April 2007 Archives

Karl Fisch of The Fischbowl passes along this cautionary Ad Council video to spur discussion on how to educate students about the potential dangers of posting images and videos of themselves online: The video has also served as fodder for spirited debate at Around the Corner v2, where Miguel Guhlin reacted by suggesting that all Internet posters, students and teachers alike, need to be "a bit thicker-skinned" when taking their lives online. A commenter accused Guhlin of "blaming the victims" for the misuse of their material. Guhlin responded by excerpting a related post by Pamela Parker at Texas Teacher Law, ...


Mr. McNamar, at The Daily Grind, may be a high school coach, but he no longer has much faith in the long-term value of high school sports. After writing as much recently, he was challenged by a reader who listed the many skills sports instill in athletes. In his response, McNamar claims that the athlete-as-superstar model of pro sports, the demands of helicopter parents, and kids’ not-so-exemplary work ethic render such skills no longer applicable. He finishes by stating: Coaching ... has become a win or be gone world where parents and politics have more influence than the coach with the ...


Teachers union watchdog Mike Antonucci has posted an inspired, bitter-funny video mashup about the National Education Association's attempt to collect more dues. Using low-budget sci-fi movie footage from the 1950s, he's cast NEA president Reg Weaver as a capricious alien ruler who hires thugs to squeeze money from charter schools and ultimately drop an atomic bomb on one. Union officials may want to duck and cover while viewing this one....


Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes puts springtime testing mayhem into perspective: But you know, really every day is "THE TEST," and there are things for which we cannot plan ... An education is a work in progress, and it does not end by spring testing or by graduation or even by dropping out. The lessons we impart and the information we give may not come to fruition in a students' life on our timetable. It may not seem to make a difference in time for the state test. But it may make a difference eventually. Such a philosophy can't ...


The math teacher-blogger at Three Standard Deviations to the Left has been reading up on a recent National Council of Teachers of Mathematics expo, and felt so inspired by the edu-babel he found in descriptions of the conference sessions that he's creating a set of Bingo cards for his own school's staff development meetings. His Bingo buzzword list starts with "accessible," "achievement gap," and "action plan" and goes all the way down to "vouchers." See the whole list here. Bingo!...


Ms. C, a first-year teacher in Brooklyn, describes a "pretty nasty scramble" she got into last week with "6 foot student who refuses to take his medication." Nasty indeed: She's posted a photo of the sizable bruise that was left on her arm. Perhaps more troubling, however, was her school's response: "the assistant principal ... agreed to suspend the student," she writes, "but told me I should have said something sooner."...


That's the question Mr. Lawrence, the blogger at Get Lost, Mr. Chips, wants to answer. Mr. Lawrence is a pretty much full-time substitute teacher, and he's curious how his pay stacks up with that of other subs around the country. (We're curious, too.) So Mr. Lawrence is conducting a nonscientific-but-interesting survey about substitute teacher pay scales.Check out his blog and contribute: What do subs make in your school district? Do you think it's adequate?...


Nancy Flanagan thinks career-changers have much to contribute to the teaching profession, but she objects to the view held by some that teaching is a kind of "missionary work," or an altruistic stint akin to the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders. Despite its idealism, Flanagan says, that attitude ultimately doesn't do the profession any good: When we portray teaching as a starter job, an interesting thing to do before graduate school or after retirement, a particular form of occupational charity, we marginalize both its intellectual challenge and its social impact. Teaching should never be seen as a step-down career, ...


Always thinking outside the box, TMAO of Teaching at the 408 uses California's test-score data to track the correlation between student achievement and school names. Somebody notify the Education Department: It looks like a lot of our problems could be solved if we just named more schools after John Muir....


Sam of clean up on aisle life recalls the time, nearly three years ago, when she first moved to New York to take a teaching job as part of an alternative-certification program: I did not have a place to live, did not yet know what graduate school I had placed in, and had no idea where I would be working. ... During those [first] six weeks, I ate every single meal in my car while slowly making my way down the LIE or the BQE. I lived completely out of a suitcase because the girl I was subletting from left all ...


Techno-educator Dan McDowell of A History Teacher reports on the recent launch of TeacherTube—a YouTube look-alike that's devoted exclusively to educational videos. Teachers can use the site to upload professional development videos and projects created in their classes, as well as to view, download, and comment on other educators' videos. The expectation is that noneducational and inappropriate videos will be "flagged" by users and removed from the site. For McDowell, the great advantage of TeacherTube is that, unlike YouTube, it's not blocked by his school. But he notes that its success will depend on whether it can attract a critical...


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