But seriously, how can ANYONE think bullying is ok?
I’ve listened in on twenty-minute long discussion between two parents at a concession window about bullying. One mother, who said her daughter had never been bullied because she raised her to be an alpha, claimed that children who were bullied did something to bring it upon themselves, and that childhood was a certain amount of survival of the fittest.
I had never been so horrified by a discussion about parenting by two seemingly competent people. I had no idea who they were, and at the time did not have enough confidence to intervene in their conversation. The mother who disagreed with the survival-of-the-fittest concept was holding her own very well. I hope she changed her friend’s mind.
Something makes me doubt that this man has any familiarity with the name Phoebe Prince; if he does, I would say I’d be curious to know his thoughts on the matter, but actually they would be the last things I want to hear.
Bullying did not toughen me up. It made me used to taking abuse. They are not the same things. If anything, it did give me one gift: I can tell my students, when they get to know me and we start having these conversations, that I was teased, tormented, and beat up when I was their age. That my books were knocked out of my arms in the hallways. That other students stole things out of my backpack and crushed them on the street by my house. That they called me horrible names, and when we had the internet, said things about me through those channels that most adults probably wouldn’t even read aloud. And my students are always horrified — and it makes them think twice about theirs and others behavior, and encourages them to share their own stories and to speak up.
But it would be nice if that didn’t have to happen.
“When I first began teaching, one of my students asked me a great question. “I’m not sure,” I said. “I’ll go home tonight and do some research. Why don’t you go home and look too. Tomorrow we’ll compare notes and see if we can find the answer”. My more experienced co-teacher was horrified; she…
I’m currently being taught to do exactly what you outlined.
I think it’s ridiculous your mentor told you to make it up on the spot. You are not a vessel of all the knowledge in the world, and you shouldn’t be expected to be! Students appreciate honesty.
I’ll be doing exactly the same. I’ll make sure I know what I’m teaching and I’m confident about what I’m teaching so I can teach it well. But I’m not going to pretend I’m the font of all knowledge.
What you did is more valuable than spoon-feeding the student crap and potentially false information. You taught them to not be afraid of being wrong. You taught them that if you don’t know about something, the best thing to do is go and find out about it.
I have to agree that this was an excellent approach. I’ve seen teachers try to make up information on the spot, and frequently it’s incorrect and does more harm than good. Furthermore, as I can tell you from experience having been fed such wrong information, it’s a really good way to make a parent very unhappy when their child comes home telling them that they learned something the parent may know is actually false. That is not a good reputation to have.
Honesty is important with one’s students.
I have had daydreams about the first time this happens in my own classroom. Because the first time this happens, it’s going to lead to a spontaneous discussion about how to research and find answers, and we’re going to walk through it together, and it’s going to be a magical teachable moment.
Or at least, that’s how it works in my head. In real life it might be something that falls in the middle of a hundred other things. The dream teachable moments in my head may be tantamount in their level of potential realistic application to a group musical number.
Hi(: I just wanted to let you know that those are the questions that the professor assigned.. I'm just trying to work with them the best I can.
Thank you for letting me know! I wish there was a way that someone might express these concerns over the wording to the professor…it perpetuates some very negative ideas about people with cognitive disabilities.
Should person’s with cognitive disabilities be allowed to and/or encouraged to have intimate relationships?
Should person’s with cognitive disabilities be allowed to and/or encouraged to get married?
Should person’s with cognitive disabilities be allowed to and/or encouraged to have children?
Should person’s with cognitive disabilities be allowed to and/or encouraged to raise children?
what are YOUR thoughts? any ideas on where I can gather research?
ALLOWED? People can do whatever they like. I don’t know what position you are coming from. Are you asking if the government should allow/encourage, (OH HELLS NO) or if society in general has the responsibility (also no).
Either way, cognitive impairments come in all sorts of ranges and severity with differing deficits in differing skills.
A cognitive disability is considered as having an IQ of less than 70 with a deficit in adaptive behaviors. That being said, people who have been identified as having cognitive impairments are perfectly able to function in society. I have many students who “pass” for non-disabled. Would this only be applicable to people who have notable disabilities?
Additionally, there is a lot of danger in making blanket statements about people. Certainly, some people with cognitive disabilities are not able to have and raise children, just as some people without disabilities are not able to have and raise their children due to various factors.
I know that many parents and caregivers of people with severe cognitive impairments are very protective of them and their relationships. As a guardian they have a right to guide their children in this aspect of their lives, but as a society we should not pass judgement as such.
Was this the assignment specifically? Because it very seriously worries me that someone might assign this as a paper topic in those words. The language seems to lead one to believe that these things are something that can or cannot be “allowed.”
If it is your own phrasing, I would just consider whether or not some of these items are tasks that can or should be allowed or disallowed, or basic human rights (although I understand that when children are involved, this becomes a different conversation).
I want to make a more helpful contribution to this discussion, but other people have already made some very meaningful suggestions, and because my uncle is severely cognitively impaired and a very loved and valued member of our family, it is difficult for me to approach certain conversations objectively.
Either way, I would keep in mind that language is very important and, if you have the freedom to do so, might reconsider the phrasing regarding allowance.
