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This Just In

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The Houston Chronicle has posted a much-linked-to article on the ever-expanding teacher blogosphere. Money quote:

The number of blogs about "teaching" or "teachers" tracked by Technorati.com has jumped 10 percent in less than six months to nearly 950. LiveJournal, one of the most popular blogging sites, lists about 415 chat communities interested in teaching.

(We actually would have guessed the Technorati number might be higher.)

Among the reasons cited for the growth: In an education environment in which teachers feel they have less and less meaningful input, blogs give them a chance to air their opinions and frustrations.

The article stresses, however, that teacher-bloggers must often walk a very fine line between expression and discretion, often opting for anonymity.

Explains Mike in Texas: “School administrators tend to be pretty vindictive, and they don’t like people with different ideas from them. People who speak out are not regarded very highly.”

Let's just hope "Mike" isn't his real name. ...

1 Comment

I just read an article in this magazine that referred to gift cards as "very impersonal gifts". I think they are very personal. They are saying, "Go get something that you like and want, whether its a new pair of socks or a bottle of wine, something personal to you that you want." I got some gift cards for Christmas. Some were from my kids. One thing I gave them was a gift card---to McDonalds, something kids almost invariable like. Plus I helped them make Christmas sweatshirts for themselves for which I had provided the materials. (Small class, I could have not done this if I was not special ed.)

I loved all my gifts. Even some of the kids from the other class similar to mine gave me a gift because they like me. Anything I get from a student or a parent I treasure forever. One thing I lost in Katrina was a pastel patchwork sweatshirt I got from a student back in the early 1990s. The mother had taken the time to find out my size and color preferences. But I did not lose the Secret Santa gift I got a few years ago. My co-worker had taken the time to order me a tie dye T-shirt---a real nice one with a heart. I found it after Katrina all ragged, faded and half rotten and it will not leave me even if I have to make it into a quilt piece.

Whatever gift your colleagues or kids give you is a gift from the heart. They are under no obligation to gift the teacher. Some of mine have never given so much as a card. Others have had to wait until "check day". But all I do get I treasure and I think all teachers should think of the giver, not the gift.
And they should display, wear, or eat it proudly. Some people never get any tangible love.

OK, I soapboxed, but I have heard those kinds of prissy complaints before from teachers who think they are better than their kids, especially if the parents are poor or uneducated or if they are first generation middle class themselves--you know, Mama worked three jobs so daughter could go to college. They need to examine their own roots and thank God for their branches.

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