A number of New York City teacher-bloggers are ruminating on the city’s tentative new contract, which would increase teachers' salaries by 15 percent over roughly four years in exchange for 50 additional minutes of work per week and the loss of some seniority rights in school assignments. Ms. Fizzle says she’s on the fence in part because she thinks a strike would be unsustainable at this point: I may not have a mortgage or childcare to pay, but I have Manhattan rent and student loans, and I wouldn't last too long losing two days pay for every day ...


NY Teacher ponders the age-old question: Why are professional development workshops such a waste of time? In the case of her school, she says, it’s because all the teachers are forced to attend the same weekly PD session, regardless of whether the topic applies to their subject area. (Pity the poor gym teachers.) She wonders: What if, instead of meeting whole school in the auditorium, we had smaller more specialized PD sessions? We could team up with other schools in the district so that social studies teachers, math teachers, early elementary teachers, etc. could work separately to really focus ...


The rigors of the Advanced Placement program remain a constant worry for educators, particularly as pressure mounts to bring more and more students into AP classes. But Ms. Cornelius, a high school AP history teacher, has her own reasons for keeping her class as tough as she can: There is usually mucho handwringing over how to make this class in many schools more accessible and easier. I am, after all, about to be immortalized on the pages of the school paper as the teacher who gives the most homework in the school. Not that I am some sadistic dragonlady, but ...


Even with NCLB's penchant for slicing and dicing student performance into dozens of categories, California junior high school teacher Polski3 managed to identify a few subgroups the law missed: The kids who wear their PE clothes under their street clothes. PE clothes that have been worn all week, running about and whateverelse they did in PE in temperatures over 100 degrees F. Are they recognized by NCLB? Phewthetically, NO. A good number of our RSP kids who are also ELL (Special Education students who are also "learning" English.) Are they recognized by NCLB ? ?Por que pasa dude? Our migratory students. ...


As is the case for many teachers, the Web-filtering system in place at his school has been a major source of frustration for Bud. He points out that when it comes to potentially objectionable material, there's a big difference between how schools treat online content and other classroom materials. If you want to keep or remove a book from a school in most Colorado school districts, there's a written policy to follow. It outlines very specifically what happens when something is challenged and what the criteria are for removal. But when it comes to a website, it seems that IT ...


EdWonk points out that the U.S. Department of Energy's just-unveiled energy conservation initiative -- the readily mocked "Energy Hog" program -- has resources for educators on its Web site. She's a little skeptical: I can just imagine it now: Thousands of eager students (ages 6-13) who have been deputized as "Energy Hog Busters" being sent home from hundreds of schools to execute their assigned missions of pointing out to energy hogs parents where they are wasting energy. Let the annoying begin! (From The Education Wonks.)...


Denver teacher GroovyGrrl offers up a quiz on her most recent pay hike. She then reflects on a longstanding justification for why educators are paid what they are paid: It infuriates me when I'm told, in not so many words, that because my job is so fulfulling, that it makes up for a lack of salary. Excuse me? When did my employer become my parent? My family and friends give me love and I feel fulfilled; they show me love, and I feel valued. My employer is supposed to show that I'm valued by giving me money. (From Groovygrrl's weblog.)...


Mz. Slmph is a bit overwhelmed at the moment. She's far from alone at this point in the school year, but she articulates why one time-tested tactic for dealing with such a slump is no longer operative. I know I would feel better, and things would probably go much more smoothly if I just let loose a little and went with the flow. But who can let loose when, not only are the futures of 70 underprivileged students partially RIDING ON ME, but I've got members of the STA*TE ASS*STANCE TEAM lurking in the hallways, just waiting to "pop...


Newoldschoolteacher has opted to get a graduate degree in education. "Unfortunately," she writes, "I am also smart and care about education. You see where I'm going with this." If you don't, consider her reaction to two classmates' defense of constructivist techniques. Suffice it to say, she's not a huge fan: The question I pose to them is this: what the hell are you talking about? I went to a public school. My teachers lectured. We didn't do group projects. We didn't really do any projects, except a big research project in 10th grade. And yes, mine did involve making paleolithic ...


It's safe to say that teaching high school in the Bronx could make anyone pretty jaded. So it's not surprising that Mr. Babylon says he'd never cried about any of the insurmountable problems his students faced. That is, until the day he confronted a student without an ID card. I’m pretty sure Jorge lives in a shelter. I know that for awhile last year he had been sleeping in a stairwell until some man took him in under what I can only assume were not the most wholesome of conditions. This all came to light last year sometime after ...


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