Hey, I seen that you did City Year. I want to do it as well, but would you mind telling me how the interview process was?
Because I was almost two thousand miles away both portions of my interview were by phone; I don’t know if they do other interviews in person. What I remember of the interview (it was nearly four years ago) was, rather than questions about my resume or skills, more focused on myself as a person and how I perceived the City Year experience to come.
They want to be certain that you’ll be the right kind of person for the program, which is important because it’s an intense program. You might be asked about your ability to overcome challenges, to work with people whose views differ from your own, where your passions lie and why you want to join the program. They might also offer hypothetical situations — a student is having this issue, a corps member has brought this to your attention, a parent has said this — and ask what you would do.
Again, this is what I can reconstruct from memory, most of which is more concerned with my heart pounding in my ears as a paced across the house on the phone. But the interviewers were incredibly personable (there were two for two different steps) and, rather than weeding me out, sounded like they wanted genuinely to see me succeed in the program.
I have a feeling when I realize I can’t help everybody I’m going to be sad, but here goes.
I very rarely want much of anything for things like Christmases and birthdays anymore. Putting yourself in situations where you don’t have things makes you extremely appreciative of what you do, and also teaches you what you really don’t need. So aside from a few specific items my lists are very short.
But my parents are insane, and always want to make a show of what they can pile under the tree for my brothers and me. They aren’t exactly rolling in dough but they want us to be happy, and are excited to give us presents, even now that I’m in my twenties.
This year my list is short, but I thought that maybe I could ask them to get something for someone’s classroom. Now, if you’ve been featured by PPT or GWALP and signal boosted across the internet and have things slowly but steadily coming in, I’m really glad that you’re getting help. I also know that there are still plenty of teachers with wishlists out there that haven’t gotten the attention or the help they might need, if only because the internet is a huge place with too many people to catch them all. And if that’s the case, I’d like you to message me and tell me what it is you need most and how it would help.
Please keep in mind that, like I said, we don’t have a lot of money to spread around (whether anyone at home will say that outright or not). But I really want to give back to the community that’s helped me stay connected, and to help fellow educators any way I can. So if it’s a sixty dollar bulk package of one thing or another, as much as I really, really want to be able to buy that, I can’t ask for it right now. Books for the classroom, or some of the granola bar packages, or educational toys — that would be ideal. And…I get the feeling that there will be more people who respond to this than I can help, and I apologize for that, I’ll only be able to help three or so people.
But for three or so people, I can ask for a holiday gift for your classrooms. So go ahead and message me and I’ll see what there is to add to my list. Because if it’s less than five items, they’re going to want to see more on there and who knows what they’ll run out and grab, and this way I know it’s helping somebody.
I’m going to post some lesson plans that are laying around in here. A couple have dittos to go with them; some are projects from other places. I have to check to see if I’ve done full posts on them yet or not. The grade range varies wildly as does the subject matter (social skills and literary connections, an introduction to science experiments, a math bulletin board, an experiential activity about ability and disability - I think that one’s gone up already, and some others), but they’ll be more useful out here on the blog where people might be able to make something of them than just sitting here on my hard drive.
MARY B. PASCIAK - THE BUFFALO NEWS October 17th, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It’s no surprise that kids like Jamey Rodemeyer find themselves tormented at school because of their sexual orientation, some say.
Many gay and lesbian teachers say that too often, schools are unwelcoming, unsafe —…
Highly relevant to the last post. Also, PFLAG is a wonderful organization, and a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the issues that LGBTQ students and their families may be facing, as well as to make yourself known as a safe presence in their schools.
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of international disapproval. People will do terrible things when they think no one is looking. Let’s show Russia we’re looking.
I’m hesitant to say that this will be effective against a country like Russia. However, I am willing to push this around, because we are sacrificing nothing by signing it and it could keep many people from losing everything.
If nothing else, calling this to people’s attentions may help drive more people to call it to their politicians’ attentions.
I contact a local restorative justice organization and present them with mycase.
“Oh!” they say, delighted. “We never have victims contact us! Normally we work through the police after charges have been filed! How did you find out about us?”
“I don’t know,” I say. “I just did.”
This is the kind of person that makes me feel like the world still has hope. I’m not exaggerating. You are an amazing person and you belong right where you are, in these classrooms, and if you ever doubt that, you look at some of the things that you’ve posted for us and maybe you’ll see it too.
I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently…
Too often, people overlook the T in LGBTQ. Even within the LGBTQ community there can still be a lack of acceptance, a lack of knowledge or acknowledgment of trans issues, and a great deal of transphobia.
November 20th is a day on which we remember the many transgender and gender-variant individual whose lives were taken by others because of who they were. This is the 12th or 13th year. We shouldn’t need to keep doing this.
So, today, I’m giving you all a link, above, to the GLSEN report specifically focusing on transgender and gender-variant youth and school climate, which found the following:
Key findings of Harsh Realities include:
90% of transgender students heard derogatory remarks, such as “dyke” or “faggot,” sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
90% of transgender students heard negative remarks about someone’s gender expression sometimes, often or frequently in school in the past year.
Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks (16%) or negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (11%).
