However, sometimes an opportunity for material simply presents itself.
My post last week about the NC Senate budget went viral. Well, by my standards, anyway. I am typically excited to get four or five hundred visits per post on TSV. However, when last I checked, “The Blame Game” had received 62,869 visitors and counting. Discussion in the 60+ comments has given me several topics I look to writing about in upcoming posts.
Attention: Rant about the current critical period for the teachers in my state of North Carolina forthcoming. You’ve been warned.
When I arrived from South Carolina in 2002, North Carolina was 21st in teacher pay. Sadly, we are now 48th. Forty-eighth. The “Thank goodness for Mississippi” joke is wearing thin. Especially when we can no longer say “Thank goodness for South Carolina.” or “Thank goodness for West Virginia.” They both now outrank us in teachers’ salaries.
Teacher pay in North Carolina has been frozen for five years. In 2008-2009 a teacher with five years’ experience had a base salary of $35,380. Today, that teacher earns $31,220. However, this proposed budget would also stop paying teachers for advanced degrees and National Board Certification. I am going to illustrate this by making it very personal – because it is very personal. To every teacher in this state. Continue reading Vol.#28: The Blame Game→
I was afforded the opportunity to have “blogging training wheels” in the way of writing a few Guest Posts for Scripted Spontaneity throughout the year before I started Teaching Speaks Volumes this past June. One of these posts from about a year-and-a-half ago still remains one of my own personal favorites that I’ve written on education.So, I hope my readers don’t mind a cross-post as I include on my own blog, and will perhaps even provide some fresh perspectives in the comments.
“If our core belief is based on what other people think, then we eventually will allow their opinions to become our reality.” ~Darren L. Johnson
Our school is currently developing Core Belief Statements. First, each of our interdisciplinary teams and elective departments generated their own and submitted them to administration. Now these statements have been compiled and shared with the staff. They’ll be used to create Core Belief Statements for our school.
It’s wonderful that this process has opened dialogue, but it begs the question: Does something so personal coincide with asking for a standardized consensus? Perhaps I am borrowing trouble and these statements will be vague enough where everyone can agree, but some people have very passionate beliefs when it comes to teaching and education.
Scripted Spontaneity followers know there’s been recent discussion here about standardization of teachers’ practices. But what about standardization of Core Beliefs? Even if teachers can all agree on a statement like, “We value what is in the best interest of the students,” . . . what if we don’t agree on what that should be? What happens when caring, brilliant teachers who work daily with purpose and precision … don’t agree on what these practices are?
In Volume #17I discussed my County’s various options for parents, such as magnet and application schools. This is the third school in a series of four that I’ve visited and am discussing in the context of school choice in my County.
In the eleven years I’ve known Paul Cancellieri,three of which we were on the same interdisciplinary team, I’ve never known another educator with such universal appeal. “Mr. C” is the teacher every student wants to have and the colleague from whom every teacher has much to learn. If a teacher were a doctor, Paul is the world-renowned surgeon teaching the topAttendings (tech-saavy teachers) and Chiefs of Surgery (administration) the best practices to pass along to the resident physicians. Or at least he should be, whenever his time permits it.
In my last post I discussed my County’s various options for parents. My year round school’s track outs provide an opportunity to visit the several types of public schools while they are in session. This is the first of the schools I will discuss in a series of four.
I started using Edmodo over the past couple of months. Specifically, I offered it as one option to complete a reading project. I’d thought having a smaller group of students to start would help me ease into it, however over 75% of my 109 students opted for the Edmodo choice instead of the more traditional alternative.
I used the Edmodo quizzes as part of the assessment for the project. Now having used them, I see the quiz feature as having a likely future in my classroom as formative assessments, such as homework, as opposed to actual “quizzes”. Edmodo does not allow retakes easily and both the timed feature and occasional glitches in the system make quizzes that “count” stressful. However, the instant feedback it provides would be very vaulable in the formative stage and would reduce class-time reviewing answers on completed assignments, allowing for more time on new, engaging tasks and collaboration.
a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism
This past week marked the third and final Professional Development Institute for myself and the other 2013 Kenan Fellows. It will likely be the last time we see each other until the celebratory events planned at the end of the year when the Fellowship is completed. It was wonderful to see everyone, though it was far too brief. As always, I learned so much more from them than it feels I must ever give back. (I’m looking at you Karen and Vance.)
“How we can best use technology to its maximum advantage in education?”
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t know more than some* about technology. However, it is my assessment that this question is most powerfully, truthfully, and best answered if it is simply as flipped as some of the cutting-edge classrooms of today:
We can best achieve an educational goal to its maximum attainment by utilizing technology.
This may seem at odds with what I stated in the previous post:
“It is important to remember is that technology is simply a tool. It no more accomplishes an educational goal in and of itself than a pencil and sheet of paper (or a slate and chalk before that.)…”
However, I go on to say:
“Educators’ understanding the right tool for the right task is imperative. A hammer does the plumber fixing the leaky faucet very little good.”
As a multi-track year-round teacher, I’ve just completed the first week of school: a new administration, a new demanding schedule, a new PLT, a new batch of seventh graders, and many other new challenges. However, this group of students is wonderful, my new PLT is off to a great running start, and this new administration has expressed unwavering high standards for its staff. If your undergo a change in your surroundings, I think it’s safe to assume you’ll change as a result as you adapt.