Good job everybody! This is what we’ve been waiting for. I hope everybody has a great break. We’ve earned it.

Mr. Teachbad went out last night with a bunch of other teachers and tied one on. When we get together socially it always strikes me that there is so much talent, expertise, goodwill, and friendship among us, that it’s a shame so many of us will have moved on by this time next year. What would the administration have to sacrifice to create a professional environment such that, say, 80% of us would stay? But what could they gain if we stayed? Maybe what they would lose would be more than offset by having more people around here who know what’s going on and like it. If a company lost 30-50% of its employees every year, they would conclude that something is seriously fucked up and should probably be fixed immediately.

Mr. Teachbad will be in and out of the blog during the course of the break. This is a time when we might all like to forget our professional lives for a while. I will always be here when you really need me.

Here are two poems to take us into the break.

Saw an old student
From a couple years ago
Remembered her name
She was surprised and she smiled
It felt good, right then, to teach

It’s ‘cause you’re lazy
Or could it be I’m boring?
No, let’s say it’s you

Happy Christmakwanzukkah!!!!

Mr. Teachbad

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10 Responses to WE MADE IT!!

  1. Debbi says:

    You are beautiful. I love your blog. Both my in-laws were teachers, and teachers have been instrumental to my life. On behalf of all of those who read, write and have an inquiring mind, I just want to say thank you. I don’t know how often you hear those words, but I suspect it’s not nearly often enough.

    Happy holidays!

  2. LG says:

    Hey Mr. Teachbad – Stopping in for the first time. I’m in my 2nd year of teaching, starting later than most, and I have incredibly mixed feelings about the job. Friday I had one kid tell me to my face that he hates me, hates the class, hates everyone in the class, etc. Is this what I signed up for? To have kids hate me because I’m trying to help them write better? He was ticked off because he did a lousy job (and I mean LOUSY) on a project, and somehow I was at fault for not giving him a better grade. And he’s a huge talker and was angry I wouldn’t let him sit with his friends – gee, how unreasonable of me. There are so many kids who *are* learning and getting better and who tell me this is their favorite class, etc., but I have to say, this one’s a kick in the gut. I’m feeling very disheartened. I can’t see myself doing this much longer. Help! Or if not help, then thanks for providing a whining place, lol.

    • Gary says:

      Hey there

      I think I got it figured out. i taught for 8 years, then opened my own school 2 blocks away from the school I resigned from. My opinion is my own, but i could write a novel about the inadequacies (sp?) I witnessed by PHD’s no less, on the young people in our care. What I deduced was this….its a bit angry, but so am I-

      1. A person who goes to tschool from 4-18 yo, then to 4 years of college, then into a public school for 35 more means well, but has little to know experience as to what American work life is really like as the only environment they have ever been in is a “fake, everything fits in a box, these are the rules, no running, no argiung,” environment. HOW THE HECK CAN THESE FOLKS PREPARE OUR POPULATION FOR BUISINESS< MEDICINE< LAW< SALES CARPENTRY> etc ??? Its not fair. If you want to learn how to do something, you must be mentored, not lied to by assuming, but nice, people who unionize to reduce responsibility and to protect them from actuallu having a boss.

      2. When our schools allow tax payers to have say, the community will again be rebuilt and the idea of family will become stronger.

      3. 75% of all teachers are female ( as of 2005) Lets take the nature of collective females in packs and truthfully say they are competitive and catty, to say the least. This inbalance causes fear to be taught and for teenage antics to be the talk of the faculty room as opposed to intuituve approaches to helping them grow….aka…a bitch session.

      4. Leadership doesnt exist in the schools. Its a club for those who will not speak the truth…anger is controlled by drinking red wine every night as its” good for your heart” and minimizes the alcoholic label so many deserve.

