Last week I was out walking the dog when I saw him. We were walking toward each other on the sidewalk. As the distance between us closed, I maneuvered the dog so that I would be between she and Brad as we passed. She's an intimidating dog.
It was just as we passed that I recognized him. Even up close I was only about 80 percent sure. It was dark and we were both wearing hoodies on that cold night. It's been years since I've seen him. I kept walking. Then I stopped and turned around.
Brad* Read more [...]
As we approach this time of year when people are most likely to consume, my motivation to finally “clean up the store”, as they say, has been stirred. I think people used to say that. In any case, I actually have cleaned up the store, digitally if not literally; which brings up an interesting question…whether or not a digital cleanup of a cyberstore would be literal;
anywayI am proud to announce that Mr. Teachbad’s HOME-USE TEACHER GIFT EMPORIUM! has been made over just in Read more [...]
Dear Teachbad Readers-
If you read this blog, even infrequently, you know the activity level has dropped way off in the last several months. That’s because I don’t post things very much anymore. And that got me wondering why; and asking myself if Teachbad might be coming to a natural end.
Mr. Teachbad has been my part-time alter ego for four years, going live on December 9, 2009. Mr. Teachbad kept things interesting and tolerable for me, if not always healthy. He became a minor celebrity Read more [...]
The Crosby S. Noyes Elementary School is three blocks from my house. After teaching there for one day, I knew it would be impossible for my wife and I to send our kids to their neighborhood public school. This was a huge disappointment, but non-negotiable.
I started teaching at Noyes (pronounced noise) in November 2004 after a lengthy and poorly planned stretch of unemployment. It was planned in that I had planned to stop going to my job, and I correctly assumed they would stop paying me. The Read more [...]
10. Raise your hand if you think you’re not fat. We’ll go around the room and when we get to you, say your name nice and loud and we’ll see what the class decides.
9. Get your question cards out for a quick round of Whose Dad Drinks A Lot?
8. Now you’ll get to know the members of your group as you work to gain dominance and make decisions in Oh, No!! There Aren’t Enough Life Jackets!!
7. If you were in the slow group last year, the Dumbbells or whatever, go to the front of the Read more [...]
Mr. Teachbad took a longer than planned vacation. I hope you are enjoying your summer. Mine’s been pretty good.
Coming up on the blog we’ll look at the final, unconditional validation of Michelle Rhee. I also owe you Part II of her book review (here is part one) and Part II of the review of Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed (here is part one).
Having none of these things prepared, I will tell you about my summer. It started with a family trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota for my grandparents’ Read more [...]
Radical: Fighting to Put Students First is a transparent and fantastical affirmation of Michelle Rhee; written by Michelle Rhee (Harper Collins, 2013). In my continuing efforts to be at least 8-12 months behind everybody else, I have finally read and reviewed this book.
I don’t believe there is anything self-critical or particularly reflective in here, other than to pause every now and then to reflect upon her correctness. Michelle Rhee is convinced that she sees everything in the right Read more [...]
A recent report by one of my favorite local NPR-affiliate reporters, Kavitha Cardoza, made me want to scream. She was reporting on a report about suspension and expulsion rates in Washington DC traditional and public charter schools.
The gist of it is that 1) students in poor neighborhoods get suspended and expelled more than students in wealthier neighborhoods; and 2) charter schools suspend and expel students at a higher rate than traditional public schools.
Other snippets: Across both Read more [...]
Like a lamb to the slaughter…
Last night I was with my family in the Minneapolis airport, waiting for a flight back home to Washington, DC. Of the many people milling about, waiting for our delayed flight, one in particular still haunts me.
He was a young man in his early 20s. He wore a dark green, light cotton shirt, jeans and flip flops. He was standing next to me in the crowd of hopeful travelers as we both listened to the nice lady tell us that there would be no boarding of the airplane Read more [...]
“Not so much secret as they are depressing!”
9. Sometimes during my planning period I lock the door and sleep on a table in the corner of my room.
8. I know it makes me sound like a dick, but I truly believe I am much smarter than all of my bosses.
7. I believe there is no way that changing how we teach is going to change the culture of poor city neighborhoods.
6. If I was doing my job with any integrity, I would be giving a lot more Fs.
5. It is shocking how uniformly Read more [...]