He’s a four year old
Three years ago I visited one of my students at home shortly after she had had a baby. I stopped by on a Saturday afternoon with a box of clothes and toys that my daughter had outgrown. The front room of the apartment was narrow. There was barely enough space to pass between the couch on one wall and the TV opposite. The TV, on this beautiful spring day, was on. Shades drawn. I didn't know before I got there, but my student shared this apartment Read more [...]
The great teacher gets
Along with the horrid one
The same token raise
The front page story in Newsweek is a piece by Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert. The thesis of their article is that people who are bad at their jobs ought to be fired. Okay, Evan and Pat...that sounds reasonable, but let's slow down a bit. What sort of occupation are we talking about? Teachers? Okay. Shit...that's an easy target. Have either of you ever been a teacher? No? Then, for starters, why do you feel particularly qualified Read more [...]
If this was your job
You'd have been gone long ago
Wish I could fire you
One of the great things about teaching, people who are not teachers often say, is that "You are the boss!" Yeah...I am the boss! I'm large and in charge! I am a trained and experienced professional who always gets the respect and best efforts of my students. I decide what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. I make a plan and the students execute it expertly and with vigor. If they get confused, they will ask Read more [...]
“Improve your practice”
You want to improve my what?
I can’t stand that phrase
Do I look like a doctor?
Do you think you’re fooling me?
I'm not sure when this started, but at some point being a teacher has become a "practice". Now, what other professions come to mind when we hear the word "practice"? I'm thinking doctors and lawyers; the two most stereo-typically high pay, high prestige jobs on the planet. The good news for us is that we teachers now also have a practice. If not the high Read more [...]
They will kill us both
Mom says you’re up until two
The video games
This is about a student I taught last year. He would come infrequently. When he could be troubled to come to school, he would be very sleepy and not able to pay attention. Nice kid. Plenty smart. Actually he is really smart and I like him. But failing. I talked to his mom through a translator (not Spanish) and she told me about the video games. She knew it was bad news, but she couldn't do anything about it. She told me she was Read more [...]
My hat’s off to you
Who can get yourself through this
To be perfectly honest
I’m too selfish to do this
A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.
-- Author Unknown
The quote below the Original Teachbad Poem is something I found on one of those inspirational teacher quotes websites that I hate so much. It was the very first one and it almost knocked me off my chair. The idea that I have to sacrifice myself (burn out?) in order to do my job adequately Read more [...]
Never known a group
To fetishize the Friday
So much as teachers
Always to one another
Of its nearness we must speak
I think everybody who works some sort of basic Monday through Friday job appreciates Friday. It's the last day of the work week. When it's over you get two days off. That's not hard to understand. If you're the president or you work at a movie theatre or a bar or something like that, it's different. But Friday holds a special place in most of our hearts.
Teachers have taken this Read more [...]
We're here, and then not
Trotsky in Stalin's scrap book
Gone and forgotten
I know that I bitch a lot. But, honestly, that's why this blog exists in the first place. So I don't consider that a valid criticism. However, in addition to bitching, I want to contribute suggestions for taking the bottom-feeding, low man on the totem pole, grunt work, KP duty, snipe hunting, pull my finger, 52 card pick-up, never in the room when a real decision is made reality of teachers and eliminating it or making it Read more [...]
Come to school, do your homework…
Different set of kids
Don’t mouth off, walk in the hall…
Waiting for your replacements
Teaching, I have really tried to love you. I guess I probably still do love you and always will. I'm just not in love with you. Why? It's hard to say...
On second though, no it's not. Here it is: You are such a boring, predictable bitch. There. I said it.
I'm sorry. Please don't cry. Seriously, don't cry...OK, I'm sorry...I know that sounded harsh...No...there Read more [...]
FAKE EDUCATION NEWS
At precisely 12:19pm Monday the fire alarm at East High School in Denver, Colorado blared throughout the building. Jared Winslow had been trained for this moment and faced it with steely calm. Winslow, a 36-year-old social studies teacher and third floor co-captain of the East High Safety Team, is lean and upright. His jaw tightens as he recalls the smallest details of the undertaking he must now undertake.
Teachbad Action News (TAN) was given unprecedented Read more [...]