      5. Shame is taught as a tool for discipline

      6. A, B, C and D have no meaning but F means failure…as if failure is to be avoided….thank god Edison didnt listen to them…or Gates….or Carver…or Lincoln…or (fillin the blank)

      7. Computers shouldnt be the goeal in the classtroom, but love should be. You can get through to more kids if you make yourself available to love and mentor….yes, you will be attacked, but you will prevail if you help them authentically. Your reputation will spread and even the thugs wont mess…everyone needs respect and affection through actions and deeds…I DID THIS FOR 20 YEARS !!!

      8. Leave the career when you see it the way I do….its too late then

      9. Now I have my own school, and you can leave anytime…but if you want the truth, if you want help, Im here 100% and so are all my teachers.

      Long live teaching……DOWN WITH PUBLIC EDUCATION

      • mrteachbad says:

        Hold the phone there, Gary-

        I’m with you on a lot of this…particularly the artificial nature of a school and thinking about how well this prepares one for anything in particular. I don’t feel like most of my students are being prepared for college or for work. I feel like they are being prepared for a life time of coddling.

        I am also concerned with the artificiality as it affects teachers. It’s a ridiculous environment, made especially difficult if one has, like myself, worked in other professional settings. Teachers who have done nothing but teach (not a criticism) probably don’t know that most of the world doesn’t have a meeting about nothing simply because it’s time for the meeting.


        1) I suspect many teachers, say, AT LEAST 75%, may take issue with #3. Ladies?

        2) What does “taxpayers having a say” mean and how does it translate into strengthening of the idea of family?

        3) When you say “down with public education”, would we assume that your school receives none of its funding from taxes, or did you mean “down with traditional public education” and maybe you have started a public charter school? I consider public charter schools very much to be a part of the public system of education.

        Thanks for writing.

        Mr. Teachbad

      • Debbi says:

        I think it’s sad that you’ve grown so bitter about public education, because (as ridiculous and useless as the curriculum may seem to both teacher and student) teachers have meant a great deal to me. And I couldn’t afford to go to a private school.

        There’s no question that the public school system is broken. I don’t work for it or have kids and I can see that. The question is, can someone fix it, in a meaningful way?

        Far as I’m concerned, they can start by paying teachers what they’re worth. Some people will say that means raising taxes, but I wonder how much current tax revenue is going toward less important things.

        Just a few things to think on. And just my .02. :)

      • Teacherinthewings says:

        I realize that this too little too late, though, I could not sit back at read what you wrote Gary. To say that there is an imbalance in the gender of teachers is absolutely true, but to say that women aren’t discussing intuitive approaches to helping children grow is absurd! I spend a lot of my time figuring ways to reach my kids–not just bitching about them. I think your statements were truly unfair to women, in general.

        Finally, I hope when you say “Down with Public Education” you mean down with the way things are right now, because to lose public education is to lose what makes this country above the rest–giving everyone the chance to succeed, not just those that can afford it.

  3. Alex says:

    I’m amazed you go out socially (even for the last day of term); most of my ‘colleagues’ can’t/ won’t sit in the same room as each other. Merry Xmas!

  4. LG says:

    Actually, the people where I work are very nice – definitely can’t complain about that at all. And this is a second career for me – I’m a published author and also still work as a fiction editor for a publishing company (hoping to be able to shift to that full time within 3 years), so I don’t fit the #1 scenario. I know my topic and I have school-aged children of my own. However, I think there are too many cooks in the kitchen – too many standardized tests, too much emphasis on “studies have shown” and “research has proven,” and too much faith in the idea that if you just whip that horse hard enough, it’ll win the Kentucky Derby (or, in this case, if you just test the poor special ed kid or child from a broken, troubled home often enough, somehow he or she will miraculously pass the state’s standardized test because George Bush insisted all children WILL be able by 2013 – because he said so!). I think the best teachers are observant, instinctual, and sensitive, and many of the best lessons can’t be measured by scientific (i.e. standardized) means. I never realized until I took this job that teachers are the bottom feeders of the system – our opinion is never consulted, and we’re the last to know anything that’s coming down the pike. And I didn’t realize until I took this job that it’s about 75% crowd control (sit down and shut up). I guess parents don’t teach their kids respect anymore. That was a hard lesson for me – and very discouraging when I think of the future of this country.

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