September 2007 Archives

According to the August 22-29, 2007 poll taken on Teacher Magazine, more than 65% of the 155 educators voluntarily polled said they spent $250 or more on classroom supplies in a year. I remember the first time in my life while in college I realized teachers had to spend their own money for supplies for their students. And that they would spend a lot of it. I was dumbfounded, angered and thought this must be an anomaly and surely they must get tax breaks like my small-business owning parents. And then, two years after my initial discovery, I became a ...

(A student's goals and plans posted on the classroom wall) What are your big goals for the school year? To get good grades and to do well in English class. What do you need to do to reach those goals? 1) Pray to God 2) Trust God 3) Let God take care of it all. (After I've finished an observation and left the 9th grade classroom) Teacher: Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know you guys did a great job executing our visitor procedures! You guys did exactly what you were supposed to do! (Which is to act ...

"You taught me how to swim and you dropped me in the ocean. Now, I'm worried about the sharks." -- a comment one of my first-year teachers, Fernie Salinas, shared with his education professor from college, reflecting with a heroic mix of weariness and amusement on the unpredictability of teaching before one actually goes into the classroom to teach a whole class on his own. Keep up the inspiring work, rock star....

1) What suggestions do you all recommend for a high school class that has issues with negative behaviors. The teacher says the problems are generally instigated by two guys who say they understand the need to learn the material, but don't care. One of them lives independently. The negative behavior from those two spreads throughout the class so that no one is listening to the teacher and no one is learning. 2) Another teacher has a whole bunch of students in in-school detention. They're in there for more than two weeks at a time! That's two weeks of lost instruction! ...

August 29, 2005 It took me about 35 minutes to get him to sit down and read the first question on his homework assignment, but after an hour of tutoring my most uncontrollable student in the dormitories tonight, we high-fived when he got his 2's multiplication tables. Then he broke my heart. "Maybe, you think, if I memorize my multiplication, the girls in class, and the boys, maybe they'll like me, as a friend?" So it's one thing to teach kids. It's a whole other thing to make sure what we're teaching is of high quality and that it's being ...

To all the new teachers out there, I envy you. Some of you have already begun teaching for a couple weeks. Others will start this month. You are about to be inducted into a field of utmost importance where every decision you make, every word you say and every ounce of energy you put in shapes our future. You have the power to close the achievement gap and inspire leaders. It's a truly magical time. And at times, it can be truly painful. For many of you, you will realize what defeat feels like after you spend 8 hours crafting ...


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