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Showing posts from March, 2008

Forgetting to Substitute

I'm not forgetting to go to jobs that I signed up for (although, from the teacher's perspective, I can tell you plenty of stories about subs who do forget!) I'm forgetting that I meant to sub. That subbing was a major part of my plan for this year. That I was going to keep in touch with the kids that way, support the schools, have more blog material, and oh yeah - make $118 per subbing day. But I just keep forgetting. Forgetting to check the site for jobs, forgetting to tell the teachers I know that I can sub for them, and forgetting to decide if I'm going back to teaching next year. Avoidance? Possibly.

Yes, There is Still Racism in America

(or: Why Pat Buchanan is an idiot). I can't let this go. Read it. Then all who are in favor of dumping Pat Buchanan into a violent neighborhood with polluted air, no grocery stores, bad schools, and falling down housing projects, please raise your hand. Where to start? I'm not even going to talk about Rev. Wright. Except to say that Obama is absolutely right when he says that we need to take into account the fact that there is the baggage of 350 years of segregation and slavery that he (and many black people) are dealing with. No, let's focus on what Buchanan said. He says that we need to have a two-way conversation about race. That white America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. Two problems come up already. 1. Anyone who can deny that white America is heard from has absolutely no idea what it is like to not be white in America. White America is heard from and has been heard from since there has been an America. 2. Anyone who thinks that Obama was


Someone told me once that portable classrooms contain formaldehyde in the walls . I just read an article about formaldehyde being found in particleboard, medium-density fiberboard, and plywood. The article cites formaldehyde as being the cause of not only cancer, but respiratory allergies, asthma, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. Now, I realize that I am only a sample size of one, but I taught in a portable classroom for 5 or 6 years, and during those years, thought I had really bad asthma. I was sick a lot, I got bronchitis every year, which turned into at least a month of illness-induced asthma, complete with trips to the emergency room. After I left the portable classroom, I have not had any of these symptoms. No coughing, no wheezing, no asthma. Hmmmm.

Um, Who's Teaching Our Teachers?

A friend who works in my district recently had an interesting situation at a workshop/seminar type thing (maybe part of a lecture series?) The talk was entitled, "What Do Struggling Readers Need from All of Us." Apparently the woman delivering the talk worked a number of interesting comments into the talk including: Kids running around like "Indians and banshees." Women (in general, all women) not wanting to make left hand turns, but preferring to make four right hand turns. Think about that one. Draw a diagram if you need to. Make sure you don't work your kids like a slave driver. Some sort of homage to September 11 and good old Uncle Sam. I kind of wish I had been there! That's quality professional development time.

Pay Raises? Nope.

Once again, my district shows that they do not value teachers. Well, to be fair, our lovely governator doesn't either, with his 10% education cuts. Seriously? Education cannot survive more cuts! I mean, it really can not. I understand that we have to cut spending to balance the budget, and I'm not sure what should be done, but education can't take any more cuts!! A few years back, instead of getting a cost of living increase, the teachers in my district got a 4% pay cut. It was very discouraging, because we already spend a ton of our own money on supplies and are unappreciated in basically every way possible. Now, the district is thinking about doing it again . The public education system cannot take much more of these cuts. Teachers can't take much more of these cuts. The good people who are competent keep leaving - hey, I did! I can make as much money with a lot less stress - oh, and without being disrespected. I just can't believe that people are

If I Were President, I Would Melt All of the Guns

There is an interesting blog post by the Tribune's education reporter on"If I were president..." Written by third graders very near my old school, it touches me because they are very similar responses to those that my students have had in the past. They are from the same area. Note the focus on getting rid of guns. I'd like to take everyone who goes on and on about their Second Amendment rights to come and talk to these kids and hear their experiences with guns. It would make for an interesting dialogue.

Gentrification and Rubber Rooms

From This American Life : the introductory part isn't about education but the first two out of the three main acts are and are very interesting... listen to it. More reasons I'm glad I'm not teaching right now: One of the more "challenging" children - who really has no parental involvement in her life at all and needs STRUCTURE - is apparently prank calling her both at school and on the teacher's cell phone... I don't know what the administration is doing to help the teacher but I would guess absolutely nothing. That's what my district does best - not support their staff.