This collaborative Tumblr, run by the #Education editors on Tumblr provides powerful facilitation for the teaching community on Tumblr. With questions, regular community features (Teacher Dare Day, Teacher Check-In, etc), advice, and cool resources, Team Teachers is the best possible fusion of professional development and emotional support a teacher could ask for.
Honest, spot-on, elegant, and insightful writing from a passionately overworked, certainly underpaid, and perhaps just-appreciated-enough English as a Second Language teacher. Allison describes the challenges, successes, and development of her students with clarity and wit. She also has a knack for exposing the Monty Python-esque absurdity of the educational bureaucracy—and for highlighting those moments that make everything worthwhile. And somehow she makes time to offer advice and encouragement to the Tumblr teaching community.
Make your Edublogs nominations by following the directions posted here.
This is one of my favorite healthy recipes. I made it a lot last spring—it’s pretty quick and it’s full of flavor. Filling enough for dinner and packs well for lunch.
Buffalo Chicken Spinach Salad (1 serving)
Dice up one medium chicken breast. Season with garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss with about two tablespoons of buffalo sauce—enough to cover. You can broil the chicken or saute it on the stove—because of the buffalo sauce you don’t need to add any oil to the pan if you cook it on the stove top.
Prepare a salad of spinach, diced celery, and diced scallions. I often added red bell peppers as well. Cut up broccoli would probably be delicious too. Basically whatever salad veggies you like. Diced red onions in place of scallions would be good if you want an even stronger flavor.
I’m annoyed with myself for wanting to see him even though I know damn well this whatever-it-is is not going anywhere. All I’m doing here is letting myself think that he’s going to change his mind about the whole committed relationship thing even though I know that is the stupidest thing in the world to think.
But I do want to see him, and he apparently wants to see me, so here we are.
I’m really irritated with my dep’t head (DH) and my dep’t in general right now.
DH has been at the school for around 10 years, I think. I know he taught elsewhere for a while before, and I also know he came into teaching as a second career. Fine.
I genuinely don’t want to judge other teachers; I’m not in their classrooms everyday and I know that you can’t glean much from a few minutes a week of a class. What I know for sure is that DH does not do any wet labs with his biology classes and that he thinks safety goggles are a useless annoyance. What I know for sure is that he stared at me in disbelief when I described my low-level students’ forays into experimental design. What I know for sure is that, during our “professional development” on Monday, when I explained how I had directed my gifted students to write their own lab procedures, he chuckled derisively: “How’d that work out?”
"Well," I replied coolly. I didn’t get into quoting the outstanding lab reports that came out of the exercise.
What I know for sure is that he has not once facilitated a productive PD this year. What I know for sure is that he has actively derailed the professional learning community that admin requires us to participate in. What I know for sure is that when he does get around to delivering the PD that is part of his job, he spends as much time telling us about how useless the exercise is as he does conveying the information. More time, probably.
I respect that he has more experience. Significantly more experience. I get that. I don’t appreciate his condescension towards me as a first-year, although it’s not malicious in nature. He just assumes that I am naive, and that I can’t possibly appreciate the inefficiency of the educational bureaucracy.
But here’s the thing: I may be inexperienced, but I do know that a lot of education initiatives are ineffective. I get that. I respect that he has spent a lot of time sitting in useless meetings. However, I also genuinely believe that collaboration is crucial to developing and improving teaching practice. This is not because I am super idealistic about the school environment. It’s because I have actually experienced improvement in my practice following thoughtful collaboration. I also genuinely believe that I have a lot to learn about teaching, and I am pretty sure that the 4 other first years in my dep’t could probably benefit from some constructive PD. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt the veterans to take part in a substantial conversation about practice.
Ultimately, that’s all I want. A real, genuine, productive conversation about teaching practice in my discipline and in my setting. I want someone experienced to listen to what I am doing, what I want to try, what hasn’t worked for me, and give me some actual substantial feedback. I want to hear what the other bio teachers in my dep’t are doing so I can see these topics through different lenses, and so I can get a sense of where my expectations are relative to the rest of the dep’t.
Why is my DH so firmly dead-set against giving our department this opportunity? If the existing PD is such an awful waste of time, then why not use the time we have to set aside any way to provide us with something that you think will be helpful? And for the record, thus far I’m not entirely convinced that the PD is a waste of time—this same material could be very valuable if DH would take it just a little seriously.
In my district human body systems are part of the intro bio curriculum. This is dumb. I’ve never had the human body systems taught as part of a general intro bio course. They come into the sequence here at a strange place—between cell structure and cell energy. Whatever.
More specifically, the following things are annoying me about it right now:
There is so much other content to teach that no one devotes more than 3 or 4 days to the body systems. So we “cover” it, but not really well enough to justify even bothering with it, in my opinion.
The text book I use covers them in far more complex detail than my students need to know. It’s also much more than they can usefully comprehend. This means that I can’t use that as a resource for this topic; I need to write everything from scratch. I don’t have time for that, but I’m going to do it anyway.
My kids are overwhelmed, and I’m handing them another chart to memorize tomorrow.
