Last week Illinois became the 12th state to mandate a moment of silence for public school students at the start of their day. Chicago school teacher and self-described secularist Will Okun guest blogs his reaction for the New York Times in Disguised Silence. He can't understand why the teachers and staff at his school support a bill that even the governor vetoed. They argue religion in the school will improve behavior and increase academic performance, while I do not understand why people feel the tyrannous need to force their particular religion on the public sector. When it comes to explaining ...


The parents of a “regular kid” with anger issues are trying to coax a Minn. school district to foot the bill for a $60,000 per year private education, wrote IB a Math Teacher, who works in the school, in his blog, Three Standard Deviations to the Left. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), school districts must pay for special-needs children’s private education if they cannot provide appropriate education. IB a Math Teacher, however, says the student has no learning disabilities and that he and other faculty are “certainly doing all [they] can for this kid by ...


Polski3, of Polski3's View from Here, says he was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, but with a minor adjustment to his diet and medications he is surviving. What he cannot seem to shake, however, is the suffering he and his colleagues endure from teaching in a school that he says is a "long-term" failure by NCLB standards: Suffering from the threats or promises of what can/will happen to teachers of consistently failing schools. Suffering through late afternoon "how to teach" inservice presented to us by people who have not taught real children (not counting how some teachers behave ...


Q6 of Assistive Principles was recently denied the chance to teach an AP Lit class at his high school because it would take time away from his administrative duties as an assistant principal. This is ironic, he says, for a number of reasons: One, the term "principal" in education has its roots in the schoolhouses of old. There may have been more than one teacher, but one was considered the top dog—or, more accurately, the principal teacher, which is where we get the term. Whatever idiot eventually decided to move this position out of the classroom altogether clearly wanted ...


Barnett Berry of "Building the Teaching Profession" says although the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' teacher certification is not a sure-fire way to ensure student achievement, many ideas advocated by the teacher network ring true. One message in particular, Berry says, is of rethinking education in light of the "technologically-infused, knowledge-intensive global economy," adding that "new demands are placed on the 21st century worker and citizen and the schools that prepare them." In addition, Berry suggests teachers need to re-assess students based on a new, more appropriate skill set as encouraged by the NBPTS. One NBPTS certified teacher agrees: ...


You have the right to remain ignorant, but why would you want to? A high school teacher caught up in The Daily Grind struggles with how to motivate students who don’t seem to care about education: The other response, coming from a teacher who is agonizing over ways to convince his seniors that the ability to write a paragraph is necessary, said to inform them of their right to fail. I mean, if the police are required [to inform us] of our right to remain silent so that we don't say anything stupid--thus getting us into trouble, we should ...


Blog of proximal development wants his students to get to know him as he tries to express himself as more than a teacher: What I am really concerned about, however, is my own voice. For the past three years, my three successive grade eight classes enjoyed blogging and created successful and engaging blogging communities. Most of the time, this development took place without me. While I certainly encouraged my bloggers, discussed their work in class, and posted comments to involve my students in instructional conversations, I have always been absent as a person. This year, I want things to be ...


In a long and fervent post, Mamacita of Scheiss Weekly argues that the reason so many teachers leave the profession is no mystery: Schools' coddling of "disruptive bratty obnoxious kids" makes their jobs impossible: Until the bullies and the disrupters and the violent and the kids who have no respect for learning are removed from our schools, our schools cannot be what the free public schools were meant to be: places where all who wish to learn, may learn all they wish. TMAO of the Teaching at the 408, however, doesn't appeciate the sentiment and responds harshly: Generally, the flight ...


NYC educator offers advice for beginning teachers. Getting control of the class, he says, is the first order of business: The standing platitude [when I started in teaching] was “A good lesson plan is the best way to control a class,” but I no longer believe that. I think a good lesson plan is the best thing to have after you control the class. And he's got a trick to help you do that....


Friends of Dave charges that people shouldn't be feeling sorry for reputable schools that fail to meet NCLB requirements. On the contrary, he suggests, we should be outraged by them: [T]he critical fact [is] that these schools have huge achievement gaps between their white and Asian students and their poor, African American or Hispanic counterparts. Despite all of the wonderful feelings that they might be giving their students, what they're not giving their poor or minority students is the ability to read, write and do basic math....


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