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ellenevenstar
sad.gif That is awful.
People have no idea what the reality of schools is.

"There is a small group of middle-class occupations whose function is to prevent the problems of those at the bottom of the social heap from spilling out and inconveniencing the rest of us. Social workers, of course and loval government officers in areas like housing, but also the criminal justice workers, many health workers - and, of course, teachers. I suppose that many other people can go their way with almost no connection with that other world. Unfortunately they must pass beggars at an ever-increasing number of venues and perhaps the kids hanging about at the local shopping centre, but otherwise they are in a different city."
Martin Johnson, Failing Schools, Failing City, p.39

People just want to feel like they can be absolved of responsibility because somewhere behind the scenes there is a policy with a catchy name being implemented and if it doesn't work, they can blame teachers.

***

biggrin.gif I have to say it. I made it! Today is the beginning of my 6-week summer break! My friends are borderline-rude about it, but I maintain that this is when I make up for all the weekends that they have had throughout the year that I haven't.

Have a refreshing holiday break, everyone. Whether it's 6 or 2 weeks, make it a good one!
laurenann
oh MAN the kids were NUTS today. i am a student teacher/sped aide in a 4th grade class, and today the classroom teacher was absent. the kids were INSANE. i let them stay out for recess for an hour 'cause i just could not handle the EXTREMELY LOUD VOICES anymore.

do they calm down after xmas break?
kelkello
Laurenann--no! They are on a sugar/consumer-induced frenzy. They don't calm down again until mid-January.
missladyj
as far as I'm concerned the whole purpose of NCLB is to show how public schools don't work so that education can be privitized. it is total bullshit.

but I have just started my winter vacation and I don't want to think about any of that shit right now!
kelkello
MissLadyJ, I've been saying that since it started. No one believes me, of course. They call me a conspiracy theorist, but I'm in the thick of it and they aren't. I can see where this is headed. I wish my break started. I have to work until FRIDAY!!
missladyj
kelkello,the first time I heard that was at a district workshop last summer from a division head at another school in my district and it makes perfect sense to me. Maybe now that the democrats are in control things will change but I am not holding my breath.

Hang in there. Friday is coming! We deserve every waking minute of every second of vacation. Enjoy it! I know I am.
punkrockgrrrl
I know that we are supposed to be on break.... But has anyone been struggling with kids in the foster care system. I work in early childhood special ed and am spending my break feeling sad for my little kiddos who are living in group homes for the holidays.
samiam
kelkello: Are you living in my brain or working at my school? Fuck is right. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck the niomrod superintendent of my district who EVERY OTHER FUCKING MIDDLE SCHOOL an award, but announced, in front of every middle school teacher in the district, that we were receiving nothing because we did not meet AYP. My school was 1400 students in 7th and 8th grade last year. 50% free or reduced lunch. 45% Latino. Of the 48 categories possibly measured by AYP, we meet all 49, the most of any school in the district. Two years ago we missed 6 cells (had six "red" cells). Last year, with increased levels to "pass," we missed ONE!!!!!! What was it? IEP English. For those outside the States, this means that the only demographic not to meet appropriate standards for yearly progress were the students eligible for special education, and then only in English. Special Ed kids are held to the same standards as every other kid, according to this gov't bullshit. So now what? No more electives for about 40% of our kids. We team teach, so one team gets all the band kids and GT kids, and the rest of us have more IEPs, behavior issues, and gang violence than ever. Then we get blamed when we don't meet standards set for privileged white kids with professional parents. How do you make a crackhead's kid enjoy school? Bribe them with pizza. Oh, wait, can't do that anymore either. Dietary restrictions prevent us from feeding the kids unless it comes from a very brand-specific list. When Kraft foods starts writing me a paycheck directly, I will push all the Velveeta they want. ugh. thank God for Winter Break.
kelkello
Samiam, sounds like we are in similar situations except my school is smaller, so that can be both good and bad. Good because we have smaller classes, bad because our AYP groups are smaller and are therefore easier to be set off kilter by just one kid. And of course, the best thing to do for a struggling school is give them NO extra help, financially or otherwise. Ass fucking backwards. I hope something changes with the new senate, but I'm not holding my breath.
punkrockgrrrl
Welcome back to work ladies.
laurenann
there was a story on the local news yesterday about a highschool teacher's myspace page. according to the news, this is how it went down: a son showed his mother the teacher's myspace page (my guess is that the teacher mentioned he had a myspace page when the kids were talking about it and then the kid looked him up). the mother thought the pictures and content on it were horrible. she called the school to complain, and when they told her not to make a big deal out of it she went to the news.

