Monday, January 31, 2011

Preps revisited

I talked here about preps and what constitutes a prep.

Funsucker keeps saying she has five preps. She repeats that every time you ask her to do something for you.

So, she does no copying (except for her small group of 6 kids). She does no grading. Doesn't create material or tests. She is a glorified babysitter.

Now her supervisor is repeating the same words.

Honey, I have 5 preps. You don't even critique the lesson plans I send to you. Do you read them? Can you do the math?

The District assumes we are equal teachers. It starts with common definitions.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's email

Women Are Evil By Nature...

A woman went up to the bar in a quiet rural pub. She gestured alluringly to the bartender who approached her immediately. She seductively signaled that he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, she gently caressed his full beard. 'Are you the manager?' she asked, softly stroking his face with both hands. 'Actually, no,' he replied.

'Can you get him for me? I need to speak to him,' she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.

'I'm afraid I can't,' breathed the bartender.. 'Is there anything I can do?'

'Yes. I need you to give him a message,' she continued, running her forefinger across the bartender's lip and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth and allowing him to suck them gently.

'What should I tell him?' the bartender managed to say.

'Tell him,' she whispered, 'There's no toilet paper, hand soap , or paper towels in the ladies room.'

Women are angels...
And when someone breaks our wings.....
We simply continue to fly....
on a broomstick...

We're flexible like that

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Long week. Time to rest now.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another bites the dust

One of my students hasn't been there in a couple of weeks. Yep, he's in jail.


Ranting Woman says "You cannot be productive when you are afraid of your own shadow."

I would say it goes even further than that. You cannot be productive when the administration creates an environment where even those good teachers that the administration likes are afraid of losing their jobs.

In an environment of fear, teachers' health suffers as they cope with stress.

A highly effective manager/principal finds ways that cost little to no money that help alleviate stress in his staff.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Habits of Highly Ineffective Principals

Highly Ineffective Principals create toxic environments. The environments are disorganized or hostile or frantic - or some combination of these or other negative traits.

This means that EVERYONE is effected. And you start losing productivity among your staff when people call in with gastro-intestinal problems,or sleep disruption, or increased illness.

People miss deadlines because they get conflicting information - or no information.

Your staff is afraid to make decisions - so they make none.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


My philosophies (except for really dark days when some variation of what this teacher said is probably closer) are

* A rising tide floats all boats.

* I hope you dance.

* A ship in the harbor is safe - but that's not what ships are for.

And other philosophies that I hope I convey to my students - and peers - along the themes that we can each accomplish much, we can (and should) rejoice in other's accomplishments, we are not replicants of each other, and we can find those things that make us happy.

I find it hard to understand someone whose exhortations to his peons are along the line that he is the king of the mountain and we are not measuring up.

Surely if he had the intelligence of a gnat, he would see by now that these non-motivational speeches are not moving him and the school in the direction he wants. Or maybe power is everything.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Saturday, January 22, 2011


It has been an interesting week. At one point Sally asked me "We used to be friends. What happened?"

I didn't answer her. If I had, I would have said "A murderer will kill you, a thief will steal from you but you'll never know where you stand with a liar."

And she lied to me when we were first getting to know each other, not directly but by implication. I have no tolerance for that.

I would also have told her that we were friendly but had not become friends yet. She moved here from New England and I spent a lot of time trying to help her understand Southerners. Sometimes people from outside the South assume Southerners are morons. Southerners know this and play stupid sometimes to learn more about their "opponents". I also tried to explain the complexity of race relations. In any case, she didn't listen.

And when I figured out that she lied, there was (and is) a distance there that I do not see going away.

Add that her goal is to become administration, well, need I say more?

Why did I choose to teach math?

OK. New state superintendent. An unwieldy math program that is not serving the students well. So let's make changes.

For the love of Pete, right this second I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE HECK WE WILL BE DOING!

Why didn't I pick English? Or Science?

