Legislation

An open letter to my Republican senators

I’ve handwritten and sent the following to both of my senators. Feel free to share, reproduce, and do the same. Dear Senators, Last week, I took time out of my 30-minute lunch to watch you vote to confirm Elisabeth DeVos as our next Secretary of Education. Since she was nominated, I was wary. I gathered… Continue reading An open letter to my Republican senators

Students

A day without immigrants taking tests

Today, our school is engaged in day 3 of 4 of a period of district-mandated testing. This involves schedule and class changes and has contributed to a feeling of generalized chaos in the halls this week. Students are not only going to classes for different lengths of time, but they’re going out of order, and… Continue reading A day without immigrants taking tests

Teachers

Things I did during “lunch”

Here’s a list of how I spent my 35-minute lunch break today: Walked my kids to the cafeteria Filled up 2 water bottles at the filter station, which is about as far away as I can possibly be from my room and still be in this building Picked up copies that I had requested from… Continue reading Things I did during “lunch”

Teachers

Why I’d rather give my kids pneumonia than take a sick day

My best friend had pneumonia last year. It did not warrant the kind of sick days where you can secretly enjoy binge-watching TV and eating ice cream; it was actually debilitating, and it did not sound like a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination. I know deep down that, if I were to… Continue reading Why I’d rather give my kids pneumonia than take a sick day

Administration · Teachers

Teacher evaluations and student testing: pitfalls and proposed solutions

In my mad search for materials as we returned from our recent holiday break, I happened upon an opinion piece that I’d written to apply for a spot as a guest columnist at a local circular a couple of years ago. I skimmed through it and was surprised to see that, even after two more… Continue reading Teacher evaluations and student testing: pitfalls and proposed solutions

Students · Teachers

Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm (or, how karaoke tips apply to good teaching)

Please excuse my tardiness in posting a day late. I was working on getting a different post up last night, but between proctoring exams this week and attending multiple holiday parties, I fell asleep with a dog in my lap before I could publish it. Now, I see that the daily prompt is “Enthusiasm,” so… Continue reading Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm (or, how karaoke tips apply to good teaching)

Teachers

Teachers need secretaries

As I mentioned in last week’s blog about my field trip: teachers need secretaries. One of my friends who saw me through the dark and stormy days of my first year teaching declared this after seeing me lug pounds of paper around in hopes of grading and making parent phone calls during a Sunday afternoon… Continue reading Teachers need secretaries

Administration · Students

Why don’t teachers take kids on field trips anymore?

Here’s what I put into a large tote bag when I took my classes to a museum this morning: 1 field trip proposal 1 signed principal approval page 1 signed museum agreement 1 transportation request form 14 completed chaperone forms (minimum ratio of 1 chaperone per 10 kids) 94 completed permission slips (with sections for… Continue reading Why don’t teachers take kids on field trips anymore?

Curriculum · Teachers

Teaching in the sharing economy

Today, I’d like to share my thoughts on sharing – specifically, sharing the materials I create as a teacher, and how that could and should be done. In this day and age of instant access, this issue is something that I am very conflicted about, and I’m really curious to see how others feel. Is… Continue reading Teaching in the sharing economy