Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why learning math is important - regardless of your life plans

This is why a good grasp of number sense is important.

The trucker didn't know that her 43,000 pound load plus the weight of her truck exceeded 6 tons.

The trucker did not realize that the height of her vehicle exceeded the height of the bridge.

What a great example of the importance of math in the everyday world.

The police report is interesting.

OK the link won't work, so here it is. From the Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement facebook page on December 26 at 9:25pm ·
On December 25, 2015, on or about 1200 hours, Mary Lambright, 23 year old female from Fredericksburg, Indiana was driving a 2015 Volvo Semi Truck with a 53 foot box trailer containing 43,000 pounds of bottled water. Ms. Lambright stated her intentions were to park her semi in the parking lot of the Paoli Wal-Mart. Lambright entered the square from East Main Street and missed the exit heading to Wal-Mart and exited onto West Main Street. Ms. Lambright then turned left onto Southwest 1st Street in an attempt to turn around. She travel down Southwest 1st and turned left onto South Gospel Street. She made several attempts to turn left on to South Oak Street but was unsuccessful. Ms. Lambright was aware of a parking lot further north on South Gospel Street and determined she could turn the truck around in the lot to get back to Southwest 1st Street. When she approached the parking lot she discovered it was full of heavy equipment and could not use it to turn around. Ms. Lambright was aware of the iron bride stating she had driven on it several times in her personal vehicle and was also aware of the posted signage “no semis, weight limit of 6 tons”. When asked by Paoli Police why she continued through the bridge knowing the weight limit was only 6 tons she admitted to not knowing how many pounds that was. She was advised the weight of the vehicle at the time of the crash was close to 30 tons. Ms. Lambright stated she wasn’t comfortable backing the semi up and made the decision to try to go through the bridge. When the semi entered the bridge the trailer immediately began ripping open due to the trailer was taller than the top of the bridge. As the vehicle continued the weight of the vehicle caused the bridge to collapse. Ms. Lambright and her 17 year old female cousin, who was also in the vehicle, exited the vehicle and were unharmed. Ms. Lambright received her CDL endorsement on 5/12/2015. She currently works for Louisville Logistics out of Louisville, Kentucky. The vehicle and trailer were hauled to Wilcox wrecker service out of Salem, Indiana and is being held pending an inspection by the Indiana State Police. Agencies/Companies involved in this incident are;

Paoli Police, Orange County Sheriff Department, Paoli Fire and Rescue, Paoli Town employees, IU Health, Wilcox Wrecker Service, Hankins Corvette Sales, and Kendell Trucking

Ms. Lambright is cited for the following;

Indiana code 9-21-8-50, reckless operation of Tractor-Trailer, a class B misdemeanor

Indiana code 9-21-8-41, disregarding a traffic control device, a class B infraction

Indiana code 9-20-7-1, overweight on posted bridge.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why in the world would you buy this?

One of the freshmen brought one of these into school today and pointed it at a group of students - in front of the principal.

I don't know why you would buy one of these phone holders - or allow your child to buy one.

It is an accident waiting to happen.

I have no idea what happens to the student.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A tale of 2 students

Last night I got a call from a student. Haven't thought about him in 2 years, since he dropped out of my class and out of school.

He is one of those who makes bad decision after bad decision, convinced that he is so charming that the rest of us losers won't impede whatever progress he sees himself accomplishing.

He wanted to borrow $50. Maybe I should say "borrow". I took him the money because of what he said next. His family wouldn't help him and he is living in his car.

I have to be close to the bottom of his list. I have no delusions that I was his favorite teacher - or favorite anything. I cannot imagine being in a position that my family and friends have written me off.

So I took him the money. He wasn't in the parking lot he said he would be in. Apparently he had been involved in a fight and been told to leave. {while he was waiting for me to bring him money. Couldn't stay out of throuble for that short period of time.] So I gave the money to the manager of the restaurant where he hangs out and asked her to pass it along. And I went home.

Maybe he will get the money. Maybe he will turn his life around. Maybe not. But, beyond prayers, I have nothing else for him.

So keep him in your prayers.

If I could have talked with him, would I have told him what I was thinking on the way over? Get a job. Get your GED. Grow up. Lose the attitude and drugs. Mend your fences.

Probably not.