What I need to do next year is plan more carefully and fuse the body systems with other topics. There are dozens of good reasons to shift stuff around a bit, and next year I will have a good enough sense of the curriculum and my own teaching style and lesson planning to make it work more smoothly. But for now I really just need to keep my head above water and make it through the curriculum.
“Irrespective of how well they had been doing in school, students were subsequently less successful at the tasks, and also reported less interest in those tasks, if they received a grade rather than narrative feedback. Other research has produced the same result: Grades almost always have a detrimental effect on how well students learn and how interested they are in the topic they’re learning. But because Ms. Butler had thought to include a third experimental condition—grades plus comments—she was able to document that the negative effects of grading, on both performance and interest, were not mitigated by the addition of a comment. In fact, with the task that required more original thinking, the students’ performance was highest with comments, lower with grades, and lowest of all with both. These differences were all statistically significant, and they applied to high- and low-achieving students alike.”—
Two financial things: With your student loans, see if you can't put them in deferment due to financial hardship (you can still pay on them). You can also look at consolidating them through the federal government in an Income-Based Repayment plan, which will never be higher than 15% of your income. In face, if your loans aren't consolidated, DO THAT.
Thanks world-shaker! Putting this here for everyone to see.
I have consolidated my loans and I’m doing IBR. I did skim through the financial hardship stuff but I’m not sure if I qualify for that. My current issue is that on top of the now-consolidated federal loans I also have a chunk of private loans. Those private loans, although they are all through the same loan provider, cannot be consolidated and cannot be repaid on IBR. I can opt for interest-only payments, which I will probably put in for this week. The logical part of my brain knows that income-only payments is a truly inefficient way to pay off loans, but a young teacher’s gotta eat.
At least my federal loans will be forgiven after 10 years.
and I’m really stressed about it. I actually do not know what I am going to do next month when my student loan payments start. My expenses at that point will be within about $100 of my income.
I genuinely don’t know what to do about this. I need another source of income, that much is clear, but taking a second job is pretty much out of the question.
And that’s without even thinking about my credit card balance.
I always knew that I wasn’t going to be rich. But I genuinely believed that once I graduated with my master’s and got a full-time salaried position I could at least stop stressing out about grocery and gas money. That was a cute idea I had.
Remember how sad you were that it only lasted a week last year? Well luckily, I saved my original list. Last year’s despair means that we can relive that special feeling of excitement and anticipation that accompanies waiting for me to post every day!
Creative Nonfiction is my thesis! I haven't READ these myself, but I have heard great things: "Stiff: The Lives of Human Cadavers"; "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void"; ANYTHING BY BILL BRYSON, he's really great, and has a couple scienc-y titles. Also, the "Don't Know Much About" series by Kenneth C. Davis. He has one about the Universe that I've read that would be appropriate grade level, and they're easy to digest in bits.
Thanks GwaLP! I was already thinking about A Short History of Nearly Everything, but all the rest of these are new to me. My student will be so excited for these recommendations!
I have a 9th grade student who only reads non-fiction because he insists that you don’t learn anything from fiction.
He has an IEP and struggles a bit in school, but he reads voraciously and has been single-mindedly focused on history (WWII especially) for several years. This year, though, his mother tells me that he has become intensely interested in science. I know he loves to read non-fiction so I’d like to put together a reading list for him.
But I am pretty unfamiliar with science non-fiction aimed at young teenagers. I know of a few books he’d definitely like when he gets a little older, but I’m struggling to come up with stuff he’d be able to sink his teeth into now. He reads well, 8/9 grade reading level. Historical science narratives in particular would be good for him, I think. Does anyone have any suggestions?
On Wednesday I got lunch with two of my dearest friends in Philly, then made it up here to Massachusetts to spend a couple of days with my favorite aunt and uncle and their three beautiful children. They welcomed me with Guinness and conversation about teaching (more on the teacher talk later, because I want to share my uncle’s story with tumblr teachers).
Yesterday I slept in, played games with my cousins, watched the Lions game, ate lots of food, drank wine and Guinness, etc. It’s just been really comfortable and laid back. My uncle makes great coffee and my aunt can listen meaningfully to my various parent issues and give me good advice. The kids think I’m cool and were super excited to see me. There’s a really lovable Golden retriever. Today I have not really left the couch except to refresh my coffee; I’ve just been watching the kids entertain each other and perusing my Kindle.
Everything is great. I’m looking forward to heading back to Philly tomorrow for some quality time with privilegedwhitegirl before going to Bmore and gearing up for the three week sprint to Christmas.
“I heard screaming and I heard yelling. Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.”—
Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, California Wal-Mart customer Matthew Lopez • Describing what happened after another customer, who authorities say was “competitive shopping,” pepper sprayed 20 people (including children!) in an attempt to beat everyone else at getting stuff. Considering, you know, this incident and this incident, the usage of pepper spray seems incredibly ironic. Authorities are looking for the person who sprayed her fellow shoppers in efforts to buy a new Xbox 360 or something similar. Humanity sucks sometimes. source (via • follow)
“thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening ilimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)”—e.e. cummings (via fishingboatproceeds)