Friday, March 22, 2013

New direction

I started this blog years ago with the thought that I would use it in order to point out the many positives about working with children as a career.  To say that there was no interest would be an overstatement.

I now intend to use this blog to give this teacher's perspective on education issues.  Neither Republican nor Democrat, Liberal or Conservative.  Just the facts as I percieve them (thus giving me an ample audience to irritate)

Today's issue: Chicago

Closing 61 buildings due to lower enrollment to balance their budget.  30,000 elementary kids to be crammed into distant, already full buildings.  Politicians say it's in the kid's best interest.

Both the Parents and the Unions are against this plan.

A couple of education facts: 

Students do best in schools with smaller enrollment where they aren't just little faces in the crowd.

Community based schools are more accessible to parents.  Parents who know what's going on are more likely to be involved.

Likely outcome:

The media will side with the politicians.  Parents will be poo-pood and the Union will be accused of only caring about the job cuts.

Politicians win, teachers and students lose.  More cops will be hired (I hope) to protect the little ones on their way through the worst neighborhoods on their way to school.  Taxpayers may pay less 5 years from now after they've paid for expanding the schools not on the list and increasing the security there.

Monday, November 12, 2012


It's been over a year since I last posted.  I thought that a lot of other teachers would want to share the positives, but with all the attacks on the profession I guess they had enough on their minds.

As a laid off teacher, I've heard a lot from non-teachers about the issues brought up recently.  So now a change in the focus of this blog:  this teacher's side of the story.

First, the job itself.

The assumption on the public's part is that teachers only work part time due to the long summer vacation.  They get their lessons from the books and spend a lot of time gossiping in the staff rooms before going home early and eating caviar or something.

from my point of view: 
You could go on autopilot and just take the lessons from the books, use your break and only an hour or two outside of school every day to grade all the papers that would entail.  The books cover everything on the test, so the teacher would be sure of enough passing grades to keep the job.  I suspect I know a few teachers like this.  Widely considered bad teachers for their attitudes, they're the only ones with job security under the current teacher evaluation system.

For teachers like me, teaching isn't so much a job as a calling or obsession.  The light in the student's eyes, the excitement when little Johnny finally "gets it" is just amazing.  They spend hours grading so that each of them have grades, yes, but more importantly feedback on their effort.  Using the textbook as a guide, they spend most of their waking hours researching and finding ways to make it all interesting.   Perceived as threats to the administration and by-the-book teachers, they will have the shortest careers.  This is not theoretical, I've seen it. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Blog!

Teaching is undoubtedly the BEST and the WORST profession on earth - and has been since I began some 25 or so years ago.
Working with children and helping them acheive their goals - seeing the light go on in their eyes (the aha moment) - watching them become excited about whatever I'm trying to get through to them that day is the most amazing feeling!
Sitting around the teacher's room table and hearing stories from other classrooms makes me realize that I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm going to use this blog to tell 'tales out of school' Join me if you'd like.