Do U BYOD?

technology and education

When our students and teachers returned to school, they may have been thinking about the changes ahead for the spring term of the school year. One of the big changes on the minds of many in education, and one that is likely to weigh on public school teachers’ is the concept of BYOD, or bring your own device.… [Read more]

A Teacher’s Value

Teacher Appreciation

After 25 years of teaching in some of the hardest and most challenging schools and situations in all of America, the State of Tennessee has determined my experience and my advance degrees mean nothing. Governor  Bill Haslam and his appointed henchman, Commissioner Huffman, have determined that teachers who have a Doctorate and/or a Masters degree should not get paid for the advanced education.… [Read more]

Supplying the supplies – Adopt a Classroom

school-supplies

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]

Summer School

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]

Our Public School Teachers are Heroes

Teachers = Heroes

The horrific storm that hit central Oklahoma has, once again, shined a spotlight on the dedication, selflessness and heroism of public school teachers. Moore, Oklahoma, the town that is no more, lost 9 students when an elementary school took the full force of what has been determined to be an EF5 tornado. The monster storm flattened the one-story structure with 200 MPH winds and debris harnessed by the funnel cloud of destruction.… [Read more]

In Praise of Public Educators

Union 'Thug' - maligning teachers

One could easily believe that our public school educators have a patron saint in the late comedic actor Rodney “No Respect” Dangerfield. We went from treating our trained and dedicated educational professionals as a respected calling involving “starving with dignity,” to tagging them as a gaggle of greedy, selfish, and coddled public dollar freeloaders who allegedly weren’t perfect surrogate parent nannies.… [Read more]

Workers’ Rights: An International issue

workers-rights

At the very last minute, the strike planned by teachers was called off. At 4:00 am today, the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared that a planned one-day walkout by elementary school teachers is illegal and, subsequently, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation president ordered members to comply with the ruling. Teachers are not the only disgruntled public sector employees in Canada; sanitary workers, doctors and other medical personnel, and sanitation workers have had to reportedly accept a pay freeze as part of their salary negotiations.… [Read more]

Teachers, Guns and Money

Teachers, guns and money

Teachers all across America have been asked to be more than teachers to their students for many, many years. After school programs, sports and other activities are all run by dedicated teachers and, in many cases, those teachers become closer and know more about the lives of the students they coach, mentor or supervise than the students own parents.… [Read more]

Arming Teachers: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

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The unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School left us all horrified with an uneasy feeling of vulnerability. Predictably, as we wrestle with questions about why and how something so gruesome and incomprehensible could happen, some reactions have been strong and swift: more gun control, better access to mental health services. Some have been feeble: curtailing violent movies and video games.… [Read more]

Teacher Resolutions

teacher's resolutions

A new year means resolutions, right? I have to admit that January 1st might be the official start to the new year, but I’ve been on academic years since I was in kindergarten, so it feels like a this is just the halfway point of my year.

But with a nice big break in the action of the school year, it does give me pause to think about ways I could change it up for the rest of the year.… [Read more]

Textbooks: The Bad, the Worse, the Politics

Just educate

If you haven’t been keeping up, since President Obama’s re-election, Republicans have morphed into a bunch of embittered, whiny, cranky crybabies. Mitt Romney, blaming his loss on Obama “gifts” to special groups. Paul Ryan, blowing dog-whistle about the large turnout of the “urban vote.” And then there’s the pièce de résistance, Peter Morrison.

This little-known Tea Party wacknut in Texas is demanding “an ‘amicable divorce’ from…the ‘maggots’” who voted for Obama.… [Read more]

Up the Union

tucson-teacher-1

“Those who would destroy or further limit the rights of organized labor -
Those who would cripple collective bargaining or prevent organization
of the unorganized – do a disservice to the cause of democracy.” -J.F.K

I’ve been thinking a lot about all the union talk that this post and this post generated. My twitter stream erupted in smart (and some not so smart) discussion about teacher intent, motivation, attitude and rights as workers.… [Read more]

The Job of Teaching

doris-day-teachers-pet

Last week a student asked me, “Is teaching hard?”

My answer? Sometimes.

“What do you do?” she inquired.

I really didn’t have the time in class to explain it all (although I did invite the student to come check out my lesson plans and To Do list sometime), but  it made me think: I am not sure many people know what teachers “do” every day.… [Read more]

Politics Aside: I Am a Teacher

2012-08-24 15.29.17

I know that by and large this is a website about politics and current event issues.

And I know that when I talk about education here it’s about policies and politics and all that jazz.

With the start of school being here, I suppose it’s expected that I have something to say about the whole thing.… [Read more]

Ryan Gets a Failing Grade in Education

Paul Ryan

Oh boy.

Here we go.

Instead of choosing someone to offset his conservative views, Romney chose someone who is totally as conservative as he is.

Also? It seems as if Paul Ryan would like to see public education privatized as much as the next rich white dude.

Get the rich richer and get rid of that pesky middle class, right?… [Read more]

Must Be Nice…

schoolsout

The #1 response I get when I tell people I am a teacher is, “It must be nice.  You get your summers off.”

And that is from polite people.

Less socially tactful people (like my grandpa) tend to lean more toward this response: “It must be nice to work only 9 months of the year.”

After 10 years in the biz, I now just reply with “yup.” or when I am feeling sassy with “that would be nice!”

But it used to make me hopping mad.… [Read more]

No Free Speech In School

free speech

A high school Biology class is learning about genetics and cell research.  The class has already covered the memorization parts about terms and procedures, and have done punnett squares and other problems to be able to apply their new knowledge.

Their teacher has now had them read articles about bioethics in regard to patient consent in “donating” cells. … [Read more]