they showed parts of the myspace page on tv. the guy had stupid crap on it - pictures of him and his friends drinking, comments calling women "words too bad to say on tv", a movie of a guy spitting fire and a comment that he did that once, a picture of a book called "everybody dies" that he wrote "my favorite book to read to the kids, haha" and maybe a few other stupid comments and pictures - but nothing illegal or anything, just asshat stuff.

i double checked my myspace page. while i'm not ashamed of anything on it, there is stuff i wouldn't really want the kids or parents to see or know about (pictures of me with a huge beer at the rennaissance faire, the vulgar comments some of my friends leave, my political views on reproductive choice and gay marriage, etc...)

just throwing that out there. i'm not sure what i think about the whole thing.
free_spirit
Blogs and things like myspace can be beneficial and harmful to people in the work foce.

On one hand I have heard where someones blog was a determining factor in someone getting a job. It showed creativeness and some other stuff that this company thought would be good to have a person like this working for them.

On the other hand blogs and myspace can be used for the opposite effect. It can cause a person to get fired. Things that an employer may feel is inappropriate or they dont agree with it or feel may be harmful to the
kelkello
I'm a bit paranoid about my MySpace page. I use an alternate email, my real name is not on the account, and my screen name changes constantly. I pick very bizarre names. To top it off, it's set to private. If some genius kid found it, he wouldn't be able to access it without my permission. I'm not ashamed of anything there, but I wouldn't want it going public, either. Since when are teachers not allowed to have lives and opinions? I know we are role models, but we are humans with interests outside of school. And parents have no room to talk...one of my student's father keeps coming onto me in a bar I go to occasionally. He's married and I teach his daughter. I don't go there anymore and when he gave me his card and told me to call him sometime, I gave it back and said I was in a relationship, thanks. The parents can act like assholes in the community, but a teacher with a MySpace page gets crucified on the news. Oh hypocrisy, you art alive and well.
samiam
I have a MySpace page JUST for my students. It lets me spy on them a little, actually. Once I am a friend, they let me in on their posts and I find out all sorts of things. Sure, there is a picture on there of me in a bathing suit, but it's not really a titty shot. There is a picture of me at a family reunion with cups in my hands, but I am over 21. I have a few friends from HS who post things I don't want my students to see, so I delete them and ask my friends to be more careful. I give my students my MySpace address and communicate through the account at night pretty often. The communication usually goes as far as "Hey Ms.W wazzup?" and I don't count on it for my well-being. (Some teachers get a little too wrapped up in their kids and get their self-esteem through them -- very bad idea, imho).

Just my 2cents. Check it out at www.myspace.com/mswenten
wilhelminawonka
I'm so glad to be back to school after the Christmas Vacation. I felt a little like I didn't want to go back, but now that I"m back into the routine it is great. I was tired of just having a daytime t.v. routine.

About myspace. I am so paranoid about kids from my school finding my myspace page. I don't have anything "questionable" on it, but I still don't want kids looking at my profile. Having kids from my school as myspace friends is something that I would never do. I wouldn't visit on the phone with them, so why would I chat online with them?
My profile is private, and you can't do a search for my real name either. I'm paranoid.
kelkello
Will, I am too! I thought about making a separate page just for my students. I thought I could post homework reminders and helpful hints and stuff. I still might do that. But I will never let them find my real profile. It's none of their business and I don't want them or their parents making snap judgements about me based on what I say in my "real" life.
samiam
I would say that my profile, while "real," isn't "really" about anything questionable. As far as communication, it's not often and has included homework requests. Anyway, I'm not all that worried.
punkrockgrrrl
Sorry to change the subject but....