I contrast this with another student who traveled for several hours to help one of my current students, who gave of self to help someone who is unknown and hurting.

I know which person I would rather be. And which one I would rather have in my life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Alternate universe

Teaching in high school is like living among aliens - or existing in an alternate universe with very different rules.

Yesterday a student told me to commit a physically impossible act on myself, using (of course) much shorter words. Since it was done anonymously, there isn't much to do except move on. I know it was one of a handful of students who are failing and refuse help. They fail to understand certain things: they need help; it is being offered and refused; they don't have to like me any more than I have to like them (which doesn't change that I will help them if they let me); and - whether they get the help from me or someone else, they still have to pass the math class to graduate.

This was followed today by a heartfelt thank you from a student who was never in a class of mine - someone I had to chase out of class everyday because I taught her friend. I always liked her, we are friends on facebook - and I was honored to get thanks when I did nothing.

I guess it all about balance.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The death of public education

I am a firm believer in public education. My ancestors not only believed in it but made it a part of their lives, to the point I think it is part of my DNA.

I had two students skip my class this week and then (such a surprise) lie about why - in a way I could verify was a lie. So one threatened to sue me. Go for it.

He continued to argue with me anytime I tried to speak until I finally asked him what he wanted. "What do you mean?"

We can argue over everything I say (as far as I am concerned you win, I am not arguing anymore)or I can teach you. These are incompatible goals.

So, now I start documenting everything - instead of focusing on teaching.

What a waste.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shaking my head

A student was being particularly annoying, so I told him to cease and desist. He asked me what language that was.

A teacher has the following on her wall. In her handwriting: "Immigrants leave their country's and move to the United States." "Students come to the school and talk to the principle." "Numonics can help you learn"


Both are native born, native speakers.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Making it easier to graduate III

Part of the reason school play this stupid game, lowering the bar to "help" kids earn their diplomas, is the price the schools pay if they don't meet certain standards.

I have jumped through the school improvement grant phase, the title I phase. Both with all the requirements the state can add to a burdensome workload.

Now our governor has set up another hurdle. If a district does not meet the state's standards, the state will step in and take it over.

Yep, ought to work well.

Did I mention that it has been almost a decade since the state funded the schools to the amount they are required to by law?

That couldn't possibly affect anything.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Making it easier to graduate II

I read this today

Graduation rates alone are not the only thing that makes a good high school. In fact, as a former NYC high school teacher I am very wary of schools with rates that are too high. I have seen students pushed through and graduated that can barely read and do arithmetic. Regents are skewed so that a 65 on an algebra regents is the equivalent of 29 (or less) raw points. Students that don't pass the first time have the options of doing a few online problems or going to a two week after school program to make up the course they missed. Teachers are pressured to pass everyone. People should wonder why special needs students with 70 IQs are suddenly getting regents diplomas. A better guide might be a look at courses offered and the number of students taking these courses. Of course a college acceptance is important but knowing if these students will have to take and retake remediation before they can begin a path to a degree is also important, probably more important.

It is from someone in a very different state from the one I live in. One of those states who look down on us down here in the backward South. And yet, we have the same problem.

I am teaching Juniors - or should be teaching Juniors, since it is a Junior math class. There are a lot of should-be Seniors in the class - and in order to keep that holy graduation rate high, these kids are taking 2 and 3 math classes this year. Should it come as a surprise that the failure rate is high - and that the students don't feel that they have to do ANYTHING in order to pass. Math is so much simpler when you practice it.

They think they can play on their phones, talk, skip and pass.

I went down the list of things they could do outside of class to raise their grade to be interrupted by a student with an important question: what can he do to raise his grade? (So I ran through the exact same list again.)

And the principal's first question to me when he saw the grades? What are you doing, Ricochet, to help them?

But let me go back to the ones take 2 - or 3 - math classes at the same time. Some are taking them on line. They do not care about learning the math - they just guess ABCD and hope for the best. Since math (in high school especially) is cumulative - well, they are a few tools short in their toolbox to be successful.

I love math. I mostly love teaching. I feel like I am perpetuating a fraud. Do I listen to my conscience and fail them, knowing that is the grade they deserve, and find myself booted out, with all the financial implications to me that would involve. Or do I continue spoon feeding them and lowering the bar knowing I reach maybe 1 in twenty to actually learn something?

