Student Keeps Asking About Recommendation Letter

EDUCATION NEWS -Baltimore, MD 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 [...]

I Said, “Maybe You’re Just Not High School Material”

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 [...]

Maybe You’re Just Not High School Material

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 [...]

Permanent Marker Used on White Board

EDUCATION NEWS -Abilene, TX 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 [...]

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 [...]

It’s Expensive When Teachers Quit

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 [...]

Your Feedback Needed Re: School Leadership

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 [...]

Damn…today was tough

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 [...]

A Distant Glow

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 [...]

Anxiety Too Soon

I feel the time run Needles dropping from the tree Every day faster Six days, then back on the pile Breaking rocks with my chain gang I'm having my first real pangs of anxiety about going back to work. I'm trying to isolate the part that I dread most. It's not the kids. After five years, I can handle kids. I don't always like them, but I can handle them. For me, I think it's the repetitive nature of the whole thing. I know exactly what's going to happen when I get back...and for the rest of the Read more [...]