Six Word Saturday

Dealing with a bully is difficult.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I will survive since 1) I know where I stand with him (he has no use for me and sees no value in anything I do or say) and 2) I have less use for him since I think he is a bully and a blowhard.

He does entertain me in the meetings where he is wasting my time - I wait for the malaprops. I have an internal bet how many he will do. If he talks for an hour, there will be at least one. His personal best was five. It does keep me alert.

He has seen the light - in that someone introduced him to the EATS (essential question, activating strategy, teaching strategies and summarize) method of lesson planning/teaching. It isn't new but, by golly, if we follow this to the letter we will RISE AGAIN and meet AYP. Gimme that ole time religion!

One of my students, who actually is learning the way I teach, looked at me as I explained this program: "but kids don't learn the same way. Why would you try to teach everyone the same way?" Because the bully is looking for a formula. And there isn't one. (Telling mark: Waiting for Superman is on his desk. More telling: it is a library copy.}

I don't know if I can write about him as the habits of highly ineffective principals, not because he isn't one (because he is) and not because the original concept wasn't a brilliant one (because it was), but because I cannot wrap my head around the way he thinks or governs and really don't want to.

I may end up writing about what I would love to see in a principal instead. Because it isn't what is sitting in the front office.

I talk to myself. I come by it honestly, my dad has hysterical (to the people around him, anyway) conversations with himself where he takes both sides. It is how he prepares for arguments.

I found myself having a conversation with myself on the way to work yesterday (since I knew I was going to get chewed out - explaination follows). When I took a breath, a song came on the radio. Jesus take the wheel.

I will get through this.

Why I got chewed out: I struggled all last semester to get a pacing guide so that I could be at the same place as the other three people teaching the class I was teaching. I got it 8 weeks into school - at which time I was so freaking far behind that I did not really catch up. I skimmed the last two sections before the state test. My repeaters still improved their previous scores by 5%. Not outstanding, but an improvement. Especially when it was the first time I taught it.

I didn't get a pacing guide because the 2 teachers who could give it to me (high maintenance and dude) wouldn't give it to me. The 4th teacher got it when I did BECAUSE I GAVE IT TO HIM. (He is also teaching this for the first time).

I have never told this to Bully - why in the world would I? 1)It would be an excuse on my part (even though his minion sat in the meetings where I asked for it over and over and over and did nothing. He still would have said "why didn't you ask minion?" I asked high maintenance, dude, minion, the district, and another school - no one had a block pacing guide but high maintenance and dude - and they weren't sharing)

So, this semester in my year long class I am hitting those units I sped through. This means I am teaching it for the first time. I suck at pacing something the first time (Bully: another excuse) and the kids had run through the activity when he walked in to observe me that I was doing EATS(last 15 minutes of a 55 minute class). In other sections I go back to traditional books from 5 years ago and pull word problems for them to work (we have no books. Bully: See - another excuse) but I don't have books for this section. I finally met with dude (schedules. Bully: another excuse) 2 hours after the observation and got the work he has developed in (now) 3 times of teaching it.

So, I am slime. The kids really understand what we did in this section and should do well on the state test. But I am the worst teacher he has.

The sad thing is that he believes it. The really sad thing is that he has no idea who or what I am or that I am willing to document the abuse to the board of education. I am a list maker. I understand how to do reasonable statistics. And I have no use for him. And he has created the most hostile environment I have ever worked in.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Wow - that was cathartic.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Completely Unprofessional Behavior

For once I am not talking about the principal - that will come. Instead I am talking about someone who calls himself an educator.

He has had a nervous breakdown. Or a snit fit. In any case he has decided that he needs to stay home and his doctor (or his lawyer) agree with him.

This does come back to the principal not being professional, and we will discuss that, but in the meantime we are going to talk about Sam.

Sam has taught for 30 years. He is quick to tell us that he knows how to teach. And there are things that he does well. But after a confrontation with the evil bastard the district calls our principal, he left the school and hasn't been back.