I am glad their are only a few more years left to agonize over that.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Not my fault

I have a student like this. It isn't his fault that he skipped - actually, he swore he didn't skip even though I said hello to him before class. And it is the teachers' fault he failed his classes. And it is someone else's fault that he is suspended for his behavior.

Until he takes responsibility, he is stuck.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Another one bites the dust?

Several years ago, when the bully who was principal was replaced, the replacement was a man we respected and we were thrilled that he was going to lead our school.

The district had a great deal of faith in his ability which is why they talked him into taking our school. But they didn't tell him they had applied for a school improvement grant and he would be reporting to a state person and would not really be in charge.

He became discouraged fairly quickly and was never the savior people had hoped for.And the district replaced him with a good ole boy crony who was a disaster.

Well, disaster has finally done enough damage that they showed him the door. Another principal, one the teachers and parents have hoped for years would come lead the school has finally agreed to and there is celebration that a savior has come.

He leaves a school that he has turned into a jewel to come fix the problems at our school. I wonder how the district will sabotage him.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Which is worse: murder or cell phones?

OK, sounds like an obvious question.

We were sitting around, complaining about kids and their cell phones, when someone made an interesting observation. If you murder someone while you are a teenager, you probably go on with your life with not much of an impact. But failure to pay attention to your education will hinder your adult life more.

Flawed test

I gave a pre-test this week. You know, one of those where they will look at the test and pretest and evaluate me on the growth of the students.


Some of the questions were beyond flawed.

Compare _____________to ______________ and state the relationship.


And, yes, the blanks were how they appeared on the test - non-questions with non-answers.

And somehow my students could answer these questions. Probability being what it is, they even got some of them right (according to the answer key because I sure couldn't tell).

But I am certain this will be a valid assessment of my ability.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pros and Cons of Outlook Groups

A new year has started. One of the department chairs has decided to add outlook groups - four of them - in order to keep herself organized.

I am having a real problem with this.

I can't delete emails in these groups (excuse me, conversations). I cannot even see the groups at home if I have looked at all of the postings. And I cannot sort the postings into folders that make more sense to me.

I will find another way to organize myself but I wonder if anyone sees an upside to groups?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

77% myth

Thomas Sowell has written about the male/female wage gap several times. On 4/15/14 and again on 3/15/2015. And I know he has addressed this several other times. Other economists have written about it Here and here.

As a comment I ran across says. Women want the ability to choose when and how they work (staying home with babies, etc.) without any consequences.

The latest wrinkle is the female soccer players don't get paid what male soccer players do. Well, that is a market-driven decision. Some baseball players don't make what prime basketball players make, either.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Southern Problem

I was working on schoolwork for the fall and watching a marathon on the Civil War Untold Stories. And then an episode on "Death and the Civil War: American Experience" came on, talking about the sheer volume of dead in the battles and how death was suddenly different - instead of dying in the home with your family around you, you died thousands of miles from home with strangers, sometimes not identified on your grave.

OK, it sounds like a gruesome topic, but that wasn't the takeaway I had from this.

To paraphrase what one professor said: The South did not go into the war for the care of the dead. They went into the war to create a confederate states of America. Would things be different now if the North had treated the Southern dead with respect? We don't know.

He was talking about how the North created Arlington to honor the Union dead but would do nothing for the Confederate dead.

He quoted Frederick Douglass ". . . whatever else I may forget, I shall never forget the difference between those who fought for liberty and those who fought for slavery, between those who fought to save the Republic and those who fought to destroy it." Decoration Day, 1894

And they talked about how the Southern economy was annihilated in a way no place else in the US has ever had happen to it. (That's Atlanta in 1865)

We all know that holding on to anger festers. And this is somewhat oversimplified. I know that when my family moved into the South, people still talked about when "we lost the War" - and they were serious 100 years after Appomatox.

But I have been thinking about this a lot this week.

The idiot/evil/moron who gunned down people in the Church had nothing to do with the Confederate flag (actually Lee's Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia - And my great great great grandfather was there.). It had everything to do with mental illness.

