August 2005 Archives

Tim Stahmer ponders the shabby state of many school Web sites, and finds a common culprit: the outdated concept that puts one staffer in a gatekeeper role rather than letting individual educators post things at will. Many of the tech trainers we work with in the schools have been handed this job ("other duties as assigned"), what our overly large school system calls "web curator". It’s actually a very appropriate title since many school, and central office, sites are updated as often as most museums. (From Assorted Stuff via Tim Lauer.)...


NYC Educator takes a look at a new explanation for the old problem of low teacher salaries proffered by Gotham leaders of late: Mayor Bloomberg’s contention that teachers need to raise productivity in order to justify raises beyond 1.33% a year is interesting. I’d certainly like to see that concept applied to my personal expenses. Have you noticed your car's gasoline working 150-200% better over the last few years? Has your community improved its services 20%, to match your property tax increases? Has Con Ed been offering you double quality gas and electric? Has the US Government ...


Every teacher, it seems, has a story about a Parent from Hell. This one shares a story of what happened after her very own 'Momzilla' barged into her classroom one Friday: Saturday morning, I noticed that Momzilla had left a huge bruise on my chest with her persistently tapping, accusing finger. Monday morning, I showed that bruise to the principal, and told him that I had been advised by friends and other teachers to press charges against Momzilla. He told me not to do so, because the school was going to take care of the issue for me. I agreed, ...


GGW asks a provocative what-if question: Why can't the best teachers have a say in the size and scope of their classes? But what if each big high school could tag its Jaime Escalante type of teacher as a "Franchise Player" like they do in the NFL? He/she could earn twice the salary for teaching twice the kids; 50% more to teach 50% more kids; or keep things status quo. Heck, we see college professors with class sizes of 100 and 200 and 300. The point is that a great teacher with 100 kids is better than the typical ...


Back-to-school nights are always a good way to gauge what a class will be like for the upcoming year. This 4th grade teacher may be in for an interesting time: Me: Are you ready to come back to school yet? Rocky: No, but my mama tole me not to get in any fights this year. Me: Well, I think that's a great idea! How about we try to make this year a good one! Mom: When I was young, my mama always tole me to let the other person throw the first punch. Rocky: She tole me to do the ...


First there was Intelligent Design. Now there's something called Intelligent Falling. Well, not really, but the folks at the satirical newspaper The Onion make an oddly compelling argument that there should be....


Given the number of moral quandaries teachers face every year (even every day), posthipchick wonders why teacher-preparation programs don’t offer courses in ethics. But even as she ponders a stimulating curriculum made up of readings in ethical philosophy and reflective peer discussion, she answers her own question: ah, the lightbulb just went off. this is far too high-brow for credentialing programs. they do not want to waste time with this sort of thinking when there is that great opportunity to watch your classmates perform yet another lesson plan to the same group of adults. And last we checked, unfortunately, ...


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