No lesson plans. No emails or returned calls. Nada.

So the department chair has been doing his own classes and Sam's. A couple of us have helped. But the person who should be emailing plans is "too stressed".


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Definition of a prep

If I have a prep, I do the lesson plan. I find the resources. I teach the class. I write the assessment and grade it. I call the parents.

If I have five preps, I do all of that for 5 classes.

Hey, Funsucker. You do not have 5 preps if you only do that for one class. If for the other 4 classes other teachers write the lesson plans, the copies, the teaching, the assessments, and you offer a) no help and b) no work.

That means you have ONE prep and are in 4 other classes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Highly Ineffective Principals

My blogging buddy Curmudgeon had a series a year or so ago about Highly Ineffective Principals.

I loved it when he wrote them.

I hate it when I live it.

I told him I had hijacked his idea and will be writing about it here. I am mustering my forces.

bullies and more

The principal at our school is a bully.

He delights in eviscerating people.

It is possible to stand up to him but, in addition to being a bully, he is a coward, so he will hold on and nurture that grudge until he can play it against you, so it usually is not worth it to say anything to him. It is easier to let him play his bully games.

The district and the board know how he is. Last year at a faculty meeting he was telling us we were slime and then suddenly he was all sweetness and light. It turned out two people from the district walked in. After a while, he was back to we were slime. The two people had walked out - but they were standing out of his sight but not out of earshot.

They know who he is.

They know what he is.

Rumors are that he will be promoted away from supervising people. I am afraid everyone will have left before this.

I am certainly considering it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sometimes you cannot help the students help themselves.

By policy, we cannot record a grade for students filling out such things as their phone numbers because it is not academic. What they (the amorphous THEY) do not want, is for us to penalize someone who doesn't bring it in.

So, I told them I would give them 100 points if they brought it in and nothing if they did not - then showed the difference between the average of someone who has 3 grades (80, 90, and 100) and 2 grades (80 and 90). I thought this would show them why they needed to bring it in.


I have a dream

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up... live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will they be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

Money makes the world go around

We have a new governor, Nathan Deal, the lessor of 2 evils. In a recent speech, he laid out the budget saying "no more unpaid furloughs or school-day cuts for Georgia public schools."

While there is more money than last year, there is less than several years ago and, once again (as they have for the past 10 years) the state is not giving the districts what they have to by law.

"The budget Deal is recommending to legislators would send $30 million extra to cash-strapped school districts. That's $60.9 million less than they are owed under the Quality Basic Education Act, the state’s enrollment-based school funding formula, but more than they've gotten in recent years."

He is assuming the districts saved some of the federal stimulus money they received last year.

You know they didn't.

It's gonna be a hard candy Christmas.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"colder than a midget in the refrigerator"

This is funnier than anything I have heard lately!

Wherever you are, you need to watch this 5 minute weather report. Laughing is good for the soul!

Mentos Ad

Can someone tell me the codes to post a video?

For you fun and enjoyment, you should watch this (it's quick) It's Better to Know What's Coming Next.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scarey video

When you watch the video Jared Laugher made about Pima Community College, the video that gave the school the final reason to expel him, you see how crazy he was. He rambles on and on about the school's infringement of his freedom of speech and their "illegal" activities. That even the time is illegal.

It makes no sense.

Those of you out there who are grammar wizards will see his faulty grammar as he accuses his fellow students of being illiterate.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Snow on the ground. No school!

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

This has been a LOOOOONNNNGGGG week because I have gotten nothing done. Not because I didn't have the time or the opportunity but because I have no motivation.

I finally got motivated yesterday and started working. I have the usual weekend things to get done: lesson plans, what am I going to do, tidying up, a paper to write. I also have some play to do.

I leave you with this thought:

Atlanta: Population: 4,717,397. Snow plows: 10. You do the math.

