Question: Where are you getting your classroom posters?
Specifically to the art teachers: where are you finding posters with contemporary art? I want to try and include as many artists of color, women, and outsider artists as I can.
It’s easy to find Van Gogh and stuff like that, but I want something a little more updated.
Sometimes things work out
Sometimes you’re driving to work with a vague lesson plan in mind and you’re stressing because you have them for 100 minutes and you’re not quite sure what to do with them. And you ask yourself, “What do they need before they graduate?”
THEN. Then it all comes together in a great idea. Then you use your tutorial time to lesson plan and it comes together.
You share the plan, and then the kids are thinking and talking and moving and you’re just supervising. They don’t even need you. You’re just there. You make some small changes and tweaks as you go, but really, you’re just there. Watching. Laughing. Smiling. And it works out.
And it once again reinforces your terrible habit of not planning things ahead of time.
Problems with Teach for America and Suggested Solutions
There is a job shortage in America, but a recent solution implemented by the Obama administration has been to create infrastructure jobs through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Its tag line is “Putting Americans to Work”. Consider if, as part of this act, a new organization called The Engineers of America (EoA) was created. Recruits would be degree holders from top universities in America, and their degrees would be proof of their academic success. These degrees would span all majors and disciplines from educators to scientists to linguists to engineers. Motivated by a greater desire to improve America’s roads and bridges, these individuals would apply for and be accepted to EoA by signing a two-year contract. They would participate in a six week training program that would prepare them by teaching skills in planning, structure, and building techniques used to construct bridges in high needs areas where the bridges are dilapidated and unusable. At the end of this training period, EoA recruits would be individually responsible for their creations. Now answer me this - would you willingly drive a car containing your family across a bridge built by a biologist or English major whose only experience in engineering amounted to a six-week crash course?
The point of my hypothetic scenario is nothing new in the ongoing criticism of Teach for America (TFA) within the field of education. This conversation has become recently relevant to my life in light of my graduation from a four year university with a B.Sc. in English Education. Founder of TFA, Wendy Kopp, was my commencement speaker, and she delivered a speech that was a thinly veiled sales pitch for her organization and life’s work towards reducing the achievement gap, a phrase popularized by her organization. The problem with TFA is not with its well-intentioned ideals, but with its execution. As highlighted above, I take particular fault with the lack of preparation given to those who commit to the program due to its implications for the teaching profession as a whole.
Confessions of an education underachiever
Many educators enter the classroom with long-term goals for their careers. Some decide to teach for a while and then transition to administration and gradually work their way up the ladder to principal or a leadership position on the county level. Others parlay their classroom experience into book deals and speaking engagements and travel the county and country and make a name for themselves on the local or national level. Some start in high school and eventually make the move to community colleges or universities after working on their advanced degrees.
This may count as a professional failure on my behalf, but all I’ve ever wanted was to be a teacher.
- I don’t have lofty goals beyond that of working with my students and helping them to be successful.
- I’d rather take a sharp stick in the eye than be an administrator of any stripe.
- I don’t have a book in me; I have rambly tumblr posts.
- I’m not a mover and a shaker: I’ve been at my school for four years and only a small group of faculty members knows who I am.
- I’m not building a Curriculum Vitae of my professional accomplishments because frankly, I don’t have many. And who would read it if I did?
- I’m not burning with a fire to change the world; I just want to change my little corner of it.
I don’t see my classroom as a stepping stone to a better place. My classroom is the stopping place. Which works out well since no one is leaning on me to try for more.
I suppose that my lack of ambition makes me a professional failure. And that’s all right with me.
The latest problem..
This whole construction issue has caused so much headache in the last few weeks for the district.
After a Union meeting yesterday (our contracts expire at the end of June, perfect timing), we have a whole brand new issue.
With next school year ending so early (May 13), our final payout will be within the final week of May. With the following year not starting until September 9, that means there will be all that time with no checks.
Granted, summer checks *should* hold you over for every other week through the summer, those will technically run out at the beginning of August. Meaning there will be about five weeks of unpaid time.
The Superintendent’s response: “Not my problem.”
It most certainly is your problem, my friend. Especially since I’m sure you’ll continue to receive your checks without issue.
Does anyone have experience with this problem? How did your district deal with it?
To be clear, we aren’t being weasled out of money. It’s just with one year ending so soon and the next beginning so late, there’s a dry period with no work/no pay.
Any help would be appreciated.