But, in knee jerk reaction, everyone bans the sale of the flag. Well, I am offended by all the paraphernalia with Che Guevera's likeness and the rap music with the N word, B word, C word, etc. But I don't expect everyone to ban things so that I am not bothered.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer fun!

An adult friend of my husband's - actually someone he knows casually or alittle better than that, called me a couple of weeks back saying he wanted me to tutor his 6th grade daughter in math. She wasn't wild about it but he and her mother felt she could benefit from some extra help.

Then I didn't hear from him and I thought I got my summer back.

Well, she came today. Very polite. I asked her point blank if she wanted to be here - she said no - it didn't sound like fun. So I talked about what I had been thinking.

She did well in math, it was just starting to get harder

I told her I would go over any questions she had about 6th grade math then preview 7th grade math and maybe go into some beginning algebra, give her notes (which will help her and allow me to set the foundation in my head for pre-algebra (which is on my schedule for next year).

Then I showed her why middle school math is so important.

Proportions to right triangle trig to trig with sines and cosines to law of sines.....

She loves long division - so long division of polynomials to synthetic division....

She had a couple of questions. There was a problem with <3 and a picture of a line cut by another line with 3 angles listed by number and one 73 degrees. I told her the <3 was supposed to be angle-symbol 3 and explained about supplementary angles and vertical angles.

The other said what shape would you have if you cut a cylinder vertically and horizontally. I explained, drew a picture - and she could see it!

This is going to be fun!

Even Sadie said it was going to be neat - as long as we could do some long division for fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Graduations in the south - and probably everywhere

Is arresting those who cannot follow the rules the answer? I have been to several graduations lately - a couple of college ones, three high school ones. They are not like my own graduations.

People feel compelled to yell. Great. It probably makes your own child feel good but it makes it difficult to hear the next names.

Once their own graduate has graduated, people are incredible. They take phone calls and hold conversations. Loud conversations.

They talk amongst themselves.

They let their children (and I mean anyone under the age of 18) run amok.

They treat it like a football game.

Or the movie theater.

I think people no longer consider where they are or what is happening around them.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Six Word Saturday

For once, experience life in real-time.

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I am beginning to realize that I really really hate cell=phones.

People are so busy watching life on the little screen as they take pictures and video what is going on around them that they have lost the ability to just experience life as it happens and take the memories as memories.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Advance! Once more into the garden!

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Both the physical one outside and the one in my heart and soul.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Value added model - phooey

OK, we give a pretest in the fall and then the same test in the fall and the difference in scores shows what the student learned. We are to aim for a 30 percent increase EXCEPT that it is measured in what I consider an odd way. To my way of thinking, if Amy earned a 30 on the pretest and a 40 on the test, she has achieved a 30% growth.


If she earned a 30 on the pretest, that leaves 70 to make a 100. 30% of 70 is 21, so Amy would need to earn a 51 (30 + 21) to achieve a 30% growth.

Obviously, the higher your initial score, the less you have to make on the post test for growth, so this is scewed against the low achievers.

What bunk.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Six word Saturday

Another beautiful day in the garden.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Six word Saturday

A beautiful day for weeding the garden.

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another milestone passed

Great weekend. A college graduation - followed by lots of celebration.

Another milestone achieved.

Driving around the campus today, i saw a group of cheerleaders posing, 1 taking pictures of the other 3. I offered to take pictures of all 4 - they were thrilled. Such a little thing.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Rainy - perfect day for spring cleaning!

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Out with the old, in with the new.

Mostly, out with the old.

The futility of it all

The state heads into its end of year testing next week.

Everything is going to be on line.

We already know it is going to have problems.

The teachers were told a while back that the scores will not be back before late summer, so they cannot count for the students. We would be living in a fool's paradise to believe the students do not already know this.

Ditto if we think they are going to give the tests their best effort.

Some will, most won't (if they know it doesn't count).

The scores will somehow be used in our evaluations - as part of the value added model.

I put a lot of effort into teaching - taking the time to verify what has to be covered, matching my instruction to the district tests (so they have seen the kinds of questions - not the exact question), creating work to be used to raise their grades if they do poorly on the tests.

As we near the end of the year the teachers are being told to come up with MORE work so the darlings WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF ANYTHING ELSE will have the opportunity to pass.

And the kids wonder (if they think at all) why the teachers know the material at so much more depth.

