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Showing posts from September, 2011


I took my Little Sister to an animal show today and we got a bat book. LS: I hate bats. Me: You know they eat mosquitoes, right? LS: I LOVE BATS!  They are my favorite animal.

A Day in the Life

From a teacher who wishes to remain anonymous, after Ann Coulter went off on "useless public sector workers."  [By the way, I don't like to think of human beings as "useless," but if there was one, it would be Ann Coulter] First, Jon Stewart had the best response I've heard to this.  Ever.  Check it out.   Then read this day in the life of a good teacher. I know, I know. But the word useless really got under my skin. "Dear" Ann Coulter, First you called kindergarten teachers "useless public sector workers" and then went on to say that public school teachers get off at 2 and get the summers off. Finally, you implied we're highly paid. Clearly, everything one needs to know really *is* learned in kindergarten: kindness, fairness, honesty, manners... Too bad you were truant. Why don't you walk a mile in the shoes of a "useless public sector worker"? 6:00 Get up, get the tea going, get the lunch ready and th


I was working on my computer today when I got a facebook post from a friend and former co-worker:     "Hey, I am watching this special on PBS hosted by Tavis Smiley. He is at the Alameda Youth Jail and I think I just saw Fred. I don't remember his last name but I knew him as soon as I saw him. He had the scar on his forehead. Isn't that your old student. They said he was 18. Does that add up" Yes.  yes, it does add up.  Fred (not his real name) was a kid in my first and third grade classes, in 2000 (I came in January and they had had 6 substitutes before then) and then 2001-2002.  He was famous at our school, not least because he was expelled in second grade for hitting a teacher or something like that - I honestly don't remember.  He was brought back for third grade and I requested him again.  He was one of those kids who caused trouble everywhere he went and was so angry that it was just coming out of his pores, even when he was six.  He was also real


The regrets I have from my time teaching in a classroom are not what you might think.  I know I gave everything I had to those kids - no regrets there.  I was tired - very very tired - and would have done better if I wasn't so exhausted, but there wasn't much I could have done about that.  What I regret most is not standing up for myself to authority figures in the school and the district.  When my first principal told us that we should all be afraid for our jobs, I wish that I had said that I didn't feel motivated by a constant reminder to be afraid for my job.  Each and every time an administrator answered my request to sign my after-school tutoring papers or reimburse me for something with "But don't you do this for the children?" or "I'm disappointed that you're asking me this - I thought you did this for the children," I wish I had said "Excuse me!  I am a professional and we had an agreement!  Please do not try to tell me tha