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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
“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]
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]
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]
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]