Mr. Teachbad is attempting to capitalize on the long-standing tradition of the advice column. I am inspired most, of course, by Miss Manners. Then there was the dynamic duo of Dear Abby (now written by her daughter)and Ann Landers (they were sisters, don'tcha know?). In the modern age we have Dan Savage, Dear Prudence, Ask a Black Dude, and so many more. Since I don't have an actual column, we will just do it here on the Teachbad Blog.
Here's how it works:
You, the reader, submit to me a question Read more [...]
I spend 26 hours per week in class, including monitoring and greeting during passing periods, and in mandatory meetings of the utmost importance. (First, let's not minimize the physical and pychological toll it takes to be "on" that much, especially when your audience is captive and, for the most part, doesn't really care about what you are saying.)
I usually get to work about a half hour early...plus 2.5 hours per week.
I work through lunch without eating 3 or 4 days per week...plus 3 hours per Read more [...]
FAKE EDUCATION NEWS
Trent Jakob, eighth grade Earth sciences teacher, was surrounded by family and friends as he tearfully spoke to reporters this morning in front of the Andrew J. Brown Academy Middle School in Indianapolis, IN. After years of denial and excuses, Mr. Jakob finally admitted that the achievement gap was the work of none other but himself.
A transcript of his remarks follows:
I stand before you today, a broken man with a heavy heart. It is so heavy because it Read more [...]
My school is very big on routines and protocols and has a general soul-crushing fetish with doing everything, and then more things, in the prescribed manner and documenting these things on the necessary forms to be logged in their proper places at the required times. (Don't worry. It's all for the children.) They appear to be doing nothing if not their best to squeeze any bit of joy and play there might still be lurking around the profession of teaching.
The five meetings per week that I attend Read more [...]
I've been teaching for six years. I know I'm not going to retire as a teacher. But what am I going to do? At a certain point you sort of get locked into this...but that's another topic.
What I want to talk about now is comfort. New teachers are busting their asses, worried all the time. Too nervous to even start smoking yet. Not comfortable.
Veterans, those who have been around for at least 9 or 10 years, have either quit smoking or just don't give a shit anymore.
Patience while I home in on this Read more [...]
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 [...]
Can I rebuild you
A seventeen year old
From the ground up?
Can I reconfigure your
Attitudes, habits and values?
And teach you to read
In 4000 minutes?
Can I splash a fresh coat of paint over
Seventeen years of
Emotional neglect and slack parenting
Stewed in a vat of deep fried
Intellectual mass suicide?
This is my mission
(Spoken only quietly)
I prayed that I could
But I can’t do that
Not any more than I can read to you
When you were a baby
(Crux: 1. the decisive point at issue; 2. a difficult Read more [...]
At my school, as I have noted before, there is a razor-sharp, iron-clad, diamond-tipped division between the teachers and the administrative class. Most of the VPs are young and relatively inexperienced at being a VP and at teaching. They are thus insecure and do not wish to appear or become vulnerable/ignorant around their charges.
So they sort of hide out. They walk fast and look busy. They slip into your room, take some notes, and email you about what you did wrong. They are sort of comfortable Read more [...]
Today in my class something pretty cool happened.
I was teaching the fundamental principles of the US Constitution. They way I teach it, there are six. I put my students into six groups. Each group was to create a poster that did three things. It was to 1) define or explain the principle, 2) create some sort of drawing that represents this principle, and 3) write a poem/song/rap/etc that expresses the idea of this principle. (Multiple learning styles in da house.)
Then each group would teach their Read more [...]
FAKE EDUCATION NEWS
Abbie Newsom is a 27 year-old English teacher at McNicole Middle School in Hollywood, Florida. She reports being "totally psyched" to get the same room as last year.
"I saved all of my posters and stuff so it all just goes right in the same spot. That is such a time saver while I'm getting my room ready for the kids! I want to add to my text-rich environment and having certain things in place will make that A LOT easier! You can't even imagine how awesome this Read more [...]