Month: March 2007

Total 21 Posts

Something That Scares Me

We’re toeing the line of unbloggable territory here so let me preface by saying I think my school and district work diligently and successfully to cultivate a safe school. We’ve discussed this, my students and I. Kids like this school. Kids feel safe here.

But we had a fight last week, a fight which was remarkable for a few reasons, one which has nagged me since. Our administration ended it quickly. The whole altercation lasted less than fifteen seconds but within that hiccup one girl managed to land a bizarre set of blows. Far from the usual mêlée-style school fight — scratching, slapping, and clawing, all with the frantic awareness that it’s gonna get broken up shortly — this girl seemed to know exactly what she was doing.


Carnival of Education 112

Good times at The Education Wonks.

It’s only fair to single out a post by Alexi, whose nom de blog is “Teacher With A Bad Attitude,” whose WordPress ID is “BadTeacher,” and whose carnival entry is entitled “I love homework.”

That’s kinda like, what, three strikes right there, right? I mean it’s hard for me to take anyone seriously who’s bending so far over backwards to cultivate this in-your-face, just-tellin’-it-like-it-is persona, but his counterposition to mine is mostly fair and certainly worth noting.

There are some assumptions I plainly disagree but, shoot, if you really don’t have enough time to “practice Mendelian dihybrid crosses,” then you have to send some home, I suppose. However, stuff like this always raises an eyebrow, sometimes two:

If you fuck around in class, don’t cry at me when you get to do that work at home. Nor if I throw in a few extra questions for good measure.

Putting aside the cheapness of his second sentence, I flatly disagree with the first. Specifically, I take exception with anyone who submits the idea that a class’ misbehavior is entirely its own fault. After “Tradition,” “Lousy Class Management” takes the top spot on the list of “Terrible Reasons to Assign Homework.”

Okay okay, so if we’re coming off an assembly the day before Spring Break, during which the rally coordinators threw concentrated sugar tablets into the crowd, after which the kids had lunch, and then your class, I might allow your assertion that your class’ misbehavior isn’t entirely your fault.

Any other day, though, I’m gonna point out that these are kids, you’re an adult, you can outwit them, and it’s simply unfair to oink up their free time with homework because you couldn’t keep them from fucking around in class.

Links Go Hello, Links Go Bye-Bye

The sidebar is a pretty poor representation of my recent reading habits. When I first became aware of these edublog thingies, my ‘roll tilted towards the bigger names, the celebrity edubloggers (understandably, I hope), the Pete Wentzes and Suri Cruises of the edublogosphere.

But tastes change, as have the bloggers who give me any sort of giddy gotta-read-that thrill when Google Reader flashes one of their updates. More important than my intention to jettison the dead blog weight is my hope that anyone who stops by here goes and reads these new links.The overlying theme here is that I take my blogroll seriously, as a stamp of writerly, pedagogical, and ideological approval. Probably too seriously.


Schmidt Sting Pain Index

Sometimes I find something around that’s really interesting, but which doesn’t exactly conform to any of my content area standards, yet it’s just too cool to pass off to a more appropriate teacher and just trust they’ll do the right thing. That’s when I decide, what the hay, and cut loose and teach it. I know. I know. Reckless, right? But that’s how the Schmidt Sting Pain Index makes me feel. Watch this space for the slide deck, comin’atcha sometime around May 2008, if my current pace continues.

Emo Monday

From Education Week’s article entitled, Does Merit Pay Work?:

Despite pay-for-performance programs’ resurging popularity, some skeptics question whether money can ever be a major motivator for teachers, many of whom see the profession as more of a calling than a job. [emphasis added by moi]

All by myyyyseeeellllllfff …