School staff also contributed to the harassment. A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks (32%), sexist remarks (39%) and negative comments about someone’s gender expression (39%) sometimes, often or frequently in the past year.
School Safety and Experiences of Harassment and Assault
Two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).
Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).
More than half of all transgender students had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender expression (53%).
More than a quarter of transgender students had been physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).
Most transgender students (54%) who were victimized in school did not report the events to school authorities. Among those who did report incidents to school personnel, few students (33%) believed that staff addressed the situation effectively.
Impact of Victimization on Educational Outcomes
Almost half of all transgender students reported skipping a class at least once in the past month (47%) and missing at least one day of school in the past month (46%) because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
Transgender students experiencing high levels of harassment were more likely than other transgender students to miss school for safety reasons (verbal harassment based on sexual orientation: 64% vs. 25%, gender expression: 56% vs. 32%, gender: 68% vs. 38%).
Transgender students who experienced high levels of harassment had significantly lower GPAs than those who experienced lower levels of harassment (verbal harassment based on sexual orientation: 2.2. vs. 3.0, gender expression: 2.3 vs. 2.8, gender: 2.2 vs. 2.7).
Engagement with the School Community
Transgender students who were out to most or all other students and school staff reported a greater sense of belonging to their school community than those who were not out or only out to a few other students or staff.The majority (66%) of transgender students were out to most or all of their peers, yet less than half (45%) were out to most or all of the school staff.
Most transgender students had talked with a teacher (66%) or a school-based mental health professional (51%) at least once in the past year about LGBT-related issues. Transgender students were also more likely than non-transgender lesbian, gay and bisexual students to talk with school staff about these issues.
In-School Resources and Supports
Although transgender students were not more likely to report having a GSA in their school, they did report attending GSA meetings more frequently than non-transgender LGB students.
Although most transgender students (83%) could identify at least one supportive educator, only a third (36%) could identify many (six or more) supportive staff.
Only half (54%) of transgender students reported that their school had an anti-harassment policy, and only 24% said that the school policy included specific protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Individuals who are transgender and gender variant are often forced to take risks in even the most basic every-day tasks, from the clothing they wear to the restrooms they use. Even their preferred names and pronouns are sometimes denied. We can help these students find safety in who they are by educating ourselves, by being aware, and by being there to support them. But the first step must be education.
So, in addition, please read more about issues faced by transgender and gender variant students (and adults) at some of the links below:
“Don’t be lulled by your kid’s good academic performance to think that they are not experimenting with drugs. It is commonplace with peers and it is naive to think that because you have a good, smart kid that they will not be curious.”—
Glen Oaks, N.Y., substance abuse official Bruce Goldman • Discussing a study that shows a connection between high childhood IQ and drug abuse. The study of 8,000 people showed that those who had high IQ scores when they were younger were more likely to use some illegal drugs at age 16 and at age 30. Despite this study, we still think kids should try their hardest in school; this isn’t some kind of crazy, blank check endorsement to dumb kids down even more. source (via • follow)
I don’t think the issue is whether or not kids should not try harder in school; it’s difficult for me to see how it might be taken that way. I don’t even think that the IQ factor is a direct tie-in to using drugs. Rather, it is more likely that students with higher IQs may have been doing better in school and, because they were not what people might consider to be “problem” students, were not receiving attention. Thus, it was easier for them to experiment with drugs under less scrutiny.
I was in the AP track in high school, and by the end of senior year one of our classmates was so burnt out he had all but checked out. What did it matter to anyone at the time? He’d already filled all his academic requirements and made it into an excellent college. To many people, that was what mattered.
We were having a similar discussion with the youth commission I’m working with in regard to the alcohol problem in their high school. The youth expressed concern that many of the anti-drinking campaigns were “a joke,” because the students running them, the “good kids,” were the hardest drinkers of all.
I think that this is an incredibly important piece of information for parents and teachers to consider. That feeling of invincibility doesn’t skip the kids who get As. In fact, sometimes, it’s elevated. Combine that with the incredible stress they put themselves under to perform and the blank check that they’re written by many adults who are placated by good grades and test scores, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? IF PEOPLE WANT TO DONATE BOOKS THEY DONT KNOW WHERE???
I really appreciate your enthusiasm for donating! This isn’t for me — it’s for the teacher who originally wrote the post. Their Amazon wishlist allows people to purchase the books and have them sent straight to them.
HOWEVER, I have already messaged the original poster of the letter about the possibility of donating books that one owns or buys without the use of Amazon and will ask them how to make that possible for people who are willing.
Please keep watch for that info. This teacher could use a hand.
I’m posting this letter to anyone who might be able to help. I realize that I have no right to ask, but please bear with this letter for now.
I am in the process of creating a classroom library for my kids. I work in a high needs district where over 80% of my kids are living at or below the poverty line. Most of the students in my district get free lunch, and they’re dealing with a lot. They worry more about not getting mugged in their neighborhood, and one of the things not on their worry list, is to become better readers and writers. Which with what they’re dealing with I can understand, however…
…it’s on my worry list. Growing up, I was an at-risk kid, and books were my escape ladder to something better, some place better. I know from following some of you and reading your posts that many Tumblrites feel the same way.
