September 2006 Archives

From the desk of Hobo Teacher comes this tale of well-intentioned leadership programs gone wrong. Apparently, Hobo Teacher's school participates in the Baron Advisory Program, a series of occasional lessons that are supposed to impart students with non-academic interpersonal skills. So the teachers got together to do a dry run of the week's BAP activity ... which turned out to involve taping paper plates to one another's backs and using markers to write compliments on said plates. But since the teachers involved didn't know each other, consider some of the resulting "compliments": "One time you held a door open for me. ...

Teaching in the 408's TMAO thinks that teacher training has suffered under NCLB: ... the timelines for meeting so-called "highly qualified" status are such that more and more universities transformed into certification factories, churning out highly qualified teachers the way a South East Asian factory produces plastic toys. I should know: I got my credential from one such place. To fix the problem, TMAO says, ed schools must move away from a linear teacher-preparation system and instead use a two-tiered system. His ideal plan would involve one year of teaching, then a year out of the classroom doing content-specific degree requirements, ...

Elementaryhistoryteacher writes poignantly of her memories of September 11, and her most "rambunctious" student, T., tardy that morning, who burst into class with the news that a plane had crashed and that New York City was "on fire." She continues: I walked over to the television, hit the on button and switched the channel to CNN ... the only 24-hour new channel our school could get at the time. The image hit me like a ton of bricks. ...“Oh my gosh, T. You’re right.” I said as I backed up from the screen. The room got very still and we ...

In a reflection on the first two weeks of school, Fred the Fish of Are We Doing Anything Today? notes that she made some beginning-of-the-year phone calls to the parents of students who had neglected an early assignment. Her husband, she shares, then formulated a helpful taxonomy of parent types: After describing the calls to my husband he commented that, to him, there appear to be two classes of parents. Those who side with the teacher to support the kid, and those who side with the kid against the teacher. One could argue there is a third group of parents ...

Despite her enthusiasm for her new school, Sam of Clean Up On Aisle Life says that, a couple of days ago, she had what we imagine is a fairly typical teacher-anxiety dream for this time of year: [I] woke up from a nightmare about the first day of school in which I got into a huge argument with another teacher in front of my students AND lost my hyper-organized First Day Folder. Later she wonders: “Will I always have this anxiety the night before the first day back?” To judge from the experiences of Mrs. Ris of Mentor Matters, a ...


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