Big R responsibility

A teacher at school is not playing with a full deck - specifically, she is allowing the Hulk to bully her and has run in retreat. She has been out 2 weeks already due to "mental stress" and is SOOOO stressed out that she is unable to email her lessons to the department chair.

I am not the department chair.

So, why do I feel like I should call this person up and ask if I should take care of her classes?

Repeat after me: it is not my job. No one would appreciate it. I would be enabling. It is not my job.

She would no more copy my classwork for me than fly in on her broom. Why do I feel like I should create work for her class. Nope, feeling passed.

There. I feel better now.

He's a lurker

This blogger must be from my school. I mean, there is no way he could write about the plan of the month and how tom implement it and not be sitting in the same professional developments as I do - where we are give THREE different, incompatible goals and told to meet them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mental illness and what can we do?

With all of the talk about Jared Lee Loughner and how bizarrely he acted over the past year, I have this question for the people reading this blog: have you ever taught someone you suspected was mentally ill and what did you do?

Because I have.

I taught one student in four different classes over a four year period. The first two years we met with the parents - and the district psychologist - trying to get help for the boy. The guess (based on my admittedly limited knowledge of psychology) is that he is schizophrenic.

Bless his heart, the boy ain't right.

But the parents were adamant that there was nothing wrong and the district finally stopped pursuing anything.

If they determined that the student was ill and the parents did nothing, then what? Charge the parents with neglect and force the state to do something? And who would pay?

It breaks my heart but I sat in those meetings and I really, really tried to make them see that the behavior was not "normal" (whatever that means) but I got no where.

I hope I gave the student something that will help him survive.

For the most part, the other students recognized this and were protective. Some times, they would avoid him. Rarely, they would torment him and others would step in to quash it.

Why won't it go away?

How that my Northern friends are coping better.

View the image to see the whole thing. Yes, we are pathetic.

It's going to be a rocky ride

Georgia has spent the past5 years rolling out GPS - Georgia Professional Standards. We started in the 6th grade, adding classes above and below that every year, and this year cover K=11 with GPS. Part of the problem has been rigor has been defined as doing things at an earlier age.

Next year, we will start changing over to Common Core Curriculum.

According to Joanne Jacobs common core math is done at an even earlier age.

Hang on.

Snow and Ice

You know what Royal icing looks like? It is a hard covering over sweet.

Well, that's what our snow/ice is like. In some places, you have a half an inch of ice over icey snow. In other places it is just packed down ice.

I went out to the store - luckily didn't fall on the ice, but it is nasty.

I have said before that I like snow in the South: it is gone before we grow tired of it. Not this time.

Now, I'm tired of it and it's getting dirty. Needs to go away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whoda thunk?

Did you know that if you are hard boiling eggs and you walk off and forget them, they start popping like corn? And create an awful mess?

And use up the last of the eggs in the house?

And give your wife a wonderful opportunity to make fun of you?

Once a bully, always a bully

The suits in our building are either completely ineffective or they are bullies.

Somehow that seems to be an appropriate way of talking to teachers.

It doesn't work with me. I won't fight you, but I figure I can get another job so I am not trapped here. I tend to get quiet when being yelled at - mostly because I am filtering the dialogue in my head. (Can we say burning bridges? I would really rather not. At least until I am ready to nuke them and you.)

I have had no expectation since I started working here that I am their fair-haired darling. I tolerate them - they tolerate me. Most of the time.

When one AP undermined my authority by tearing up a write up and telling the student that the write up was invalid, I called the parent. (In this case, the parent was on my side and I knew it. Had the parent not been on my side, I would have found some way to explain to the child that if she didn't follow my rules, I will follow them to the letter with her, and she will lose in the long run).

The Hulk has yelled at me before - I am sure he will again. One of these days I will quietly tell him to get someone from the district in the room if he wants to continue the conversation. Most of the time I let him spew and think about what a lousy manager he is. He has even threatened future evaluations which is described as bullying behavior elsewhere.