To sum up, I’m creating a beautiful library space in my classroom for my kids, and I’m sending this letter out for anyone who can help with myclassroom wish list. I’ve saved up for this, and sketched out the design for the library. In fact, I’ve kept a picture of what I want my library to look like in the top drawer of my desk for months. For the past few months I’ve bought books, shelves, a carpet, bean bags, library cards and other supplies in order to excite my kids about reading. Many of my kids don’t realize that being a better reader or writer can give them the tools to paving out a better life for themselves.
This library would help my kids exponentially. Recently many of my kids have come up to me asking me to get more books for the library, books that they love. In my time knowing them, I’ve never had them come up to me and ask about books, and for them, this is HUGE. I don’t want to disappoint them.
At the same time, I know it’s a recession. Many people are working hard to make ends meet. I’ve used some of my savings and my last paycheck to put supplies into my classroom and give my students what they deserve. Unfortunately, with transportation, regular bills and college bills, I’m reaching a standstill for how far I can go for my students.
I understand that these are tough financial times for everyone, but If you feel you could help add books or other supplies to my classroom, without burdening yourself, I’ve put the link to my Amazon classroom wish list: here. The items chosen are solely going to be put into my classroom for my students and many of the items can also be found used and at a cheaper price. If this is not possible for you I’d appreciate it if you could reblog this post, so I can spread the message.
I was inspired by letters that other Tumblr folk have posted, and similarly I wanted to say for anyone who adds to my Amazon Wishlist I will personally write a post thanking you, tell you how I plan to implement that piece into my classroom, and I will provide an update post on a child that was inspired by that book or picked it up to read.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
…I spent the entirety of my teaching education dreaming and planning this same thing, and connect with this on a very personal level. In my parents’ home in NY are two shelves in my bedroom — three now, maybe — on which I have been amassing books from gifts, free bins, close-outs, garage and library sales for this same purpose.
I’m going home for Thanksgiving, and I’ll see what’s there that I could pass along.
I know there are a lot of bibliophiles reading this blog who’ve also amassed a lot of YA lit and manga; give this a read and some consideration would you?
Before my first student-teaching experience, if you had asked me what a pupusa was, I would have thought you were referring to a Native American child carrier. (That’s a papoose.)
I grew up with a very prescribed Thanksgiving meal. Whether at home or in class, on our table, the television, or coloring sheets, the pictures involved a turkey, corn, some kind of potatoes, the cranberry sauce that came out shaped like a can, and stuffing. In Arkansas, all of the conversation about dressing had me thrown for a loop until I figured out that dressing is what we’d really been making all these years, since we never stuffed it into a turkey.
It had never occurred to me that there could be variation. After all, Thanksgiving, we learned, was about tradition. (It was also, for a long time, about donning my little kindergarten-stitched pilgrim girl’s bonnet, until I learned more about history.) And in the places I learned this, tradition was the work of one kind of culture that represented America, even if that wasn’t what America looked like. I was told that, regardless of religion or background, Thanksgiving was something all Americans did…the same way.
For our sixth grade classes, the team of teachers declared it a “cultural Thanksgiving feast.” I thought it had something to do with creating an experience where the students try new things. Anything involving world cultures gets me excited, because it gives me an opportunity to participate in slivers of some of my own heritage — my father’s grandfather moved to California from Luzon. A lot of that culture has been lost through the generations (no one knows the language anymore, nor much about the country), but my father still grew up knowing how to say two phrases in Tagalog: “Merry Christmas,” and “Let’s eat!” They summarized what survived perfectly: the painted seashell parol we hang in the window, and food. My family was very much about being American, whatever that meant to them, but to me it meant losing most everything else.
I arrived with a batch of three different kinds of lumpia, ready to explain what it was a dozen times, which I did. I even found a moment to point out the Philippines on the map. But only a moment.
Because what I didn’t expect when I got there was a whole table of foods that most of the students recognized, but I didn’t. The students were enthralled — for the first twenty minutes of the three-period festivities they took turns in groups of two and three and four, leading me around the table, telling me what was what, who came from where, what came from where, what the little differences were that made the same dish Salvadorian or Dominican or Colombian, how to pronounce them and how bad I was at it. ”Almost Ms. ———-try it again.”
These kids knew their culture, and they knew their food.
They had pride in all of it, in every moment — in making and taking and explaining and serving and eating. It brought everyone together in their differences, talking about food and family and what they all were grateful for. It is, to me, a better photo in my mind of the perfect Thanksgiving — not a Norman Rockwell dinner table, but a crowded classroom filled with chattering students shoving food on my plastic plate.
It was the most delicious learning experience ever. It also led to a month of “Guys, what was that delicious food from Thanksgiving that you said was like a pancake, with the cole slaw on top -” “You’re not gonna remember, we should write it down.” I wonder if they have any idea that the first thing I looked for when I moved was a place that sold pupusa.
Half personal excitement, half looking to help develop a children's line with the input of teachers: Remember that time there was this friend and she was working on a children's book and there was a kickstarter and I posted it?