I did have a student yesterday (one who matches the description above) that he felt teachers should be tested every year or so to make sure they knew the material.

Bless their hearts.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Warning: insensitive post

Apparently outer space aliens are both undocumented and from Mexico.

Who knew?

Lighten up, people, or we will have nothing to talk about - the weather will probably offend someone also.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Twenty Years

Twenty years is a lifetime ago.

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Twenty years ago I wasn't teaching. I was working in the business community and twenty years ago I was out of town for a conference when the Murrow building blew up.

My family is from the farmland around Oklahoma city - my family knew some of the people killed.

When I was reminded this week that twenty years ago this happened, I reflected on how much has changed. My children are grown. I teach.

I never thought something like that would happen in a place I was familiar with.

But then I never would have thought that 9/11 or many of the things since could happen either.

Twenty years since such a long time ago. And I was such a different person then.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Six Word Saturday

You can lead a kid to remediation . . .

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. . . but you can't make them think.

I has part of the credit recovery push this weekend.

The students came with nothing - no paper, no pencil, no idea of what they need help with. They did have their phones and their earbuds - they were ready to party. Not so much work.

But they will be going to college - just ask.

And the result of pushing more kids to college is that most are not ready.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Six Word Saturday

How to you change their perceptions?

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I was trying to teach some students how to create their own study guide for the state-mandated test that is coming. We went through each unit and discussed what concepts were taught and then I asked them to write it down - out came the phones and click click.

I explained who they would get more out of it by writing it down.

"My handwriting is terrible."
"I can't spell."
"This is faster"
"I will read these when I get home"
"I don't have paper [or pencil]."
"I don't learn when I write it down."

My averages on the first four tests were 32, 36, 43, 25. The tests were identical to the study guides that we went over in class and fairly based on the material covered.

Am I really teaching or am I just enabling?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oh, how the meaning changes

She told him that she loved him.

English game: Place the word "only" anywhere in the sentence.

Only she told him that she loved him.
She only told him that she loved him.
She told only him that she loved him.
She told him only that she loved him.
She told him that only she loved him.
She told him that she only loved him.
She told him that she loved only him.
She told him that she loved him only.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Offensive in eye of the beholder?

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What really is racism?

If you mention that too large a percentage of boys - particularly minority boys - end up in lower level math classes, you are being racist. If you try to even the playing field, you must be condescending. If you object to hearing the N word (that we don't even spell out because everyone knows what you mean and it is offensive to me whether you spell it ending in er or a) you must be racist.

But if you shell out $200+ for a pair of sneakers with gorillas or chains on them - you're hip?

Gimme a break.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Where does the money go?

The school I attended for high school in had roughly the same number of students as the one I currently teach in. I can remember a principal and an assistant principal (notice, singular) but then I was never in trouble (goody two shoes). I wasn't sure, so I went to look.

The high school I attended:
5 business
11 ela
8 fine arts
7 foreign language (4 languages)
10 math
6 pe
6 practical arts
9 science
8 social studies
70 teachers (and this accounts for all of them)

The school where I teach:
6 business
10 ela
4 fine arts
5 foreign language (2 languages)
10 math
6 pe
5 practical arts
11 science
9 social studies
16 special ed
82 teachers (and I have NOT counted the social workers, graduation coaches, parapros, interventionists, SROs) serving the same number of kids.

I find it interesting. Math - you only had to have 2 years compared to the current 4. I took science every year, but I think you only needed 2 years.

The biggest increase in staff is in special education and teacher support.

Are we better off? (P.S. There were 2 assistant principals. The current school has 6.)

Six Word Saturday

Juggling frantically and plates are dropping.

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It's that time of year.

Seniors are finally recognizing that they walk (or not) in 2 months and they have a lot to do or make up.

Final walk throughs have to happen.

Teachers who do not want to come back have got to make SOME kind of plan.

' Registration has to be done for those not graduating.

Oh, and we still need to teach every day and do lesson plans, conferences, etc. etc.

And the house. I live in a house with my family who somehow expect I will a) be sociable b) tidy c) keep up with the bills etc.....

And all I really want to do is have another warm day, a hammock and a couple of books.

Not today. Sigh.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Happier because I've lowered my expectations?

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Six Word Saturday

50 years: have not progressed enough.

