For as long as most here can remember, the math department at Charlottesville High School in Charlottesville, VA has been a mysterious source of violence that has sometimes spilled out of the schoolhouse walls and into the surrounding community. This bucolic town of over 40,000 at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains has again witnessed unspeakable violence, allegedly at the hands of its high school math department. All told, three math teachers and seven Read more [...]
Mike Morland, high school math teacher in Baltimore, MD, tells sources that student Delonte Craniff, a senior at Patterson High School, has begun to contact him more frequently with reminders about his college letter of recommendation. "I told him I would write the letter and send it in", says the 32-year old Morland, "but he keeps sending me emails and dropping by my classroom after school to see 'what's going on' with the letter. Jesus Christ. I mean, he got a C+ Read more [...]
Follow-up from yesterday...
So, to recap, I'm sick of spending so much time on kids who are just not going to do any work or try to learn anything. Surprise. Now, the Big Idea:
I don't remember where I heard or read this, but it was about a year or two ago and it is genius. Ready? Here goes:
IF YOU WANT TO DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, GO AHEAD.
Sounds a little cold, and by itself this would not solve any of societies ills. The innovative part of this is the premise that society has promised everybody Read more [...]
All children can learn
Fine. I accept this premise
Some just choose not to
I've sort of had it with kids who just don't want to do anything.
If you are plainly not trying to pass my class, then piss off. You do nothing but consume resources. You are a black hole. After I have discussed with you the possible consequences of your actions, contacted your parent (assuming they have paid their phone bill recently), and offered all kinds of personalized help (including, in a recent case, purchasing Read more [...]
Sources from inside the classroom at Cooper High School in Abilene, TX reported that the atmosphere in Mr. Whelan's 11th grade U.S. History class became suddenly tense and frightening as Mr. Whelan erased his lecture notes on the Cold War from the white board this afternoon during 5th period. One student described Whelan as turning "super bright red" as he began to shake when a small flower with red hearts for petals was left on the board after having been "erased". Read more [...]
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 [...]
Half my department
Left by the end of the year
People don’t like it
Be glad to leave if I could
Old timer after two years
I wrote that poem about last year. Turns out we are on an even stronger pace this year. Today two teachers quit in my department. Another left a couple months ago. Overall at the school morale is low. This might be more about my school than about the profession of teaching. But I have found, in the three schools where I have taught, that either the kids are crazy and out of Read more [...]
You’re really my boss?
Honestly, how old are you?
This is so crazy
You must have something I don’t
I sure hope I don't catch it
I have had a lot of bosses, department chairs and vice principals and such, who have been a good chunk younger than me. Now, I'm not so young, but we couldn't really say I'm old either...OK...I'm in my REALLY late-30s. In the past five years, four out of six of my direct supervisors have been about 8-12 years younger than me and have had less teaching experience Read more [...]
Routines, rituals and procedures
Predictability, norms and limits
Teenagers crave these things
Really, they do
The Research tells us
But I’m a grown up
And I hate all that shit
Plus I like to swear
Sorry...I'm not sure the poem matches the sentiment today, and for that I apologize. But among the many memos that greeted us this morning, one noted that this, the beginning of a New Year, was an opportunity to reaffirm the norms of the school, our classrooms, procedures, rules, routines, etc, etc, Read more [...]
You squint and see light
At the end of the tunnel
Now school ends this year
We have to take what we can get, am I right? We all know it's far too early to start crossing off days on the calendar or thinking much about plans for the summer (especially if you will be teaching summer school, and if you are, I am truly sorry). I know it's too early to start the calendar because when I taught elementary school we had, as part of the math program, a giant timeline that stretched all the way around the Read more [...]