I found myself thinking about this blog a few times in the last week and decided to see if I could remember the password to get back in to it. Obviously, I did. Can I remember why I wrote it? Obviously, I can. I was in the middle of my third decade of teaching and thoroughly fed up with the educational system that continued to become every year more a place of schooling and obedience than of learning and growth. Continue reading
Lawrencedale MI (TWP Press)
Teachers at Lawrencedale Public Schools were welcomed back to school with a celebration of all things legal, political, marsupial, and maniacal. Superintendent John Underwood began by explaining the school’s lack of money, facilitating no funds for retirement, extra-duty pay, and dry erase markers.
After these awesomely cordial opening points, Underwear went on to texplain that the school had reduced so many employees that there weren’t enough left to man an accreditation committee, so Lawrencedale would no longer have national accredidation.
Instead of pausing to acknowledge teachers who won awards, attended and presented workshops and conferences over the summer, finished their master’s degrees or became nationally-board certified or master teachers or in any way celebrating education and the daily work of teaching and learning, the welcoming comments continued with the introduction of Richard Coppley of Coppley, Coppley, and Hicks, who took off his seersucker Gregory Peck/Atticus Finch-wanna be blazer and updated teachers on new legal issues concerning education.
With his latest book, best-selling writer James Pitterdaughter is achieving unheard of success, even for this author who has conquered the bland fiction charts, branched into children’s books and young adult flying fantasy and even uses a ghost writer when he needs to take a break between books for lunch.
Pitterdaughter’s Along Came a Teacher . . . Who Kills People has shot up to number 3 on the bestseller charts in only four weeks of its release. The book, which Pitterdaughter said would be the first in a series, follows high school English teacher turned serial killer Amillia Floss on her journey to rid the world of evil, while expounding on the meter in Thomas Hardy’s poetry to her senior students who refuse to read George Eliot because she was ugly.
Yes indeedy do. Details to come . . . stay tuned!
DETAILS as of 7/15/11:
Things were not getting better at the school I had been teaching at for 6 years. Principal and superintendent were not listeners. Both mouthed platitudes that were never concretely backed-up. Principal only called 1 faculty meeting for the entire year–and used it to abuse teachers for unspecified actions. The schedule was ridiculous, and the super refused to listen to teacher input about it.
I had been looking around at the want-ads and found one at another school nearby. I was immediately impressed with the superintendent and principal, who were both up-front about what they wanted . . . and . . . here’s the kicker–were very appreciative of my many years of experience and success as a teacher. They were already asking me for my input about classes and how to teach them. We teachers know how important appropriate praise, recognition, and attention are for our students. All good bosses know this. Why do so few admin know it?
We keep teaching because we love our subject and we love working with kids. Sometimes those two things simply aren’t enough. Sometimes you want to have input in the decisions that affect the students, which is the main reason you chose teaching–to have a positive effect on students. Sometimes, when you’re making a difference (which I was at this school), you also want it to be noticed . . . not with an award or even money (though, those are fine if you want to fork them over) but with a word, an email, a PERSONAL fucking acknowledgement of one’s efforts.
I’m hoping to have a good experience at this new school. It is quite a bit different. I hope it will not give the Teaching Whore fodder. I repeat: I hope it will not give the Teaching Whore fodder.
Now . . . on the state and national level, I’m sure the fodder will always be there. And so in that sense, I hope to keep writing! Thanks to everyone who reads and comments and lurks and . . . exists metaphorically beside me.
Across America (TWP)
In the glorious days of summer, when teachers frolic and gambol through the wildflower fields, all is right with the world. The teachers rise each day somewhere between ten and noon and then eat blueberry pancakes with specially ground French roast bean coffee and nap and watch a Lifetime movie in the afternoon.
After watching the movie and perhaps playing with a very furry calico kitten, the teachers take another nap and then rise at dinnertime to have fettuccine Bolognese or roasted chicken with garlic or grilled salmon, because they have time to learn to be top chefs in the summer when they are OFF.
I survived another school year. Who is still reading this blog? What do you want me to write about? Not sure I have much in me now that summer is here, and I’m the kind of gal that needs constant feedback to write. I love writing and I hate it, you know! Comment with your thoughts please and thank you.
Across the Nation (TWP)
In response to widespread teacher protests and rallies in support of teachers who have recently been scapegoated, semi-lynched, raked over the black souls of the education department’s policy wankers, and, in general, blamed for bad kids, stupid kids, the economic downfall, the Olson twins, potted meat, and alopecia, teachers have finally gotten school administrators and test-addicted bureaucrats to see the light.
Instead of the annual three to four week onslaught of end-of-instruction tests, schools are now going to get the opportunity to test their students year-round! In an identical statement issued from the education departments of several states at once, the superintendents declared the following:
Grand Rapids MI (TWP)
At the Educational Magicurriculum Concepts Factory, account manager Bo North announced that sales of their new line of magical end-of-the-year teacher products have skyrocketed. “We haven’t seen this kind of increase in sales in such a short amount of time since the 80s when Ronald Reagan slashed the education budget, and we sold out of recycled staples in 24 hours,” North said. “Recycling was the best magic we could do at the time.”
The Passing Period Phantom-Producer, even at a pricey $149, has been the company’s best seller in the last week. The Phantom-Producer is a palm device, upon which the teacher places her hand as soon as the bell rings, and she becomes a phantom, invisible to the naked student eye until the bell rings for the next class.
Across America (TWP)
During Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers across the country were honored with numerous gift packages, ranging from the small but special to the large and luxurious. TWP surveyed teachers and found some interesting results of the weeklong marathon of love and mutual respect.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, 3rd grade teacher at Ross Elementary, Karen Morrison reported that she received a special email from the superintendent of schools which read, “As we close Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to say THANK YOU for all you do for our students! The single most important factor in our success as a school district is the quality teachers and staff we employ! We will continue to move forward and provide opportunities for our students because of you and your efforts! You are making a difference!”
Garner, MO (TWP)
Teachers, staff, and students at GarnerMiddle School have created a new language of sorts, one worthy of research and further study. Noted etymologist Dr. Rand Lichtenstein of Harvard has recently published his research on the language in the April issue of the Modern Language Review.
Lichtenstein studied the school over an eight-week period, after it had come to light that outside members of the public and parents were unable to communicate effectively with those associated with the school. “What I found was an ingenuous code these people had developed in order to survive in the educational environment that has arisen around them,” Lichtenstein said.