A wonderful @NYTimes ode to teachers. Great insight on the challenges teachers face & the difference they make http://t.co/4mDVCkw
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Well, folks. I am officially mad at this blog because I just wrote this long post about education and it was deleted. Should have listened to my intuition. I went to “save draft”, which I never do, and it DELETED my post. Humph. SMH. Seriously, I am really shaking my head.
I was talking about how miserable everyone seems. At my school, teachers and students are miserable. Some of the admins seem miserable. At my sister-in-laws’ schools in Utah and Colorado, they report feeling of miserableness (is that a word?) and dread. At my best friend’s school, teachers cry in the break room. What’s up with teachers and kids and schools?
We all have different theories, but I tend to like mine (ha!). Seriously, I think teachers are miserable because our educational system has become a pale version of its’ former self. Teachers can’t teach anymore. Kids aren’t learning. We have a nation filled with idiots running the country and don’t worry — our students will one day be adults. What will they say? “I can’t balance your budget, because in the 7th grade we didn’t have enough desks so I didn’t go to class. Ever again.” . It is so sad to see dedicated teachers being squashed into a submissive stance, unable to speak up for themselves for fear of being fired or severely screwed. Unions are keeping quiet because they are up against powerful people in charge who do indeed have the power to eradicate them. So they keep quiet and, in essence, throw us under the bus.
Teachers became teachers not for the money, or the fame (LOL). Teachers became educators because they wanted to make our world a better place. They wanted to perpetuate the notion that education truly is the key to happiness. Instead, we need to start low-inferencing ourselves into understanding that we have a tough rough ahead of us.
This interactive classroom management software blew me away. It’s amazing and I encourage you all to give it a try. It would be a great on any interactive whiteboard and it can also be used right from your smartphone via a simple-to- use app. The kids will absolutely love it! Especially since it rewards for positive behaviors and uses visual and audio cues to gently remind the children of “where they’re at” at any given part of the day. It also prepares formal reports that can be used to communicate with parents! The very best part, though? It’s free! Have a blast….I know I have been. Can’t wait to use it “live” with the children on Thursday!
Each year teachers have to go back to square one. Back to the beginning — the rules, routines, expectations, and procedures must be started over and probably tweaked; our supplies and materials have been “reset”; our trust in our students and their trust in us also goes back to square one with the new crop of children who waltz into our rooms and by the end of the year into our hearts. Every September, since the song came out, I find myself humming Coldplay’s Square One.
You’re in control, is there anywhere you wanna go? You’re in control, is there anything you wanna know? The future’s for discovering The space in which we’re traveling From the top of the first page To the end of the last day From the start in your own way You just want somebody listening to what you say It doesn’t matter who you are…
Such powerful lyrics that remind me not just of myself but of my students, too. Both teachers and students just want to be heard, to be understood. Teaching is really a delicate balance of listening and talking, no? I read a book this summer that addressed this very issue and I found it really interesting and illuminating. The book (not a teaching book, although it does have a section about talking with kids) is called “The Art of Talking So That People Will Listen: Getting Through to Family, Friends & Business Associates” and it can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I especially liked Step 6: Know When to Stay Silent (I wonder if my husband would agree) and worked on this step all summer long. I can’t wait to bring it to the kids.
This school year I resolve to be quiet more often and really listen. I want to genuinely hear what my students think about their education, about our lesson(s), and about life in general! I think that I have often not listened, truly listened. I feel like I am always trying to beat the clock – Oh my! The ELA exam is in six weeks, kids! Time to get cracking on our inferencing skills ASAP. Eureka! The math test is in 2 weeks! Open up to page 35 and we will need to get to page 54,888 in 22 minutes if we want to stay on track to pass this test. No time to take your questions or listen to your concerns, okay children?! LOL. Not exactly but you get the idea. This year I want to be heard and I want the students to hear me. Can’t wait to see if I have mastered step 6!
PS: Please take a look at my giving page on Donors Choose and donate to kids across the USA! Here’s the link: NYCTeacher4EVA’s Page of Giving on Donors Choose
I have been totally in love with shopping for a long, long, long time. Each time my husband complains, I simply state that “I never pretended to not love shopping!”. Which is true. I have been a shopper probably since the time I could walk. I just love to shop. For anything. Anywhere. What some argue may be the low-point of my life is what I argue to be one of my finest hours — delaying an entire traveling group and missing a flight outta Italy because I was busy on roaming the streets of Venice trying desperately to find an elusive Fendi store that had a bag I wanted and was out of stock in stateside. Did I feel bad that the 29 of us missed our flight? Yes. But did my happiness outweigh my horror? Oh my, yes.
Shopping for me has always been a remedy for just about any sadness or bother. Something about the pursuit of an item, the thrill of the find, the extreme pleasure of carrying it delicately home to….never be used again. I have that habit too, of buying things and then never utilizing them. That’s a bad habit I admit but when people (read as husband) remind me of this tendancy I remind him that there are worse habits. Drug use, human trafficking, child abuse….all horrors that trump my little shopping and never using habit. I do use my “good” stuff that I buy.
So on Monday when I was in my classroom I was unpacking all kinds of materials I had bought over the summer. The receipts were still in the majority of the bags. The items I bought totaled $786 and change. Over SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS! That’s just for my new stuff. If you would add up all my “old” stuff, I probably could buy a beach house out in the Hamptons. I know I am not the only one out there who spends this much. It is almost horrifying how much money teachers spend yearly on necessary supplies. Considering teachers’ salaries and cost of living and we make next to nothing. Yet there we go, year after year, buying new materials and supplies. No thanks really, no appreciative notes left on our desks. Sad!
