Tag Archives: teaching

Kids These Days

Dear current and future parents,

This is what can happen when kids have smart phones and when teachers supply students with email addresses to turn in projects digitally:

Hi Ms. Smith* (:

i’m in my physics class and i’m hella bored!!!!!!!!!! we’re working on
our final, and i’m dying here. i swear i have had senioritis since
freshman year! :(( it’s so bad. haha, well i’ll see you
tomorrrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

byeee.

-Leslie ❤

Email received 11:41AM PST Monday June 1, 2009

*all names have been changed to protect privacy of teacher and student

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I’m thinking about:

  • building student confidence to improve academic achievement; see NY Times and The Situationist
  • how did I forget today was Earth Day?  Jewels of New York in Fort Greene (details on their Twitter) My students are super excited about the film Earth.  “It looks hecka tight!”  Opening today, Earth Day.
  • why aren’t there more floral design blogs?  And where did I put all those Parisian florist business cards I collected last spring?
  • Summer!
  • (in this case still thinking about) how many of my students were stoned on 4/20, how I’m supposed to feel about that, and what I’m supposed to do…NY Times on legalization
  • so much trouble in the world; breath in suffering breath out loving kindness
  • my latest “ethical dilemma.”  Would you like to read it? 
  • Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri—YES! recipe at Epicurious

chimichurriphoto by Romulo Yanes

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If You Don’t Know, Now You Know

Tomorrow, Friday April 17, 2009 is the 13th annual Day of Silence.  Day of Silence “brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.” 

The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. In a Harris Interactive study on bullying, students said two of the top three reasons students are harassed in school are actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression. Additionally, nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school. 

Students across the country participate in the Day of Silence to bring attention to this problem, let students who experience such bullying know that they are not alone and ask schools to take action to address the problem.

Many of my students will be voluntarily participating in DoS tomorrow.  I am too.  To keep my vow of silence I will be teaching a silent lesson.  All instruction will be written and individual so that students who wish to remain silent may.

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What I’ve Been Up To

Over the last two or so months I have been planning and teaching, and analyzing and writing about my teaching.  The result is eighty-eight pages of hard work.  The impetus was P.A.C.T.  What is P.A.C.T.?  The Performance Assessment of California Teachers.  

I’m done and I’m celebrating.  I like to call it my first book.  Go me. 

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pact-1

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Announcements

Alistair Bomfray and Jesse Scaccia have formed Teacher Revised, a new blog focused on the experience of teaching from teachers’ perspectives.  The site includes personal reflections from current teachers as well as essay on education news and politics.  

The Jewels of New York have begun shipment of Easter cookies.  Pastel paradise with sparkling dragées.  Please note that dragees are for decorative use only and should be removed before eating.

While some 3,000 miles away, Rockridge Market Hall is gearing up for Passover–all the Matzoh you can eat, “Scott’s Famous Chopped Liver,” and Flourless Chocolate Mousse Squares.  

I didn’t know until this morning that there was a U.C. Merced, but they’ve won over Michelle Obama for this year’s commencement.  I wonder what she’ll wear?

I’m not sure which side of this issue I’m on.  Does that mean I’m getting old?

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Spate of Education-related posts

The Teacher Salary Project, a group of educators and citizens committed to raising teacher salaries in order to improve the quality of education, is having an event in San Francisco on March 23, 2009 from 6:30-8:30.  The evening will include clips from the new film of the same name, based on the New York Times best-seller Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers by Daniel Moulthrop, Ninive Clements Calegari, and Dave Eggers.  In addition to a preview of the film, the evening will include discussion with the directors and producers and sushi from Ichi Catering.  Mmmm.  Minimum suggested donation is $150.  A small price to pay for raising money and consciousness for real social change.

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Teacher Salary Party pdf

Another incredible opportunity to show your support for students and the people who work hard to prepare them for . . . everything, is quickly approaching at ARL all-time favorite Oliveto.  I knew I was in love with Paul Canales, and here’s just one more reason why.  

MetWest High School invites you to
A Morning of Real-World Learning:

Our first annual exhibition-viewing breakfast fundraiser
Wednesday, March 18th, 8:30 – 9:45 AM

*Join us for a breakfast prepared by Oliveto Restaurant head chef, and MetWest internship mentor, Paul Canales
*Sit amongst our students to view one of our students quarterly exhibitions of their internship-based learning
*Hear more about MetWest’s unique approach to high school education:
– Exploring passions through internships
– Professional networking skills
– Project management experience
– Anti-oppression curriculum
– Close peer relationships within a diverse student body

Please RSVP to Greg Cluster:
metwestgregc@gmail.com or 510-435-6115
Space is limited

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Required Reading: Follow Up

The speech went over pretty well.  None of my students seemed overly enthused about taking home a copy of the Anyon piece, but who can blame them?  High school is hard and they have enough homework as it is.  But the results were evident in today’s class, which was probably one of the best we’ve had together.  For their exit task, I asked each student to write down one thing she or he did well as a student on the front of an index card, and then write down one thing one thing I did well as a teacher on the back.  Here are some responses: 

What students did well:

Today I supported my group members.

I focused on all my work.

I was supportive and cooperative.

I gave effort.

I participated a lot.

I focused and I tried my best.

I listened carefully.

What I did well in the students’ words [it’s important to recognize small victories, especially as a public school teacher]:

You were understanding.

You carefully listened to everyone.

As a teacher, it’s good that you push us.

You made a passionate argument.

You did a good job talking to us instead of just yelling like other teachers would have.

You connected to us.  Empathized in a way.

And in conclusion…an entirely different take on the stuff and substance of high school.

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