Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I've been wanting to do this for a long time...I've thought and thought about this...I'm still not sure how to do it, but I'm at least going to blog about it.

Today, I want to issue a challenge. I want anyone who thinks that teachers have it easy or that we really don't do anything or that we have summers off to lay around to come and shadow a teacher. Seriously. You can't do this for one day. Perhaps not even a week. You need to be here, in the trenches for at least two weeks...better if it was a month. Come see what we do. Come see who we teach. Come see what our expectations are and how much we have to work to get in all the things we need to do. Come see how much we have to plan...how much we collaborate with each other...how much we share. Come see how little we have to work with and how much we give to the kids in either time, money, ourselves and resources. Come see what we deal with and do everyday.

If two weeks of seeing this stuff doesn't make you wonder why we don't run out into traffic or go get ourselves committed, then nothing will.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I believe there is a lot out there that is hurting education...legislators who don't know what the system does and have never been in it, society as a whole, people who don't value education and, right now, the media. Our state newspaper is one of those things that really irks me when it comes to reporting on educational matters. The latest story is that educators are abusing children and it's just being covered up....with the recent stories that have been breaking because of youtube videos - I find that extremely hard to believe.

My frustration and lack of trust toward our media right now is one of sheer disillusionment. I guess the days are gone where perhaps we could get stories that portrayed both sides of an issue. The idea that one opinion is just as good as the other is acceptable now. I don't understand how this idea has become the mainstream. It makes me unhappy that people who know nothing about education, think the articles in the newspaper are fact and not necessarily someone else's opinion.

I hope that we can figure out how educate the public on issues that affect them and their children. I am thankful and grateful that we have parents that understand this and are willing to ignore the naysayers. While I keep acknowledging that the educational system isn't perfect, I hope that people understand this and work WITH us and not against us to mend it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Frustration...you get that in any job you have. Sometimes, it's from technology glitches - the computer, the infocus machine, the copier...sometimes, it's curricular - one more assessment or a lesson that didn't go well....sometimes it's colleages. Today frustration came from a nameless source...I just don't know who exactly to blame or if everything is to blame.

I have a student...she's one that comes from a family where there is no relevance or emphasis put on education. For the last month I have seen her sporadically. Most of the time she doesn't even get here until my class starts...which is at 10:45am. The last few weeks she's been here at noon. From what I understand, she was showing up for lunch and then going to wheel classes. The school has sent home at least 3 letters talking about her truancy from school and how it will be moving to truancy court soon.

My frustration here is that, while I think that she may be a little low skill wise...I really don't know. I don't know what her level is. Today she came in with her motor going on full throttle. I'd seen her in the hallway running to hug everyone...talking to everyone....hanging on everyone. She came into my room full of life and spunk. She began working with the journal question and got through the vocabulary lesson we did. Then she hit a wall and pretty much passed out, drooling on a desk. You can't wake her...I've tried. It's like a diabetic that hits a sugar coma...she's out and there's nothing you can do about it.

What do you do for a student like this? It's not their fault that the value of education is lost. She has numerous family members that have dropped out....and some that are on the verge of doing so again. She seemingly has no support at home...mom couldn't be found, her grandparents stepped up and now it seems they've stepped out. What are we doing for her? In the hallway, we talk about her - what can be done, what have we done, what can we do to support her? What is she on? Is she on something?

The circle is continuous and pervasive....I'm not sure that even this year, I will be able to answer this one. But I'm hoping we can do something...

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Uncertainty is what I've been feeling since the elections. Our state elected a new governor...one who was in office before. While he was there, education got the shaft...teachers didn't get pay increases and we sunk to 48th in the nation in pay. This year, as he ran, he talked about how he was going to cut funding for preschool/early childhood education. It made me shiver. I know how much preschool does for a child going into kindergarten...I know what teachers at that level are having to do and how much they have to prepare these kids to go to kindergarten...I have a good friend that teaches at this level. I can't imagine kids going into kindergarten not having had preschool.

Our new governor and it seems our new government is not education friendly. What we needed was a government that is education friendly...especially with all the things that we are being asked to do. I hope that we start to think about what we are going to have to do to get our representatives to realize and remember what we do.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Today when I got home I had a nice surprise in the mail...a letter, all the way from Korea. My sister-in-law's sister, Becky, sent me a letter. I love the fact that she is over there...what I love most is viewing her blog about her experiences in Korea. If you want to read it: http://mysokolife.blogspot.com/. It's full of her adventures.

Becky is working as a teacher for two years. She's working with Kindergarteners. She having a great time there. What I love are her comments about teaching. We've been having a lot of conversations about that too. She's experiencing parent/teacher conferences, having to discipline students, planning curriculum....all while in a completely foreign environment. And I mean foreign......

I'm really impressed with all the things she's been able to see while she's been there and stuff she's learning. A very large part of me is so jealous...but I don't know if I could do what she is over there. I am more than jealous of her ability to decide to take on an adventure like this...she's the definition of a "go-getter" in the best possible way.

I hope her experiences over there are positive and that she keeps sharing what she's doing.


So, tomorrow is Election Day...I can definitely say that I'm nervous. Tomorrow we are voting for a new governor, representatives and whether or not we keep some Supremes.

Here's what I know. I am voting for the lesser of two evils in the governor race. Of the two individuals, I just feel one is less worse than the other. The one that I am probably voting for is the one that talks a good game but kind of mucked it up when it came to education in this state. He didn't give us everything he promised - what politician does - but he won't hurt as much as the one he's running against. The second candidate...ah, gotta love this one. When he left, the educators in this state were being touted as the best teachers in the nation, but almost the lowest paid in the nation. He cut a lot of taxes, but for big business and not for those who truly needed it. I'm afraid of what will happen if he comes back...in fact, I'm in fear of it. Most people were leaving the state when he was governor - like rats in a sinking ship. I can't imagine that it will be any better if he returns.

The second thing, in my opinion, that is big for us to vote on - is the to vote out some of our state Supremes. Our state decided that it was ok for EVERYONE to be able to get married here. I'm all for that...what people in our state want now is to vote those people out. Ok, let's think about this. We want to get rid of people who essentially don't agree with us...this is what we're saying. The Supremes aren't corrupt or incompetent...we just didn't like the way they voted.

Yea, I don't understand people either.....

Either way, Wednesday morning will either bring a sigh of relief or a shriek of frustration at the outcome of this election.