Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tales From The Trenches: Classroom Teachers Speak VIII

Once again, we present our regular Sunday feature, (updated throughout the day; newest posts at top) of entries that we have selected from those sites that are written by classroom teachers. We like to think of this collection as a group of posts that have been written by those who helped make reading possible.

At Mr. Babylon's place, there is always something going on. In today's episode, he has seen his future, and it isn't pretty.

Would you believe a 9-year-old mainstream student that didn't know how
to spell her own name? What part of No Child Left Behind Act is supposed to address that particular deficiency? I couldn't imagine such a thing, but at The Art Of Getting By, it really happened!

Whether one teaches in a college or a public school classroom, learning to budget and stretch one's dollars (while still having a social life) is an indispensable skill. Learning Curves gives us some tips
here and there.

The world of the adjunct college instructor often isn't a very secure one. Due to budgetary constraints, instructors are often forced to regularly seek work. Moebius Stripper, who writes Tall Dark & Mysterious,
is keeping us updated in her efforts to secure a full-time gig for next year, as well as some alternatives.

I think that a certain amount of reflection offers a teacher enormous benefits. Sometimes we just have to take a look inwards and consider what our priorities should be. Ms. Frizzle
is taking that look.

Teachers Unions don't just live in the lap of luxury here in America. Lectrice at Blackboard Jungle tells us that British teachers unions
love to live large as well. (I wonder if our British colleagues get to vote for their union leadership, I know that we don't.) It seems that British unions are as undemocratic and unaccountable as our own National Education Association. Anyhow, she pays some $236 per year in dues compared to the mandatory $910 that we will pay next year for combined N.E.A. and California Teachers Association dues... Check out who she's going to throw rocks at!

Professor Plum's EducatioNation
is taking the "University of Oregoon" to task for it's political correctism running amok. Here is a taste:
New victims require new victimizers. The new oppressed require new oppressors. New offenses include whatever someone in a victim group does not like-not only tasteless jokes, but sarcasm ("Oh, yeah, sure."), ridicule ("Are you really THAT ignorant?"), groups attempting to limit membership (e.g., to males, or conservatives, or Christians), and even thoughts ("You can't think that way! It is racist.").

Offenders are no longer the obvious-flaming bigots and abusers of women and children-but males, whites, men, rowdy boys (i.e., boys), western literature, Israelis, science, logic, capitalism, corporations, family, religion.

What began as a good idea has become totalitarian. What you do, say, think, and feel are all political, and are information used by those whom WE have allowed to control hiring, admission, evaluation of job and school performance, grievances, and school missions and curricula.
In Texas, public education is in something of a mess. Could underfunded federal mandates have anything to do with the situation? Education At The Brink has the latest update on this continuing soap opera.

Mrs. Ris at Mentor Matters is a special education teacher. In
a recent post, she fondly remembers all the fun instructional activities that first graders used to do involving puppets, dioramas, construction paper, and wind-socks. It seems as though all of that is a casualty of NCLB...

Overeducation is written by a classroom teacher up in Washington State. In a two parter, Jonathan raises some thought-provoking issues regarding this question: "What are Schools For?" Take a look at part I
here, and part II over there. Don't miss the lively discussion that has been going-on in the comments section of both posts!

Mz. Smlph is finally on summer vacation. (Well, at least until the start of summer school.) But that doesn't mean she gets to rest! She has had
quite an ordeal with her car and a certain flying mammal that came along for the ride. In a bonus post, Ms. Smlph experiences the return of dreams. (I too, suffer from insomnia during the school year... Recommended summer reading: The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.)

Melinama, who is the music teacher that writes over at Pratie Place, is reporting that her son is still recovering from surgery. But that didn't stop him from participating in that once-in-a-lifetime emotional thrill-ride called high school graduation! Also, checkout her excellent comprehensive posts on Pirate Jean Lafitte. Part I is here, and part II is there. Arrrr!! There be Pirates here...

At Unicycle (One of the very first teacher-written blogs that we ever read and enrolled.) Rachel
is looking forward to finishing the school year, as there is this one kid that... (She is getting some poor administrative support. This makes any classroom teacher's year longer.- We feel her pain.) Her and husband Matt will be moving in to their first house in about a month. Congrats to the newlyweds!

And finally, here at The Education Wonks,
we submit for your approval our take on the luxurious accommodations that Las Vegas's school administrators enjoy while many kids are taught in "temporary" portable classrooms.
View the latest edition (as well as entry instructions) of The Carnival Of Education here. See last week's Tales From The Trenches there.

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