Archive for the ‘Regarding Teachbad’ Category

Does Teaching Make Me a Worse Parent?

…Or Vice Versa? I really don’t know. I used to think that being a teacher and having been through teacher training stuff and a masters program would make me a better parent as far as being aware of developmental guideposts and helping with homework and things like that. Oh…and of course asking higher order thinking questions and having more rigorous conversations at dinner. And all that is true and I can think of many examples when it has come in handy. But there is a dark side to this. Read more [...]

Halloween Differentiation Words

Here is a big part of the motivation for the differentiation video. (And thanks to everybody who watched it. There will be more.) There was an article in Education Week last month by Mike Schmoker called When Pedagogic Fads Trump Priorities. The jist of the article is that there really is no evidence that differentiated instruction works. Period. He says of differentiated instruction, in part, In every case, it seemed to complicate teachers’ work, requiring them to procure and assemble multiple Read more [...]

I Was a Shittier Teacher This Week

Every so often I will get a little concerned that I may run out of things to write on this blog. I mean, how much could there be to say about the ludicrousness of teaching? But every time I think that, God sends me to a meeting, or sends me a memo, or sends one of my administrator-muses into my room. I had my first evaluations and debriefs in the last several days. The outside evaluator was quite friendly and more or less thought I was doing a pretty good job. She rated me an “effective” teacher. The Read more [...]

The Dinner Party

My wife and I had three friends over for dinner last night. We are all highly educated, living in a city with many such people. Some of the talk inevitably turns to what people are doing professionally. I always hate this. Just hate it. Except that I can sometimes overcome the jealousy and live vicariously for a few moments. One guest visits every few months or so from Chicago. He works with a major art museum here on video archiving. Another will be taking his family to Paris in a couple of weeks Read more [...]

Giddiness and Depression

GIDDINESS First, I’d like to say that “giddiness” is a pretty stupid looking word once you see it typed out. It just doesn’t look right. I’m not sure it’s even a real word. Look at it. It’s like Gideons or Guinness or Genesis; only dumber looking and harder to say. But now I’ve got so much invested in it that I probably have to keep it. Like a sick pet. Second, OH MY GOD IT’S ALMOST MAY!!!! So cool. The kids are a little nuts, but so are the teachers. It leads to some conflict, but we are all Read more [...]

Why Do Teachers Quit?

Professional respect Intellectual debate Pain and gain The battle of ideas Recognition Climbing the ladder Closing the deal Surprises New challenges and power lunches Trust and opportunity These are the crucial elements That animate the teacher And drive him To look for a new job The following is a comment from the last post. Here is the comment, in italics, and my response: I understand your blog is primarily a medium for venting, and having been a classroom teacher, it’s probably a necessary Read more [...]

Mr. Teachbad’s Dreams and Addictions

Relief. Just a dream I dreamed I was a teacher Groggy and foggy Coffee. Shower. Go to wo… Aw shit…every damn morning Do you dream about your job? Somebody commented last week about having nightmares. I do. I dream about this and lose sleep. The other thing that happens is I will do ANYTHING to not grade papers or plan lessons or get together any of the random bullshit the administration has decided they want but will probably forget in a few weeks. The last cigarette I had was on Christmas Read more [...]

Who is Mr. Teachbad?

I’m pessimistic Or maybe I don’t like kids Cynical teacher But none of these is the truth It’s just an exhausting job I am an urban public school teacher in a large school in a large city on the East Coast. But my true identity must remain hidden, for now. I’d like to quit, but I’m not trying to get fired. I have been working and volunteering in education, in many different capacities, for 15 years. I believe in public education. Urban public education, in my view, is one of the most important Read more [...]

Working on my avatar…

Let’s begin with some poetry, shall we?

You shouldn’t say this A teacher lives for the kids It’s not about you Yeah, but this is my life, too I like the kids and all but… Been through this before I ask for quiet. You talk. Please sit. You stand up. Let’s try to figure this out Are you stupid, or just rude? Both of these poems are Tanka. The syllables per line run 5-7-5-7-7.