Supplying the supplies – Adopt a Classroom

It’s the first of August which means that the Back to School sales have been in full force for about three weeks now.

For parents of school-aged kids this means they are busy filling the Back to School lists that teachers have sent home; some even have supply lists from the teachers. For teachers this means getting into our classrooms and making lists.… [Read more]

At Least We Have Twinkies Again (Priorities, right?)

All day yesterday I scanned the news trying to decide what subject to tackle for today. What did I have an opinion on that was just vibrating in my finger tips needing to spill out into this space?

I found myself sad and disgusted at everything. Is there any other country that has such big topics like the Trayvon Martin verdict on the same front pages as Twinkies being available again?… [Read more]

Who They Are

“What if your son is gay?”

Most people just chuckle uncomfortably when my son tells them about his love of princesses and tiaras and all things “fancy”. But some rude people actually ask me this question outright. What if your son is gay?

Usually I just shrug my shoulders and say, “then he is.”

But the answer isn’t really that simple, is it?… [Read more]

We’re Getting There

Last Wednesday morning, instead of watching Disney Jr, I had on the Today Show. The horrible fourth hour with Hoda and Kathie Lee was just starting and my oldest had just been returned to me from gymnastics. I knew the Supreme Court would be ruling on DOMA that morning at 10am, but it hadn’t crossed my mind that it would be on TV at that time.… [Read more]

Summer School

It’s summertime and, as a teacher, that means I am home with my two boys for the next two-and-a-half months. Most people assume this means I have oodles of free time to just sit and kick it on my back deck with a book.

While I do have more time now than I did when my days were 7:30am-5:00pm, I still have a lot of “teacherly” things going on.… [Read more]

Blame Mom!

It seems I can’t win. Apparently if I am not screwing up education as a teacher, I’m doing it by being a working mom.

source: cbsnews.com

This past week, in a forum hosted by The Washington Post, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced that all the problems in education can be tracked back to women joining the work force.… [Read more]

No {Wealthy} Child Left Behind

I think I’ve mentioned before that I teach in a pretty diverse school district; it’s one that is most definitely not one of the wealthier districts in the state of Michigan.

I wouldn’t say we under-perform, but we do have our struggles. Our staff has been diligently working on literacy and increasing thinking and problem solving skills in our students.… [Read more]

How Teacher Evaluations Work…or Don’t.

With four weeks left in the school year, I am constantly getting e-mails from administration that remind us, the staff, that final walk-throughs will be done in the next couple of weeks and, after grades are posted, our final evaluations will be ready for us to view. We receive reminders to enter in our “evidence” that we have been working toward the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.… [Read more]

Going Postal

Don’t worry, ‘Merca. You’ll still get your mail on Saturdays. For now, anyway.

About a month ago I turned on my local news like I always do while I made dinner for my family. They were reporting on the controversy over whether or not the United States Postal Service would end Saturday delivery to save money.… [Read more]

Virtual Citizenship

So Facebook has come out with a phone…or at least Facebook Home that can be downloaded on select Android phones. Or you can buy the HTC First for AT&T.

Or you can just not get the phone like the rest of us.

This past week I got into a conversation about the phone and Home on Facebook (the irony is not lost on me).… [Read more]

The Right Thing is Marriage For All

Dear Supreme Court Justices of the United States of America,

I consider myself to be a pretty average American mother of a typical American family. My husband and I are married and live in a small town in the Midwest. We have two small boys ages three and one. Both my husband and I have college degrees and we work outside the home.… [Read more]

Keep Religion in Schools

I’m a HUGE supporter of the separation of church and state. Huge.

But as a public school teacher, that doesn’t mean I can’t teach about religion. It just means I can’t tell my students that one or any religion is the RIGHT religion.

As a high school American literature teacher, it is absolutely impossible for me to teach any of the books in my curriculum without my students having some working knowledge of the Bible.… [Read more]

Common (Core Educational Standards) for a Reason

I’m really not sure how much the non-teacher public know about the Common Core State Standards Initiative that has been brewing over the past few years and has gone into effect this school year.

The idea behind the Common Core is that instead of every state making up their own public school standards and benchmarks for grades K-12 and then giving their own state test to check on the progress of those standards, all the states will have the same…ahem…COMMON…set of standards for each grade level.… [Read more]

Mental Illness and ‘Expendable’ People

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost a quarter of adult Americans suffer some type of diagnosable mental illness in a given year.

They also state that mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the US and Canada.

And that 45% of people with a mental disorder suffer from more than one mental illness at a time.… [Read more]

Yahoo! Examples of Irony and Hypocrisy!

Dear Marissa Mayer,

Ok, I don’t know anything about business. I have never worked from home other than making a little bit of money here and there with my writing, so to be honest, I have found myself agreeing with both sides that write about your managerial decisions you have decided to enforce at Yahoo!.

But really, this letter isn’t about your decisions to tell your employees what they can and can’t do.… [Read more]

The Value of Teachers’ Time

There it is again. The comparison of teaching salaries of the United States to those around the world.

We are at the top of the list for hours teachers spend working, yet almost at the bottom of the list for pay. The rest of the countries are much more evenly matched with hours worked versus how much pay teachers get.… [Read more]

Kids and Screens – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about allowing my three-and-a-half-year old have access to many different screens and how we monitor it.[Read more]

Celebrate V-Day. Stop the Violence.

I love award shows. Love them. I love the red carpet, the fashion, the gossip, the shots of celebrities when they don’t know they are on TV at that exact moment. I love that even with the delays and memos about dress codes, no one is ever really sure what loose cannon celebrity is going to do the next stupid thing.… [Read more]

The Right War, the Wrong Battle

The United States Public Education System needs work.

This is not a secret, or even an opinion. It’s a complete fact. There are major problems with the public system that is in place from curriculum, to policy, to standards…the whole thing needs an overhaul.

For years politicians have been slapping bandaids on the problems hoping that it will hobble along enough until it falls into the hands of the next poor schmuck who needs to “deal” with it.… [Read more]

Kids and Screens – Part 1

My son is three and a half years old. He has used my husband’s tablet, my Nook, both of our phones, a laptop, and the wii. He has his own Leap Frog and a V-tech tablet. Yet, he spends most of his day having tea parties or playing trains or running around outside.

Some people are horrified at the number of “screens” my son can manipulate and use.… [Read more]