But I don't cry. It isn't something I do.

A student last week (when I was saying they need to watch their language) said he could get me mad enough that I would cuss. And I told him no, he couldn't. That's when I get very creative in doing write ups. They are still true, but it is all in the way you say it.

There are teachers who cry, or who lose it in other ways. One embarrassed the Hulk in a meeting several months ago - I believe she had not done the assignment we were to present, so instead she rambled on and on about how this is the first year she was not attacked by the administration.

I knew he wouldn't forget. And apparently he did his usual routine with her last week. Because she cries and emotes, he kept going.

I wonder when she will return to school.

In the meantime, I have been assigned the chore of providing her kids with work for some unknown number of days.

It would be easier to just fold in front of the bully.

I am thinking his days are numbered, though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What a topsy turvey world

Y'all are about to get the storm that's been turning our world upside down. No more school for us again tomorrow.

Remember - Atlanta has 6 sand trucks.

That's my story and I am sticking to it

And that's why I haven't accomplished anything this weekend.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sarah Palin's map

A lot of people are making a big deal about Sarah Palin's map showing bull's eyes. Here is a different take - they are surveyor's symbols.

This image has targets on it. But it isn't from a Tea Party website or Palin website.

I think we all need the ability to calmly and rationally discuss our differences without turning to violence. Or name calling.

And I think the shooter in Tucson is crazy. You can't fix crazy any more than you can fix stupid.

So, let's join hands and pray for the injured and quit ramping up the vitriol.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Snow day tomorrow for most of the south - snow and ice to fall all night long.


Stupid idiot

"A stupid idiot has just killed a prominent Democrat in Arizona. Now every pundit in la, la land will blame the Tea Party and of course those radical Republicans." from AJC's The Vent, not usually a voice of reason. But apparently in this case, it is.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Big storm coming? Maybe a break?

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Got to head to the grocery store for milk, bread and toilet paper a storm is coming.

Must be a southern thing (the shopping). Seriously, they are predicting snow (nothing by NYC standards, but we are wimps). I am so hoping for a day or two off so I can catch up. This weekend is just not going to be enough.

Here is my post about my next career goal

Last year I decided I wanted to be a special ed teacher because the ones I work with (not all of them, just the ones I have been working with) don't have to make lesson plans or copies, stay in the classroom the entire hour, or show up on time.

This year, my goal has changed. I want to be an assistant principal. You do not have to do anything apparently. Nothing is your fault or your responsibility and undermining teacher authority can be seen as a bonus.

A teacher left at Christmas due to pregnancy complications. I don't know who entered her grades but I found an obvious error for a girl I teach. I emailed the AP in charge of grades since I have no authority to change another teacher's grades but it was, as I said, obvious what the error was. (Since this AP is a blonde, no offense meant to the smart blondes out there, I explained the OBVIOUS error in a way my houseplant could understand it - without sarcasm, just with great detail). The AP emailed me back the the long term sub taking over the class will have to do the grade change.

Um, the student is no longer in the class as it is a new semester.

I filled out the form, got the other teacher to sign it, but the was the AP's job, not mine.

I wrote up the skipper from the other day. I documented everything.

Skipper comes into my room, loudly announcing to the world that I wrote her up for skipping when she wasn't there and the AP (another one) tore it up, saying I was lame.

I kept teaching and told the AP at the end of the day that the skipper played him. He replied that only I saw her.

Really. (Think Nanny McPhee voice).

I called the child's dad and told him all of this. He called the AP. Kid now has a write up. Dad knew the skipper skipped.

Another AP will give the kids candy when they get a discipline referral - or order pizza for them - and tell them how the teachers "try but they just don't get it."


And you wonder why the kids perform so poorly on tests? They are not listening to us - unless they are smart enough to figure out that the lame ones are the APs.