This is some of the concept art that she’s finished, although she’s decided to go with a modern and not retro look so the clothes will change. The first book that will go out will be My Dad Can Fight Dragons, which is a really sweet tall tale borne from the fact that Miki is the only student in her class that lives only with her dad, and no Mom or siblings. Clearly, she explains to the class, her dad is so cool that it doesn’t matter.
The book isn’t finished yet, but that friend and I and two other artists have officially put up our studio tumblr page. It isn’t much, and it’s definitely not our day jobs, but it’s coming along and is very exciting and I thought I would share it with you.
The studio will cover a variety of topics and mediums, not all of which are geared toward kids (my current writing/graphic novel falls under the main line and includes teen/young adult issues that probably shouldn’t make it lower than high school), but we also have Pea Pod Press, which is specifically geared towards an generally Elementary audience and happens to involve people who are always ready to listen to what teachers think could be useful to students in and out of their classrooms. Colleen, the main Pea Pod Press gal who is also the writer and illustrator of the forthcoming Miki and Sir series (Miki is pictured above and Sir fights dragons) is particularly interested in making the books and characters as interactive as possible, including doing pen-pal projects from either herself or Miki with classrooms.
The explanation of why and how this works is very interesting. One would think, then, that it would be prudent to make more investments in alleviating student loan debt or making new jobs for young people, when the returning-to-the-nest situation is based on need and could be relieved by assistance.
But I’m particularly interested on hearing your thoughts in regard to situations like Mr. Bouvier’s, which is not one I’d heard before:
But even some young people who can afford to move out have decided to wait until getting on more solid footing. Prudence, not necessity, has kept them at home.
Jay Bouvier, 26, has a full-time job teaching physical education and health and coaching football and baseball at a high school in Hartford, near his parents’ house in Bristol. He could rent his own apartment — after taxes he makes about $45,000 a year, he says — but has decided not to. He says he will stay with his parents until he has saved enough to buy his own house.
“I have it pretty good at home, since it’s so close to my work, and financially I just feel like it’s smarter for the long run to buy,” he said. He says that living with his parents enables him to set aside about half of each paycheck. “It’s like I pay rent, but to myself.”
Mr. Bouvier, now three years out of school, is hoping to move into his own house early next year, ideally a place that he can “fix up and turn into good investment.” He says he’ll hire a construction crew to help with the renovations.
“You know, they really should have kept that tax incentive for first-time home buyers,” he said. “I’m creating jobs after all. I thought that was a good thing.”
I kept in touch with my first grade teacher until I graduated high school. She had by then moved to second, third, back to first, and then to kindergarten, where she stayed. By then, she had been spending so much out of her not particularly grand paycheck on school supplies for her students — some of whose parents claimed that it was the school’s job to pay for pencils and notebooks, and not theirs and some who just could not afford it, not nearly enough of which was supplied by the school — that it had been causing problems at home.
There’s another option, and it’s tax deductible for the people who contribute. That could mean, for example, that you could create a list of classroom supplies for the whole class rather than sending home individual lists to each household, and have households contribute to the costs via ClassWish…and deduct them later.
This isn’t just a perk for the family. This is a perk for the teacher, who will always be paying out of their pocket for something.
And, because I read through the FAQ and didn’t see anything barring it, might just as well be able to contribute to their own wishlist items, too.
hey there. I reblogged your post about TFA. I recently applied there and got to the interview and was rejected. I'm about to get my bachelors in Language Arts Education with a minor in History and I still didn't get it. I was so upset. Am still so upset. I'm really upset actually. If they only recruit the best and brightest, what does that say about me? I LOVE kids. I LOVE teaching. I LOVE reading and writing. AND I come from a poor background. Ugh, I'm sorry. Just so upset.
No program that claims to recruit the “best and the brightest” can ever get all of them. The best colleges have missed out on geniuses and world-changers. Plenty of people are amazing at what they do and never earn Nobel Prizes. Some of the best writers collected rejection slips for years on what turned into best-sellers.
This doesn’t say anything about you as a person. Being rejected by TfA does not mean you aren’t classroom material. Do you know what it says about you? It says that you were impressive enough to be interviewed. Many people don’t make it that far.
Everyone has an agenda, and even if you are the best and brightest, if you do not fit that agenda, you might not be picked. That goes for TfA, for any school, for any job at any institution or company. It might be because you’re already getting your degree in Education, and have already formed a philosophy of education. It might be that they don’t have as high a need for English teachers. It might be that they just liked someone else’s answers to a question better. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough.
This is what I want you to do — stand up. Now hop on one foot. Maybe you’re smiling now — my mother does this to me when I’m upset and claims that you cannot be upset while hopping on one foot, and it always gets at least a smile out of me.
Now seriously. I want you to do something for yourself tomorrow that will make you happy, whether that’s singing really loudly to the radio or sitting on the swings on the playground or watching a movie and eating ice cream with a best friend or convening with nature.
Then, sit down, and think about whether there was anything you think happened in the interview that could have gone better. Make a list. Then set it aside, and go about your business.