Snow days kick ass!!! I really love teaching but nothing brings me back to childhood like sitting in front of the TV at 6 am to find out whether or not school is cancelled. I haven't worked since last Friday! Yeah, I love this job.
samiam
No snow days here, just frikken cold! How is teaching in Portland? I love the city, but fear the lack of sales tax feeding the education system. I live in Reno. We don't have income tax (I thinkyou don't either,) but the casinos pick up the slack.
kelkello
Given the heat wave the East has had all winter, I fear we will have no snow days. It's finally gotten a bit like winter here, but alas, today we only had rain. I wanna snow day! My kids are driving me a bit batty right now.
laurenann
People were talking about the possibility of a delayed opening tomorrow, but right now it is just raining. Maybe if the roads are too icy or something though.

This is the first job I've had where I don't have to go in when it snows. I usually hate the snow, but now I can't wait for a big ol' nor'easter to finally come.
laurenann
no delayed opening, boo. it was really icy out! i slipped on my front stairs and fell down hard.

is anyone else on here a special ed teacher? i'm doing my teaching practicum right now, and i mostly work one-to-one with a 4th grade girl. yesterday we spent a half hour in the inclusion facilitator's office listening to barney songs and blowing bubbles. i felt guilty doing something so entirely age innaprorpiate (and uneducational) with her, but it was in private and she was having a great time.
bunnyb
Hi teachers, I'm hoping you can help: I've graduated from my Honours and Masters degrees and now applying to do my postgraduate diploma in education (I'm in the UK) to become a high school English teacher. Part of my application is a personal statement where I have to outline why I want to be a teacher, what I would bring to the teaching profession, why my chosen subject ... do you have any tips?
kelkello
Bunny: One thing not say: summer vacation!
missladyj
bunny- I always suggest this book to anyone entering the field Teaching As a Subversive Activity by Charles Weingartner and Neil Postman. It may give you some inspiration for teaching and reasons why you want to do it.


School was closed on Monday because it was so fuckin cold. I got the phone call right before I left for school. Had class on tuesday and just spent the last two days at a data retreat looking at what kids met standards and what kids didn't . Then we came up with an action plan. and guess what. I could care two shits less. Why are we not talking about taking political action to not have NCLB reauthorized instead of assuming that test scores tell us anything about what these kids no or don't?

My focus these days in on comphrensive sex education and media literacy not on improving test scores.

I did get a chance to talk with the division head for PE and health education and told him about curriculum I have designed and the research I would like to do with students and parents about what they want to learn in terms of sex education. He was totally down and agreed with me . I am also contemplating getting certified to teach health. Any health teachers posting here?

It is either get certified to teach health or go for a PhD. I am considering all my options.
wilhelminawonka
I love being a teacher, it is so fun.
I'm so glad that I finally have my own class.
Today was the first day I've had to go out for yard duty for 3 weeks because it's been so cold. I felt spoiled.
kelkello
Wilhemina, I love being a teacher, too. I forget sometimes how much I love it when I get bogged down with the NCLB crap. MissLadyJ, I'm with you on the data crap. How these kids perform on one test proves nothing. This year I have a group of the most consistently low scoring students in our county. They perform fuckall on tests. But today they handed in the most amazing projects that reflect their understanding of poetry. The artwork and imagination was fantastic. But their creativity, passion, and imagination won't be tested, so it doesn't count to anyone but me and them. The administration smiles and says, "That's nice, but how does it help test scores?" I hate that part of my job. I love my kids, though.
nickclick
i'm not a teacher but my boyfriend and my roommate are. i can sympathize!

my bf teaches instrumental music in a medium-sized middle school and he's constantly on the lookout for the slightest inkling that they might cut or alter his program. and now it's testing season so his lessons are always being rearranged and cancelled.