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A local tv station interviewed John Lewis about Bloody Sunday in a 30 minute special that you can view at the link shown.

We have come a long way in the South in the past 50 years - to the point that it is hard to understand why the politicians didn't stop the police because the world was watching - but we are not yet color blind.

And what is race exactly? If you google "twins black white race" you will find numerous articles like this one about twins born to mixed race parents where one twin appears to be one race and one the other race.

Balance that against this article about bullying against a Sikh student and it feels like we have gone nowhere.

Keep on keeping on and let's fight the good fight.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Six Word Saturday

No downside to closing Homeland Security.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

George Takei

When I saw this comic this morning, I started thinking about how George Takei would take it. I think he will laugh - and say "Oh, my!"

I cannot see him getting angry or telling the artist "remove my name!" - I think he will just laugh.

And, should his name become a verb (meaning - what - it's not sarcasm or irony, it is a gentle reproof) I think he will be pleased.

So many celebrities take umbrage with being spoofed like this - so, he is a welcome relief.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Aww, shucks

I got an email yesterday from an ex-student telling me how he had raised his GPA, how he has a scholarship to college next year, and (this is the oh, gee moment) how I was his most influential teacher.

He was in a repeater class, the worst class I have ever had, the one where I never got control and struggled to teach the entire class. (The one where I learned one truly dedicated student can destroy it for everyone else) So I would teach the ones I could. I am humbled by his email.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

six word Saturday

Selfies: we all have THAT friend.

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Why are some folks so enamored of themselves that they think we need to see their selfies several times a day? Or know that they went to the this store now that store and oh, yes, this restaurant?

I like knowing my friends are having fun. I like their photos of trips e or even simple walks around the places they live.

I like reminiscing about this or that from the past that seemed so simple then and so sweet now.

But I do not understand the self-absorbed.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

six word Saturday

You can't see someone else's pain.

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As we preach tolerance to each other, it is important to remember that. Their pain may be excruciating to them, maybe you could handle it. Maybe it is the reverse.

Point is, you never know.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Better place

I ran into someone I taught with several years ago and they told me I don't look stressed anymore.

They also told me that I needed to know that I am a good teacher.

I think sometimes this push for accountability really isn't about accountability at all.

I want to teach kids to question everything. Just because someone with authority tells you something, ask yourslef if it is true. Math leads itsef to this - but my stance may be a dangerous one as well as not favored by the uppity-ups.

I loved the validation. I also loved being told."You are happy and this is good. You deserve to be happy."

Six Word Saturday

Life is just a basketball game.

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Saw a game this week and loved watching the young men shoot rebound after rebound until they finally got a basket.

Now, how do I get them to do that with math? To not give up when they don't understand it, but to persist until they do?.

This is my 1600th post.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Nothing to fear but fear itself.

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I was talking with an long term friend yesterday and the friend, as usual (unfortunately) was doing her usual litany about fear.

She has bundled her children up in long sleeves and big hats since they were little because she is afraid of skin cancer.

She proselytizes about the danger of vaccines because she is worried about vaccines causing autism.

She is constantly saying she is afraid of this or that - going into the city, driving, her children being out, her children being home, getting old, being alone, staying with the man who loved her - I have no idea how she functions.

And I wonder how often I let fear limit my own life - that I don't do something because I am afraid I will look stupid or awkward or not do it well.......

Edited to add from

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Six word Sunday

I am in a better place.

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I am liking this year so much more than last year. Not perfect, but heaven by comparison.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Disrespecting professional judgment

Once again, Schools Matter has a thought provoking article.

Teachers can be replaced by tests they are not privy to and therefor cannot teach to.

Knowing this child has been thrown out of his house and is living with various friends, or this one is working to support his mother who lost her job - WHILE attending high school, or this one battles diabetes, or this one is doing the best she can with the hand she was dealt - know all that, the test can tell you more about what they have learned than I can?


Six Word Saturday

Learn from mistakes or be stunted.

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OK. The grade you earned was not what you wanted. Maybe it was failing, maybe just not high enough for your goals.

You have been told repeatedly that in order to change the grade, your behavior has to change. Turn work in on time. Stop talking during instruction. Put your phone up. Take notes. Practice.

My expectations are not changing.

Yours may have to.