Then, on a day when you’re feeling better, not right away, give yourself some space, go over that list and decide what of that is the result of being upset and what of it is something you honestly think you need to work on. Ask people who know you — people who will give you honest critique — whether they think those things are true. Then, work on them. Practice your interviewing skills. Read up on something you think you need to know more about. Find a way to gain experience where you think it might have been lacking. Improve.
Then go out and try again somewhere else. Don’t be discouraged. If you love this, and you want this, try again. Keep your chin up.
Remember — just like there are no “bad kids,” only kids who sometimes make bad choices, a rejection does not make someone a “reject.” People become great at what they do because they are always working to be better, and because they’re too tenacious to accept defeat.
because the bombardment of messages I’ve been getting in regards to the race thing on the personal blog is starting to feel a little bit like middle/high school cyberbullying all over again.
Except now I know what I didn’t then — that sometimes the best thing to do in that situation is to take a step away and remember that a stranger on the internet is a stranger on the internet — and the internet is something you can turn off.
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence and toughness multiples toughness in a descending spiral of destruction”—
(I highly suggest reading through this book — a collection of sermons that have incredible meaning and weight whether or not a person belongs to the Christian church — at least once. At least, I found great meaning in it, enough for pencil notes in every margin, and I do not consider myself a Christian.)
It’s Islamophobic and downright disgusting, can we please just troll them or get the message out?
signal boosting. f—- these islamophobes. ugh. report page? spam? counter post? sometimes i wonder if i really live in the same place as these religious bigots, racists and xenophobes… then i remember i live a half hour away from Renee Elmers’ district… :-(
I reported this for hate speech (I think that’s what the option was called) targeting a specific religious group.
Good call, Tito!
The best thing to do in a situation like this is to report, report, report. At first glance it seemed like this was just some very loud people voicing some opinions I didn’t agree with but who remained within the realm of freedom of speech, not hate speech. Then I stumbled across such gems as:
Gurjot…what the hell kind of name is that? We dont care what your opinion is!!! Nothing you can say is going to change our minds! How’s it feel to bang your head against a brick wall? Oh, that’s right, you have a rag on your head so that softens the blows!
And one of the images on their wall:
So, aside from the general hideous Islamophobia that breeds in this particular group, I think it’s safe to say that some of their messages do in fact spill into “hate speech” territory. If you feel more comfortable seeking out and reporting individual instances, that’s another way of doing it, too.
Another important thing to remember is not to mirror something that so repulses you. Don’t call groups like this out based on supposed Christianity, because that is the same sort of profiling they practice against Muslims. Don’t use hate speech in arguments. Remember MLK: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Because Caitology's photo reminded me with its little hand sanitizer...
I know that if you use hand sanitizer too much your hands tend to feel dry. And if you’re teaching, it’s getting to that season where you’re using hand sanitizer constantly. So I just thought I’d let you know that Bath and Body Works makes a combo hand sanitizer-moisturizer that somehow got me through the cold season in a first grade classroom with fewer instances of sickness than I’d ever had before.
Ironically, I suspect that the gay character that most closely reflects reality in Glee is not the out and proud Kurt, but the closeted jock bully, Karofsky, who is struggling in denial over his sexuality. Not that I’m trying to suggest his violent nature is typical, far from it, but his confusion and distress surely is. And while some great work has been done with the It Gets Better campaign (where gay adults make videos for struggling gay kids, telling them to hang in there), and one can imagine a kid like Kurt taking great comfort from hearing that message, it seems unlikely that the Karofskys of the world would have a clear enough sense of self to seek it out.
There’s other help available to LGBT kids too, such as the Albert Kennedy Trust, which works with young people who are the victims of domestic violence, and Stonewall’s fantastic Youth Volunteering Programme, which gets kids involved in fighting homophobia in their local communities. Then there’s the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard offering advice and support at the end of a phone. The help is there; not enough, of course, never enough, but it’s there.
However, and here’s the rub, a kid’s got to feel confident enough to ask for help. It’s easy to reach the Kurts, but how do you help the Karofskys? They’ve got to have reached a point where they’re clear enough about who they are to identify as gay – and many bullied kids are a long way from that point. In fact, they may even be reluctant to talk to the people closest to them for fear of triggering a conversation they’re simply not ready to have. How many confused kids are ready to tell their parents: “Everyone else thinks I’m gay”? They may not even be gay.
I knew one person who was like Kurt through all of high school, when it was still so difficult to be LGBTQ and out. He was lucky to have a very supportive home life, and a small group of friends who loved and looked up to him. But when it came to school as a whole, he sometimes had a very hard — and frustrating, and sad — time of it. It was hard to watch, and I always saw him as our Superman, for those of us who were confused or afraid or who just didn’t know what to do with ourselves, being different in a way that seemed so fundamental and yet so barely acknowledged outside of politics and attacks (though, at the time, they pretty much felt like the same thing).
What they say about the prevalence of the Kurts vs. the Karofskys — and about the difficulty in reaching them — is such a very true point, and the closest thing I’ve found to an answer can feel too broad and less fulfilling than anything immediate, but here it goes:
Be clear that you are against homophobia in all its forms. Do this actively. If someone is creating a hostile environment for LGBTQ students, even if you do not know that any of your students are LGBTQ, speak up and make it right. Because you don’t know.
