January 2008 Archives

Update: Fifteen states are looking into tightening the loopholesthat have allowed teachers with histories of sexual misconduct stay in the classroom. At (almost) 25, I'm young enough to look 16, but old enough to take that as a compliment. I am also old enough to realize how disturbingly easy it is for a young educator to get into a relationship with a student. Just an hour ago, I walked into a 9th grade classroom to observe the teacher. Class was about to end (I was there for the next period) and kids were milling around. I took the opportunity to ...

As witnessed in a high school English class: Teacher: "Who knows what 'novelty' means?" Student, sighing as he gets out of his seat and walks to throw something out in the trash can: "Novelty is novel, novel is book, book is boring. That's what it means." As the program director observing the class, of course I couldn't say anything. I wanted to laugh. I was never one of those kids who could or dared to spin back a smart-alecky response to a teacher's question. But then again, I have a sad hunch that he didn't know what "novelty" meant to ...

Does anyone else get tired of being told that "you're young, you're just idealistic, you'll grow out of it, don't worry"??? There is nothing like being told you're "idealistic" to make you feel like a 11-year-old caught wearing lipstick. (Which I used to do, stolen from my mom's make-up drawer, applied on the bus on the way to school.) Over the weekend, I fell into a heated discussion with my boyfriend and a friend over the feasibility of turning around some of the country's most under-performing and unsafe schools. They argued that part of the reason the schools would never ...

It takes a village to raise a teacher. A warm and fuzzy thought, yes, but in this day and age, not particularly insightful. Try naming a teacher prep, grad school or internship program that doesn't emphasize inclusion, co-teaching and team building. Given all that, as a new teacher, I was super-duper eager to work with veteran teachers, learn from their experiences and share what I knew. I was lucky. I found teachers who became my surrogate mothers, observed my teaching, gave me strategies and workbooks, and listened to me cry. They made me feel immediately supported. And then, there were ...


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