Strap in – scream your lungs out and enjoy the ride!

Teaching is a profession that never ceases to amaze me. Maybe I’m just a tad crazy ( actually one has to be to be a teacher), but when one goes from the lowest lows to he highest highs in only twenty-four hours, something is either gravely wrong or that person is a true educator.

In the last 26 years, federal and state standards and testing have taken the art out of teaching and made the job more of a scripted science project. if we use method A and Method B, then test scores will be high; but if we use method C or method D, scores will dramatically decrease. No longer is it up to the professional to observe a situation , get to know students and use our talents. Instead, we are bombarded with prescribed units and tests to teach. So, it is no wonder that we see educators leaving the profession in droves. However, if we continue to believe that teaching in an art and not a prescribed science, we persevere and continue to look for ways to create an opus that can be shared and enjoyed.

True educators see the potential in situations that seem bleak, and even though we disagree with the over-testing and prescribed units, we are still able to take those prescription and make them into our very own works of art.

So, if you are a struggling educator, ready to leave the profession, remember that artists struggle many times before a true masterpiece is achieved. Keep searching, keep observing, keep loving and keep creating. Teaching is the monster of all roller coaster rides! Strap in, throw your hands in the air and scream your hearts out- but most of all- enjoy the ride!

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Boxes

This is so true. I’m in my 26th year of teaching and I feel completely boxed in and I’m constantly trying to find a way out.

Green Ink Proofreading

I left a profession I loved a year and a half ago.  I left to save my life, because in my final months of teaching, I felt utterly boxed in.  I spent a lot of time thinking about boxes.  A little box would sound an alarm every morning at 4:55 in and I would get into a bigger box to shower.  Then I would get into my moving box and drive alongside thousands of others in their mobile boxes to get to the box that was my job, spending hours in a small box – actually called a cubicle – and a larger box – my classroom.  If I wasn’t in front of kids, I was in front of an electronic box doing planning and communicating with parents and administrators.  Lunch was even in a box; my life was in a box.

For a nation touting the need to “think…

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Dumbing Down: The Effects of Simplifying English

Tangents USA

This article was originally published in The Daily Pulp on June 9, 2014.

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.” 

 George OrwellPolitics and the English Language

State governors and their administrations across America are collaborating with private educational firms to design and roll out new “Common Core” educational standards for K-12 schools. Similarly, the College Board, the highly powerful educational firm that controls pre-college standardized tests, is overhauling the SAT, the gateway exam for entry into college. In this short article, I want to examine one aspect of corporatized education reform: the treatment of high school-level English language and literature education, also known as ELA (English Language Arts). By focusing on a portion of…

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Yay Days

As many veteran teachers know, not every day is successful in the world of education. However, when those successful days arise, we feel a high that comes only with the satisfaction of knowing ~they get it! They really get it! I refer to these as my ” Yay Days.”
Today was a “Yay Day.” Building on an idea from Sara awes sling from the Teaching Channel, my students participated in what Sara called “pinwheel discussions.” My students have just completed reading three works from Ray Bradbury: “The Pedestrian”, ” There Will Come Soft Rain”, and Fahrenheit 451. The longer this discussion continued, the more excited they got. After a passage was read, in response to a comment made during the discussion, the students were actually cheering! It was enough to give this teacher of 26 years chills!
For innovative ideas and to connect with other educators, I would suggest using Teachingchannel.org. This is an awesome resource that has helped me have a few more “yay days”!

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Accepting Life in Order to Change

Acceptance of things that cannot be changed is the first step to positive change. A truth we all need to understand. Very insightful.

The Centred Teacher

acceptanceSpiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that dissatisfaction is not a good starting point for changing your life. Our ego may tell us that it is but in fact it isn’t. Rather we need to find a place of acceptance of what is.

The basis for your life is the present moment. He says we must come to an acceptance of this moment as it is. If you are not friendly with life, life cannot support you.

I know that during the hardest and most stressful times of my life I have definitely been struggling against what was. It is this struggle that ultimately digs us in deeper – into the stress, the anxiety, the regret, the anger…

I have definitely experienced the truth of this:  Before we can begin to change we have to make peace with what is. Once I accepted the external circumstances I had created, my actions…

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