Make sure that your students know — all of your students — that you are always there to listen and support them. This includes the bullies. Chances are, they need someone to talk to just as much as anyone else, and there may be fewer people there to listen.
They’re not the most satisfying solutions, I know. But you may save the life of a student and never know it. There’s no secret to identifying which of your students is LGBTQ and even if there was, unless you have the environment and the student has the state of mind that will allow for it, all LGBTQ students are not going to ask for help — nor will they necessarily accept it.
Taking any kind of help or services offered to LGBTQ students, even poking their head into a meeting to see what’s going on, is right on par as identifying for some of the most closeted students (or young adults, or adults, or anyone for that matter). The only way that I know of to help them is to be their friend on terms that are comfortable for them — and maybe somewhere down the road they’ll come out, or maybe you’ll see something about their same-sex partner on Facebook, or maybe they’ll come back years later and tell you that you helped them through it.
Or maybe none of these things will happen — but it doesn’t mean that, somewhere along the line, you aren’t helping someone. That’s why when teachers on the education tag relay stories about their standing up to sentiments that could create a damaging environment for LGBTQ students, I try to remind them that they may without knowing it be someone’s hero.
Every time an Abilify commercial comes on, I go a little mad.
When your antidepressant isn’t working, especially if it was prescribed by a general doctor and you’re not seeing a therapist, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker — some kind of individual trained in psychological and/or emotional disorders — the answer is never to just add another medication.
The human brain, and the way that we use it, is incredibly complex. A medication may not be working because it isn’t the right medication. It might not be working because the problem is not entirely chemical. It might not be working because your way of thinking about something needs to be changed, or because you’re in a bad situation and something about your life is making you depressed. In fact, sometimes, depression is a normal situational state and — if severe enough that it is disrupting your life — one that requires counseling, therapy, etc., not medication.
Don’t let pharmaceutical companies dictate how you view and treat mood disorders. Sometimes medication is necessary to help someone function — but it is not always the be all and end all answer, and should never be use as a sole treatment. If you’re on a psychopharmaceutical, you should always have a professional to talk to about how it’s working.
A very interesting, incredibly well-written article that my mind is still processing. I wanted to share it both because I thought it was important, and because I’m curious as to what your thoughts are.
Upcoming activities for my Youth Commission target/partner include some community mapping.
Is that something anyone might be interested in hearing more about? I don’t mean in an Elementary sense, finding things and drawing them on a map, but in the slightly higher-level civics sense, “These are the resources in our area.”
It’s something I wanted to do because I’m unfamiliar with the area that the organization is in, but then it was suggested that I take some of the Youth Commission students with me on some of these activities — community mapping, needs assessments, things I need to do anyway — so that they can do them independently in the future and make the group more sustainable without needing outside help.
Which, let me tell you, had me very excited that I’d be teaching something.
There are also a number of very interesting risk-and-resiliency activities that have been run in this area, which aim to make students more aware of the factors that push and pull them toward different outcomes and decisions. I think they may have been run by the Above the Influence campaign, but I know of at least once that was run by a local “girl power”-related initiative and involved having students take photos. It sounded like a great project, and I’m going to find out more about it and post it here.
There are suddenly far more people watching what I have to say about things here.
…that’s both very exciting and a little unnerving, especially when I now can’t think of anything original to say at all.
The last popular post, about teachers and hours, etc., was born of a few different ideas: for one, I was getting increasingly frustrated with the surge in articles and posts reminding us all that people involved in education in any way, shape, or form are judged harshly for anything they do and are not allowed to be human. Then I thought about the parents I have worked with in the past, and the home situations my students have come from, and even some of my own acquaintances and far-flung family who put their kids in horrible situations that, whether because of red tape or a lack of attention, desire to change, or ability to seek help, cannot be rectified. (The grammar in that last sentence is off, sorry, I’m sick today). And lastly, I remembered hearing a factoid in one of my education classes that students get more “face time” with their teachers than with their parents.
Then out of curiosity I wondered if we could find out how many hours teachers DO spend with their students and, surprise, the number was recently laid out for me.
Honestly, after that, the math was snark. It isn’t exactly scientific, much of it is based on assumption, but…I wanted to make a point. Sometimes numbers are very helpful in making that point, especially when otherwise it seems no one will listen (how many times before have you commented on the fact that parents have so little scrutiny as opposed to teachers, and what came of it?).
So, I’m very glad that so many people saw what was essentially professional venting as something they could get behind, and I hope I can provide anything useful in the future.
[Indiana Attorney General] Zoeller issued his opinion at the request of two state lawmakers from Indianapolis, Sen. Patricia Miller and Rep. Mike Speedy. Both have said they plan to introduce legislation aimed at ending the bus fees when the session resumes in January.
The advisory opinion won’t stop the bus fees, but it might give more weight to a lawsuit filed last week by Lora Hoagland, a mother of two who claims she can’t afford the bus fee and has been forced to stop taking pain medication so she can drive her kids to school.
I don’t understand where the argument is here. This seems like a very clear case of violating an entitlement to an education in a roundabout way in hopes to escape being caught. I’m surprised this was even allowed in the first place; now I want to know more about the economic situation in the school district, and how it came to this. Google ahoy.
