Teacher Heroes

She was a young teacher, new to her ‘trade’. She was enthusiastic. She saw the potential in each student. She was planning her wedding, exciting, heady days to be sure but she did not lose her focus. Kids first second and last. And not just any kids but adolescents, the worst kind. Adolescents from a working class area. Their futures? Working in retail, the factories, blue collar trades....more

Entitled to Learn

Last spring, a student complained about a grade that I had given her.  We met.  I wasn’t changing her grade.  I explained my grading scheme. She nodded, not happy, but, I thought, at least comprehending.  The next day, I received a phone call from her mother....more

A Call to Moms! We Make Schools Better

As I walked my son, Zack, to school on Thursday last week, he and I kept bumping into each other as we made our way up the street. We were both carrying large, unwieldy bags: shopping bags crammed with composition books, sharpened pencils, colored folders, magic markers, colored pencils, plain labels, sanitary wipes, 3 rolls of paper towels, and $6 in an envelope for art supplies. This was not Zack's idea of what he needed to feel prepared for school that first day: this is what the teachers suggested the classroom might need, which they did not have the funds to purchase....more

OH Governor Reduces Mom's Convictions for Sending Kids to Wrong School

This update in the case of Akron, Ohio mother, Kelley Williams-Bolar is bound to produce as much discussion as the original post by Shannon LC Cate did this past January. In "Mother Convicted of Felony for Sending Kids to a Better School," Shannon gives good voice to the race, class and parenting issues that surround Williams-Bolar's choices as they related to her children's safety and education when she used her children's father's address so that they could attend a better school. In fact, for many people, though by no means all, Williams-Bolar's situation embodied the plight of a minority single parent who, for her admitted desire to keep her two daughters safe, took actions that went against the law....more
@TheMotorStory Thanks - it really covers so many issues that matter a LOT to a lot of different ...more

Do schools take the thinking out of learning?

Imagine getting in your car to go on a trip to a new place and never making a plan such as looking at a map, writing down directions, or using GPS to plot the road trip for you. In very simple terms, that is what some schools encourage kids to do when they remove the activities that involve planning and organizing ideas and instead rely on highly regulated activities such as memorizing facts for a test. ...more

Big Splash over TAKS

As I may have mentioned I’m active in the PTO at Charlie’s school. Heck, I’m VP of Ways and Means which is a fancy way of saying I’m in charge of Fundraising. Don’t laugh – it was either that or President.*ahem*So moving right along. In Texas we have standardized testing on a regular basis called TAKS. This year they are called STAAR but same old, same old....more
Hurray! That looks like fun! I would also love to throw a pie in the face of my 8th grade ...more

How My Bilingual Daughter Helped Her Kindergarten Classmate

Something pretty amazing has been happening the last couple of days with Vanessa in her Kindergarten class. When I informed her teacher that Vanessa is bilingual, she told me there were two kids in her classroom who also spoke Spanish, but are not bilingual yet and so they are attending ESL classes. I wanted to ask who they were and if I could meet their parents, but I figured I'd just let that happen kind of organically figuring there'd be plenty of opportunities for this. ...more
¡Que linda historia paisana! Soy peruana y mis hijos son también Tri-lingues vivimos en Rep. ...more

Back to School Already!

DD~8 is still wondering what happened summer vacation. If she could drive a car her license plate ring would read: "I Rather Be Catching Lizards." This year DD~8 and DD~14 will be homeschooling through K12's virtual academy. I know some homeschool parents view the public school/homeschool option as an anathema to the freedom to homeschool, but for me K12 is an answer to my need for outside accountability and student independence. READ MORE AT WildIris  ...more

Your Thoughts: Teachers Blogging

Pull out a chair and sit down with your cup of coffee. It's time to have a little talk. Today's discussion: teachers blogging. A suspended English teacher who wrote negatively about her students on her blog will be returning to the classroom in a few weeks. Students at the school can request not to be in her classroom, and 60 students already have. It's one things for blogging parents to call their own children lazy online, but it's quite another for their teacher to do the same... or is it? ...more
I'm a blogger teacher too but I was also an risk teenager who registered as an abandoned child ...more