That’s why Donors Choose has been instrumental in placing supplies and materials into the hands of educators. While Donors Choose has noteriety, it isn’t what I would call a household name. Which is sad, because as Whitney so eloquently belted out back in the late ‘80s, “I believe that children are our future…”. She was right then, and despite her cracked out life now, she’s still right. Children are our future. If we do not teach them well then how could we ever let them lead the way? In order to teach them well, we need things. Sometimes these “things” consist of basic supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks) and sometimes bigger things are needed (smartboards, doc cameras, special visits by special guests). Donors Choose allows teachers to back off of their wallets and yet not have a bare classroom. I love Donors Choose for that but there is an even better reason I love Donors Choose. I love Donors Choose mostly because it reaffirms my belief in humanity and, as Whitney said, has showed me all the beauty they possess inside.
xoxo Talk tomorrow xoxo
PS: Don’t forget to check out my DC giving page (link on right)
PPS: I read your suggestions and I am thinking about them all!
So, another day and another .25 cents in my paycheck. I kid, I kid (no I don’t). Today was a day that was annoying on many levels. I have concluded that no one works anymore. Most people are ineffective. It’s true. No one hustles; no one gets right to it. They dawdle. D-A-W-D-L-E. Imagine a teacher dawdling? No way, Jose. NO WAY. As Jay-Z so eloquently states…I’m a hustler, baby. Wait, was that HOV that said that or Biggie? Hmmm….gotta get back to you on that. I am just so tired of people being lazy: parents, admins, support staff…everyone! I just want to scream at them. Very, very frustrating. Whew, feel better now…okay, done with my rant for the day. ‘Nuff said.
I am glad that more people are checking out this blog and checking out the Donors Choose Giving Page. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Very glad that people are getting into the groove….can’t wait to do more.
I would love it for people who drop by leave me suggestions on ideas and content they would like to see. Please do. I will read every single one and respond. Pinky swear. On that note, please drop me a line (or two, or three) and give a shout out on what to feature. I really want to hear about contests I can do to help students and teachers…..help me out here, people with ideas! I am fresh out of them at the moment.
Don’t forget to check out my giving page on Donors Choose and my FB page…xoxo
Talk to you tomorrow. XOXO
So I am still trying to get this blog together….and I would apologize but I don’t know if I have any fans! Ha! Not much different than how I feel at home sometimes. No one listens to me! Moving on……
As a teacher, I know how frustrating it is to not have enough supplies for your students. I also know how ANNOYING it is to spend bazillions of dollars buying said supplies yourself. Not to mention financially crippling. Enter Donors Choose.
For those of you that don’t know, Donors Choose is an online charity that was founded in 2000 by Charles Best. At the time, Mr. Best was working as a Bronx, NY (holla!) social studies teacher and was pretty annoyed at the scarcity of materials for his students. A ‘lil elbow grease, a ‘lil support…and voila, Donors Choose was born.
I have written many projects over at Donors Choose, and have been successfully funded most of the time. While I def. sing the praises of Donors Choose, don’t be fooled into thinking you write a project, and poof! it gets funded immediately. Having a project up is hard work — you have to actively get out there and get your project. Prior to having my toddler, I had tons and tons of time. Now, not so much. The great thing about Donors Choose is that they allow regular old citizens to create a giving page — where a person or a group can place a bunch of projects on one page and then encourage other peeps to give to the projects listed. It can be a lot of fun. I have been lucky enough to be on a giving page and had a lot of success with it.
Over the past year or so, I have realized that there is no greater joy than to give to others….and who better to give to than my own people! My teacher peeps! I am so excited to announce the launch of my very own giving page! I really hope that you will give it a gander…and donate. Do it for the kids! Do it for the teachers! Do it for you, too. Please take a moment and visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/NYCTeacher4EVA/264856740200455
So, I finally decided to bite the bullet & start this blog! My friends & family have been telling me for about 3 years now to do it! just do it!…so, I finally did. The main reason that they have pushed (read: nagged) me to start a blog is that I just can’t stop talking…talking about work, talking about our son, talking about my annoying co-workers and administration, talking about shopping, talking about vacation, talking about shopping, talking about tv, talking, talking, talking! It’s always about the same topics they say…..start a blog; it will be therapeutic for you…..I know my husband won’t believe this, but I listened and here I am.
I guess I should be polite and introduce myself. I am an early 30-something NYC teacher, wife, mommy, and much more. I love to teach; I hate the educational policies set forth by the country and more specifically my administration. I also love to be a mom to my one toddler, and a wife to my half-loving, half annoying as hell husband. I’m also a shopper, a reader, a cosmetic junkie, an animal lover, and an ardent supporter of animals and teachers. Just not necessarily in that order.
My main goal here, seriously, is to talk about things that matter most to a lot of us — our kids. And not just our biological ones — all the kids who inhabit our little corners of the world. I have seen the power of education and how a good education, a really good one, will change a child’s life….and one day, our own too. I love to talk to other educators. They are so helpful. They are so supportive. Most of the time they are, anyway. I love to bounce ideas off of them, and to listen to what they feel works in their room. I love to support teachers that post projects to Donors Choose.
I leave you guys with this poll. My friends and I have recently wondered about how some projects get funded so quickly and how some sort of hang there for a few months with no funding….so we hope you help us out!
I can’t wait to get this blog going….tally ho!
xo NYCTeacher4EVA xo