I know! Like. Ohmagod. Excite.
Just discovered: Brooklyn Public Library has Rosetta Stone. FOR FREE.
Just saw photos of my dance department graduating this week. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago that I was walking across that stage. Some days...
Sometimes it’s strange and awkward (like having parents in your tiny little Pilates studio that you love and they just… show up… and you’re like… they’re following me! But then it all turns out okay.).
But sometimes it’s great. Like when you’re at the grocery store and you walk down an aisle and two little girls who look vaguely familiar start to giggle and you overhear them telling each other, “Oh my gosh! That’s Ms. Brittany!”
Or when you’re walking out of the grocery store and a student who’s been hard to connect with is standing outside selling Girl Scout cookies. And she grins at you and squeals, “Ms. B! Do you want to buy some cookies?!?” And even though you’re on the phone, you ask your grandfather to hang on so you can tell her to bring her cookie order form to school tomorrow. And she grins again.
Thanks, anon, for this kind message. I needed it today; I really do have to begin getting back into the swing of things for school, and this message gave me a much-needed boost.
At least here in the #education community on Tumblr, we really do put a lot of hard work in. I see it every day in the posts my colleagues write. So thanks for recognizing that.
It really is. And coming to the end of a 2-week break where I had time to do the things I wanted and needed to do, and where I actually felt balance and didn’t live and breathe my job… well, it just is hard.
And I know that everyone around me who is not a teacher will look at me with disdain because who gets two weeks off? And who gets summers off? And who gets their health insurance completely covered by their employer?
And those are good points. But I can pretty much guarantee you that most of those people around me don’t live and breathe and dream and obsess and cry over their jobs, either. They can phone it in once in a while. They can take a day off without feeling guilty and doing perhaps more work than it would require to just go in.
I mean, I love teaching. I don’t know what else I’d do if I didn’t teach. But it is a really hard job, and it’s these transition times where I realize that my life is soon to be re-consumed by this job when I wonder what else I might do. You know?
Students are people, you know, with complex feelings and ideas and lives outside of the classroom and brains that don’t necessarily do their best when faced with four or five multiple choice answers that all look the same after three hours of testing.
Teachers are people too, with lives outside of school that enrich the lives we affect in school. A teacher is an artist, a poet, a conductor, an actor, a thinker, a leader, a surrogate-parent, a scientist, a philosopher, a reader, a writer, and a magician. Most importantly of all, we’re professionals who have chosen a life of service.
Your bureaucratic nonsense and jargon-y slogans and assessment tools are, in fact:
- turning students into a generation of bubble-fillers, not thinkers
- teaching to the bottom of the abilities in the room and holding gifted students hostage
- killing creativity and the art of learning by trying to make teaching into a purely measurable tool that’s full of more bubbles to fill and boxes to check
- driving highly qualified teachers out of the classroom because even though they’re innovative, passionate, and good at their jobs, their spirits are broken, their morale is low, and you constantly demand more more MORE.
You don’t get to treat students like data machines and then talk about how much they’re learning and how bright their futures are going to be.
You don’t get to treat teachers like they’re replaceable wage-drones and then wonder why they flee.
You don’t get to harvest the students’ passion and excitement for learning for the sake of test scores and then cut down the very programs that help kids succeed.
You don’t get to do these things and say you’re in it for the kids.
You don’t get to do these things and say you’re in it to make the lives of teachers better.
You just don’t.
Well said, Tomes. Well said.
Thanks Ms. Brittany — we greatly appreciate your support and truly appreciate what you do every day. You and your fellow teachers are too often overlooked for the tremendous work you do and for what you contribute to this world. We are very happy to have you as [student]’s teacher and just want to say THANK YOU.
Parents notice and appreciate us. They do. They may not say it all the time, but it is so nice to hear it when they do.
October boost for my fellow teachers: We do tremendous work. We do it to help our kids, whom we love. We do it because we love it. And we are appreciated, even if we aren’t told that every day.
Student: Ms. B, I’ve been wondering— I have a— I have a question.
Student: Are you married? I was wondering.
Student: Oh. (Walks away.)
- grade math pre-tests and sort
- grade Words Their Way inventory and sort
- week plan
- make job chart
- grocery store (and clean out fridge and cook things for the week… or at least tomorrow)
There may be other thins. This is the short list (which is amusing, because about half of these things will take an hour or more to complete).
What math pretest do you use?
We just use the end-of-year assessment for the grade level in the EDM (Everyday Math) curriculum, which is what our district uses. In Discovery (gifted & talented program), we pre-test so we can group students appropriately. If a student scores 85% or higher on the end-of-year test for their grade level, they’ll move up to the next grade level.