my roommate teaches 1st grade in a poor neighborhood in a large city. it's so hard for her to cope when it seems only a handful of parents, other teachers, adminstration, union reps, social workers and state officials actually care about the slew of problems at her school. she makes a bit more in her paycheck but it quickly goes to school supplies and coats and gloves for students coming to school without. she finally realized school supplies are being hidden in a storeroom (so the school can collect the money from the state but not actually use it to replenish). she had another teacher on lookout while she was shoving crayons and construction paper down her bra! every weekend she spends at office max copying worksheets because the copier at the school hasn't been repaired in 2 years. some parents complain to her that their kids aren't bringing home homework, but never complain to the admin! she has 30 1st graders, including several who she's recommended for special ed, but no aide all year. she's desperately seeking another job in the suburbs, which is sad because she's a good teacher and really started with the energy for such a job but quickly had it sucked out of her.
wilhelminawonka
Aw, that's too bad about your roommate nickclick. She sounds like a great teacher, which the poorer neighbourhoods need.
I'm from a reserve, and I teach grade one here on my reserve, and the kids face a lot of challenges it. But, I feel like I'm making a difference. We miss out on a lot of opportunities, but I am helping the kids. I know their parents, I know what is going on in their lives. I feel like, at least the kids can come to the school to be safe and supported.
At the starting of the year I had a boy who didn't know any letters, and now he is writing full sentences in his journal! I'm so happy for him!
I've had to buy book bags, and mittens, and I always buy prizes for kids who do homework, and they get so excited just to get a pencil or an eraser.
I don't get paid as much as teachers who teach at schools off reserve, but I really don't feel like I want to leave my school to make more money.
wilhelminawonka
Yay, I love my job and everything, but I'm so glad it's our Spring Break!!
missladyj
my official spring break countdown is at 10 school days. I will make it. despite the fire alarm that a student pulled yesterday because she was upset about her performance in the multicultural show. Nice way to handle technical difficulties that arise when performing. she was caught and will have to pay for the firedepartment coming out. that is not cheap! I think she got arrested too! never a dull moment
nickclick
yay spring breakers! i don't have an extra day off until memorial day mad.gif

wil, sounds like you are doing great too. maybe because my roommate is not from the neighborhood or economic or racial background of her students, the parents and even the administration are not so receptive. last week a parent did complain to the principal that her daughter wasn't bringing home enough work, and instead of apologizing for not having all the equipment ready and available for her teachers, the principal got angry at my roommate for tattling. ugh!
sassygrrl
I've decided finally to leave my 7 years of shitty jobs, and start a alternative prep program! I just hope I get in. I'm going to go to an information session in two weeks. It's for 2 years, but I think I could do it. It sure would be the hell out of what I'm doing now.. Just wanted to tell everyone the good news!
tempest
Haven't posted in forever, but...I need Spring Break, as well! Thursday is our last day with the kids, all of whom are going nuts because they can't handle the wait. But, I love 'em anyway.

Though I'm cranky as hell thanks to my newly torn rotator cuff and subsequent shoulder immobilization. Hopefully I can eithe start PT or get scoped over break, so I don't miss any class time. Subs here lately have been ineffective; I went to my good friend's room yesterday to get her kids to clean up for dismissal, and several were playing baseball with a yardstick and wadded-up paper, while others ran around screaming. The sub never even looked up from the newspaper, even when I reamed out the kids, each of whom I knew, and they ceased the shenanigans. Sigh. I was a sub in college, even before I wanted to be a teacher, and I was always circumspect and, well, present. Argh. Even if this person had just come in to babysit, they should at least have paid attention to what was going on!

...is it Thursday yet?
missladyj
Good Luck Sassygirl

although I will tell you the same thing I told the last person who was thinking about getting certified to teach
DO NOT DO IT !!


maybe it has been the fuckin totally shitty year at school that is really depressing me with all the NCLB bullshit and ineffectual administration at my school but I am thinking about within the next two years quitting and going back to school full time for my PhD. I am feeling really burnt out and that I need to stop before I get even more bitter. I am trying not to take it out my students because they are the best part of what I do , but all the politics and stupidity is really getting to me after 9 years in the classroom and I just don't know how much longer I can continue where I am at . this has been a difficult realization to come to. I am just feeling that it may be time for me to move on. Not sure where yet.


on a lighter note, 5 more school days till spring break!!!
missladyj
I am in what I like to refer to as the "death throes" of my vacation. This is my last day of freedom before going back to the grind. Which means holding out until June 8. I can do this. Here is what I did