I asked the skipper if she knew how many credits she had. Six. She should have 18 at this point. Unless she gets her act in gear, she will not graduate until she is thirty. (exaggeration. She will not graduate and will have to get a GED unless she starts taking it more seriously)

I told her that I will help her succeed but that I will drag her kicking and screaming to graduation if I had to. We can do this in a civil, coordinated, easy collaboration - or we can do this the hard way. Her choice. (All said calmly and without rancor) And then I told her some of her options to get more credits. And she started being polite and had less of an attitude.

I do not talk to everyone this way, some you just have to.

I also had to tell another student that I was disappointed in what he was doing. If he wanted to waste his time, I was going to start working on getting him out of my class so he would stop wasting other people's time.

And I told a class of seniors that they knew how to behave in a class and what was expected of them as this doesn't change radically from one teacher to another. And that if they honestly didn't know how, there was no way I was going to be able to teach them how to behave as it was obviously beyond their ability to understand. And it worked.

I feel like I am wearing my attitude on my sleeve but I know I have reached the limit on what I will tolerate. If the APs will not back me up, then I will find what will work.

Maybe A doesn't stand for Assistant.

All they can do is fire me. Today - that doesn't sound so bad.

Don't know much about history . . . .

What a way cool way for the kids to learn history!! That was the link to the New Yorker article.

Here are the videos!

And here to look at cool census maps.

My next post? What I want to be an AP so I don't have to do anything and can undermine the teaching staff and give them even less power than they have.

Nah, don't think it will even be THAT positive.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Had a child cut my class today

Since I am a teacher, I would like to take this opportunity to offer advice on how she could have done this without my figuring it out.

1) If you are going to cut class tomorrow, do not go out of your way to act like a jackwagon. Even in a large class, even on your first day, this will cause you to stand out enough that the teacher will learn your name.

2) On the day you cut: when you make eye contact with the teacher whose class you are supposed to being going into, do not turn and walk in the other way. Clue - if you make eye contact, the teacher saw you.

3) When the teacher calls your house, do not tell your mother that you were in detention - you were in the wrong end of the school for that to be true. The teacher just called your house. Don't you figure she will check?

PS the write up is already written.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It is a new semester - and with it comes . . .

credit recovery.

Yep, the little darlings that couldn't be bothered to do the work on the teacher's schedule think that now they should through a bunch of crap, er, stuff on paper and pass.

I had to tell 2 that they had grades in the 50s, I am not interested in creating more work for them nor am I interested in grading anything that was due before Christmas just so they could copy it from someone else.

"Why would I copy someone else's work" one asked, all offended.

I don't know - why would you bother to do it now, a month after it was due?

So I told them to take the standards and write notes for each standard (that means each line) and 2 or three problems for each standard and work the problems. And I will grade for accuracy.

I figured they wouldn't bother.

I watched one of them working for 2 solid hours. And one of them running his mouth and interfering with my class (since they haven't changed his schedule yet). I told him he should be making better choices and do the recovery.

"Why? I have 2 more weeks. I'll get it done."

Because you are not giving me any incentive to grade it.

Another had a 30 in one class and a 60 in another (neither are my classes) and she wanted to talk recovery. I said maybe the 60 but not the other, unless that teacher had given her work.

"She gave it to me before the break."

Did you do it?

"No, it seemed pointless."

Hmmm, I say, in my best Nanny McPhee impersonation.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"I just want to teach"

I read this article and I want to quit.

We sat in professional development today (yes, I didn't call in a bomb threat - I did think about it). He told us to sell the way we teach to the students - but he told us to be sure we "sell out." WTF?

I listened to what he want, and I am like the teachers in the "I just want to teach" article. There is not enough time to do it well. When I try to explain, I am told I am a nay-sayer. So I can try to do the impossible . . .

I feel like I already sold out.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Who learns

Harry Wong said that the person doing the work was doing the learning.

I think that the person who accepts responsibility for the learning does the learning.