“I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent,” she says (via TMZ). “I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am… I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.”—
Once again I say: Good for her. There are parents and politicians who aren’t this invested in education. Maybe we should be inviting more people who are interested and active instead of chasing them away.
That means approximately 7,663 hours in the year are left unaccounted for.
Let’s assume parents don’t see their kids until 5pm. This might not be a proper assumption in a world where so many parents have to work two jobs just to make ends meet, but let’s assume. So, two hours a day, for 6 days a week, for 52 weeks. That leaves 7,039 hours.
And we’ll be nice and subtract hours that the children are sleeping and aren’t necessarily aware of their surroundings. Assuming healthy kids, 8 hours of sleep…that leaves 4,119.
Let’s assume those are hours spent around their family. It’s a faulty assumption I know. So we’ll adjust again - let’s say the students are also accounted for in the summer by babysitters or summer camp. Three months, five days a week, 8 to 3 (we already accounted for the hours until five for the whole year with the working-till-five equation), that’s subtracting another 420 hours. That’s 3,699 hours.
I’m feeling so generous and realistic that I’m going to assume that parents work until seven, which with subtraction and rounding down leaves about 3,000 hours.
So if parents spend nearly three times as much time with their children as teachers do…
Why are teachers expected to be saints with no personal lives or shortcomings while parents can do whatever they’d like and be whatever they are without criticism?
Parents can have sex in the room down the hall. Parents can watch violent television with their kids playing in the same room. Parents can drink or smoke. Parents can cuss.
But teachers, or anyone who works or volunteers with kids, can’t do anything in their private lives without the assumption that it will spill into the classroom. If a teacher is sexually active the kids will come home talking about orgies. If a teacher has a same-sex partner the kids will come home talking about sexuality. If a teacher is spotted in a bar they must be coming in drunk to class.
Someone explain to me why there is such an unfair double-standard. I’d like to know, so that I can one day be both a teacher and a human being without it leading to scandal.
So, this rather does beg the question… Why do people become teachers in the first place?
It certainly isn’t because it’s an easy job. Dealing with young people, many of whom don’t seem to care much about school, can’t exactly be a piece of cake.
It’s also probably not because of the money - yes, if you get a more senior role or become a form tutor, there is the potential to earn lots of money. But to earn that much money it takes a lot of work.
I agree that there are too many rules & regulations against what teachers can and can’t do or say, but people who choose to become teachers today certainly know what they’re getting into, for they themselves would have witnessed it when they were in school.
This is a very interesting view of it, and as I respond, because text is toneless, I want you to know that I appreciate your response and your opinions an incredible amount and would love to hear more responses from anybody.
I am in the classroom because I want to help students succeed. It isn’t a job or a career to me — it is a calling, a passion. I want to give my students a space where, no matter what else is going on in their lives or their homes or their communities, they can be safe, and supported, and have the opportunity to flourish not just academically but as human beings with endless potential.
Yes, I am aware that this is what teachers have to go through. People I’ve met over the past few years may or may not be aware, and all have different motives. Some teach because they love school and don’t want to leave it. Some teach because they love kids. Some teach because they have a passion for something and want to share. Some teach because their parents and uncles and aunts and sisters and brothers are teachers. Some do it — believe it or not, there are places that allow for this — for the money, or the benefits, biding their time until tenure. It isn’t a reality that we like to admit, and those are a minority, especially considering the state of job security for teachers, but they do exist, and teachers are people with all the good and bad that comes with that fact. Once upon a time I even knew people who went into teaching because of the misconception that it was a job that would always be available.
But the people who are doing it because of some innate drive that brings them back to the classroom, to their students, to the system, whether it be because of a general love for children or a burning need to protect and advocate for those who don’t have a voice, an infectious infatuation with math or science or literature or a teacher that once validated your existence in a way you want to repeat for others…these are people that are willing to make sacrifices to be there. It isn’t about them. It’s about everything else they hope to affect.
I went into education knowing that I was not accepted there by many people because of what I am. I went in knowing that I was going to have to hide myself in a way that could be painful for a very long time. I’ve done Americorps programs twice for the sake of being closer to the youth I hope to serve, programs that repeat in your training that it is not a nine-to-five job and, in this year’s case, keep you steadily just above poverty level for the sake of inducing empathy. It’s not because I want to be a superwoman and I don’t do it for bragging rights. I don’t even like talking about it in a way that seems like I’m elevating myself. Honestly, when I say it out loud, I think, “What the h_ll are you doing? You could have a much easier life than this. What is wrong with you? Do you want to burn out at thirty?”
I may well burn out at thirty. I can’t make any promises. It’s easy to get tired and want to opt out, and I think every teacher has had a moment where that logic has reared its head.
But we keep coming back. When there’s no room for us we find other things to do and all we can think of is trying to get back into the classroom.
I’ve had the opportunity to go into other careers, but I don’t.
Because this is what we were meant to do. What else is there? No matter how many other options there are, at the heart of it, we want to be doing this.
And that doesn’t mean that we can’t also want to be treated like people.