February 2006 Archives

Only weeks into her second semester, the first-year middle school teacher who writes east meets west has settled into a well-honed routine for treating the frequent illnesses that come with the job: First, I take an Airborne, an Alka-Seltzer-like tablet chock full of herbs and amino acids. Then I drink water. A few hours later, I take another Airborne. I continue taking Airborne and other vitamins every four to six hours. I close the deal by going to bed early thanks to one NyQuil pill. In the morning, I take another Airborne. I have another Airborne with lunch. Then I ...


Dmcdowell of A History Teacher says he loves his work, but there’s one aspect of it that fills him with dread: Grading. Noting that he just spent at least 25 hours grading 109 essays for his AP world history course, he has some quite reasonable doubts about the old notion that “teachers have it easy”: I have friends who have said it must be nice to be done with work at 2:30. But, as my wife will attest to, I am always working. I always have a paper to grade, a lesson to work on, a meeting to ...


Veteran special education teacher Mrs. Ris reveals how she copes with stress and maintains perspective in the many wrenching situations she faces in her work: One way I am able to manage myself and my response to my emotionally disabled students is to meditate daily. I try to pray for a peacefulness, a centeredness that will allow me to do my best everyday, despite the terrible stress, and frequent disappointments. … Anyway, this one small prayer, 7 short words, hit me hard last night as I went searching for guidance and peace. Lord, help me not be an obstacle. Somedays, that's ...


New York City educator Mildly Melancholy was mildly floored when, in a teaching class, she was asked to decribe herself "as a person and a professional." Here's what I ended up writing: --out of classroom: easy-going; laugh a lot; music on always; books close by; sometimes lazy --in the classroom: stern, high expectations; dry and sarcastic jokes; piles of papers and books; music on or nearby; loud Like any good narcissist, I found this very interesting. It was not a revelation that my personality is different depending on my surroundings, but to lay it out in simple terms was fascinating... ...


NYC Educator has an interesting take on them. (From NYC Educator.)...


JHS Teacher finds she takes offense when acquaintences talk reverently about her choice of profession, suggesting it’s a kind of noble sacrifice: I really hate that. I know, most people think they're giving me a compliment, but what's going on underneath is that idea that teachers are a special breed. One that gets its satisfaction not from money or wealth, but from doing good deeds in the world. By thinking of teaching as a "calling" rather than a profession, we are more put into the ranks of nuns and missionaries, rather than highly trained professionals. Isn't there a vow ...


Posthipchick reacts to her school's latest attempt to fight obesity -- "moving away from food as rewards or gifts." I am obviously not for childhood obesity. I am obviously for eating healthy. But I'm sorry, you are going to feed the students low-grade beef, iceberg lettuce, and processed crap for breakfast and lunch but my mini Tootsie Roll once a month is causing childhood obesity? Puh-lease. It is bad enough that we cannot bring in homemade treats for students anymore (oy, the liabilities), but now this. I currently use a system in my classroom where classes get daily points for ...


Middle school science teacher Ms. Fizzle has found one way to keep her classroom well-stocked with materials: Collecting trash. She says she has come into her own as a "collector of trash treasures" this year after an appreciative art teacher started dipping into a "stuff box" she'd been keeping: [O]nce the art teacher took the hangers, I went crazy. Now, I collect glass bottles, plastic bottles, yoghurt containers, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, coffee cans, rubber bands, cardboard, egg cartons, crates, and pretty much anything else that speaks to me. I'm right on the verge of putting a ...


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