I get evaluated on the test scores of my students - who do you think is going to work harder and who do you think is going to learn?

(Comments on Curmugeon's post.

Don't Tempt Me

Just when I am coming to terms with going back to school tomorrow, I read this.

Unfortunately, the meeting sounds like the one scheduled for us.

Wow, maybe they will cheer us on by reminding us that the state has decided that next year, 50% of our evaluation will be based on student test scores. The students I cannot get to take anything seriously.

I would say that people would not voluntarily choose to teach repeaters and those with low understanding, and then I remember that I never volunteer for the classes I have.

What are we going to do about The Other Generation?

As I read this article, I was struck by a couple of things.

1) A 14 year old was in downtown Atlanta at midnight with friends. (Implied in the article was that the friends were of the same age).

2) His mother didn't know he was downtown.

It is no wonder we are having the crisis in education when parents are that out of touch with their children.

Add that Georgia will now use the students' test scores in the teachers' evaluation and I can tell it is going to be a banner year.

I have students who do not come to school to take their graduation tests (forget taking them seriously, they don't take them) when they cannot graduate without passing the test. Yep, I want my efforts judged on their efforts.

"The Other Generation" Flower Drum Song, Rogers and Hammerstein
What are we going to do about
The Other Generation?
How will ever communicate
Without communication?
You can't account for what they'll say or do.
And what peculiar thoughts they think
They never reveal to you.

A very discouraging problem is
The Other Generation.
They want to lead a life that's all their own.
Perhaps we ought to let them,
Forsake them and forget them!
But then we'd only find ourselves alone.--With one another!--
I don't believe we'd like to be alone!

What are we going to do about
The Other Generation?
They never take the blame for one mistake.--Oh no!--
Their parents are responsible
For ev'ry mistake they make!

A very discouraging problem is
The Other Generation.
And soon there'll be another one as well!
And when our out of hand sons
Are bringing up our grandsons,
I hope our grandsons give their fathers hell!--Can't wait to see it!--
I hope our grandsons give their fathers hell!


Well, the more I see of grownups
The less I want to grow.
The more I see what they have learned
The less I want to know.
And yet we've got to all grow up,
There's no place else to go.
I wonder why we're all so poor
And they've got all the dough!
What are we going to do about
The Other Generation?
How will ever communicate
Without communication?
When we are using words the modern way,
They're much too big to try to dig
The colorful things we say.

If we could take over the training of
The Other Generation,
We know we could improve them quite a lot.
But they will never let us.

They stay the way they met us,
And so we're simply stuck with what we've got.--You can't improve them.--
The kids are simply stuck with what they've got.

What are we going to do about
The Other Generation?
How are we going to stop them when
They start an explanation
Of 'What is used to mean to be a kid!'
The clean and wholesome fun they had,
The innocent things they did!

They all had a wonderful childhood in
The Other Generation.
The games they played were bright and gay and loud.
They used to shout 'Red Rover,
Red Rover please come over!'
They must have been an awful droopy crowd when they were younger.
They must have been an awful droopy crowd.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New laws

Just what we need: 725 new laws. Luckily I don't live in California.

Six Word Saturday

Re-construction is much like a pregnancy.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I find that the first thought I have on a Saturday morning is usually the one I write for my six word Saturday. The thought this morning was based on a comment the builder made. Everytime something is removed, shoddy construction or water damage is revealed and that means more money. Doesn't everything? And he expressed concern that it would affect our friendship but he wants us to know what he found.

I started thinking about the teenagers I teach who are pregnant - and how the boys they made these babies with have already left, just as the girls start to show. (OK, it's a Faulknerian stream of consciousness thing, but I was waking up.)

I was thinking about the emotional upheaval of my own pregnancies and how my relationship with my husband grew as I did and thinking how much the boys will miss - which led to the convoluted thought that there is emotional upheaval in this rebuilding process but the parties are committed to seeing it through with the relationships intact.

And I feel blessed.