U.S. Senate campaign in 2014. Shock the viewer with crude humor, but with smiles all around. After all, if it worked for a little-known state senator from Red Oak, maybe it will work for a little-known county attorney from Guthrie County.

Continue Reading...
View More...