Every student is a precious gift who deserves an educational experience that is at once self-paced and expertly guided; providing a constant but ever-changing and perfect combination of challenge, relevance, support and blah-bitty blah blah, etc. You know…
And we all wish we could do that for our students. Or, if we don’t wish we could, we used to imagine that we might be able to or want to. Or, lacking that, we reasonably assumed that our students might have endeavored to do more work Read more [...]
Mr. Teachbad is taking the unusual step of inviting a guest blogger to do the work today. It is also a bit of a departure in that the sole purpose with this one is to be helpful.
It’s an article by Patrick Del Rosario about addressing the problem of bullying in schools. At the end I have added my own comments about LGBT bullying.
Dealing with a Bully Student: What to Do, How to Cope
by Patrick Del Rosario
Every class has at least one bully, or shall we say at least one potential bully. Read more [...]
This is the continuation of our exploration of the baseline downside of teaching; Tedium, the Bell and Chain, and No Career Path. These are things that I personally didn't like about teaching that would have been present even if Michelle Rhee had never been born. Every teacher, in even the best of circumstances, must deal with these things. We started with Tedium and a discussion of Grading: Part I and Part II.
A close cousin of tedium is our good friend predictability. Predictability means roughly Read more [...]
In Back to School Night: Part I, I sketched out differences between two schools.
School #1 is a public charter school, has pretty poor facilities, test scores are high, parent engagement is high, and the teachers appear to have a relatively high degree of freedom in the classroom and seem to be happy.
School #2 is a regular public school, has amazing facilities, test scores are low, parent engagement is low, and the teachers are strictly regimented and mostly unhappy.
What I left out, intentionally, Read more [...]
After my interview on WAMU/NPR, I heard from a number of former students. This is the first one I got:
Hi Mr Gwynn,
I'm not entirely sure if you remember me, but I was a former student of yours. So this morning, I was in the car on my way to work listening to NPR as usual and to my surprise I heard your name and I immediately recognized you as my awesome and definitely memorable high school history teacher. I commanded everybody in the car to be silent because I just had to hear what you had Read more [...]
It was Back to School night at my son’s new middle school on Wednesday. As residents of Washington, DC and people who can afford neither the city's high-rent zip codes nor private school, the move of our son to middle school has been a source of great anxiety for the better part of two years.
When I first started teaching, I taught at our neighborhood DCPS K-8 school. It’s three blocks from my house, but there is no way my son was going there. This is the place where an 11-year-old second Read more [...]
(Pain Management: Grading: Part I can be found, of all places, here.)
Let’s do it.
It’s a stack of 90 12th grade U.S. Government midterms, 10 pages each, 900 pages in all. I like to do the first page on all of them. Then the second page on all of them, the third and so on. This has two advantages over grading one full test after another. First, it’s faster to grade the same six multiple choice questions or four short answer questions over and over again. It probably kills more of my own Read more [...]
Let us assume, as I am willing to do out of respect for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, that the education reform movement in this country originated from a place of love, caring, compassion and a desire for equity. No matter how corrupted and twisted these values may have become and no matter how hijacked the effort has been by testing companies, politicians and ideological zealots; it probably started from something good, pure and hopeful.
Love. Caring. Compassion. Equity.
I am a fan of all Read more [...]
A few months back I asked people to take the one question Teacher Annoyance Survey. The purpose was to see which of the three unavoidable annoyances of teaching is most bothersome to most of you. The vote was split almost exactly into thirds between 1) Tedium and Predictability, 2) Bell and Chain, and 3) No Career Path.
Here is part one of Tedium: Grading.
However one deals with the daily homework side of grading, there still await the tests, quizzes, projects and papers. Little might hope Read more [...]