Sunday, swim meet, nap out late in my skin tight shiny pants and heels with Hubby
MOnday, sleep till 2pm, teach water aerobics, go bowling with hubby, hit two bars home by 3am
Tuesday, chill
Wednesday slept till 2pm, grad school, watch hubby play gituar at his show, hit two bars home by 5am
Thursd,ay, slept till 3pm , went to our friend's club for dinner and saw the most amazing jazz trio then went to the note to watch hubby deejay till 4am home by 5am
Friday- I did literally nothing. It was beautiful
Saturday- went to the spa with my girlfriend, hot tub, dry sauna, steam sauna cold pool, nap room, then sushi for dinner.
Sunday? maybe brunch with some folks.


I don't want to go back!!! I much prefer coming home at 5am to getting up at 5am to go to work.

Le sigh
kelkello
Why do I work in school districts that only give 4 day spring breaks? It's pathetic, really. Mine doesn't even start until this Thursday. Bastards.
laurenann
my break is the 16th to the 20th. i have class on the 13th and 14th (i.e. the first friday night and saturday of my break) but i am REALLY looking foward to having the next eight days off.
wilhelminawonka
I can't believe there are only 2 months left in my first year of teaching!
It has gone by so fast!

I really love this job. I have really been thinking about the kids at the starting of the year, they were just babies (I teach first grade)! Now, they are reading and writing and making decisions! It's so exciting, and I feel like I am making a difference with this job!
kelkello
19 days left. I can do anything for 19 days. Really.
missladyj
17 days left. I can do this!! (hopefull without punching anyone in the neck)

I am so ready for this year to be over
laurenann
I have 25 days left. Where do you guys live? I teach in Massachusetts, near Boston. We start after Labor Day, which is nice at the time, but it'd also be nice to have more time off in June.

I've been applying to tons of teaching jobs for next year. I sent out about 25 resume packs. I'm feeling discouraged. It seems like the market here is so much more competitive then I've heard other places are. People told me "Oh, you'll have NO problem getting a teaching job!" but I keep hearing that I don't have enough experience (getting a degree, passing the test, and doing a full year of student teaching isn't enough??) and I should consider being an aide for another year. Most of the places I applied haven't called me but they still are advertising jobs in the want ads. LAME. Who do they think they are waiting for?

Anyway, we can all make it! The year is almost done!

octobersky
Laurenann - I'm sorta in the same position as you. I just finished my teaching degree, I went back to school for a teaching degree after spending some years in the soul sucking corporate world. I went to a teacher recruitment seminar at my campus and had some really good interviews. But I haven't heard a word from any of them. They haven't had any positions posted on their sites yet. My mom's a teacher and she said that it's always a nail biter for jobs. She said she know people who have gotten hired in July and August, so don't give up yet. But still I worry. I'm in central Ohio and the market is extremely competitive - it's possible that I could spend the entire year working at Starbucks and subing.
missladyj
I am officially done June 8th. We start like two weeks before Labor Day usually around August 22 or 23.


don't worry ladies something will come up. Even if it doesn't subbing is a great way to have people get to know you and you get to see lots of different schools. Sometimes you can land a sweet long term sub position usually for someone who goes on a maternity leave. ( Thats how I got my job , I subbed for a woman on a maternity leave at the high school I student taught at after that, they hired me. )


what levels/subject do you teach? I am a high school science teacher and I know that in general high school math and science teachers have an easier time getting gigs because there are lots of positions and not as many teachers to fill them. For english and social studies it seems to be more competitive because there are more people who are certified in english or social studies.

Good luck and enjoy your last summer before starting to teach full time!!!!
samiam
Ok, I am ready to be done. It's official. Kids are wild, principal is crazy, and I am exhausted.

Good luck to all of you as we head into the last few days!
laurenann
I'm doing my student teaching as a special education aide in an inclusive classroom - think I've mentioned that before - and all of the "normal" kids have been driving me crazy since, like, after spring break. I still love the students I work with, but I'm tired of teaching them. I just want to have recess all day.

I got a teaching job for next year! I'll be a upper high school teacher at a private special education school. The school is awesome - gorgeous facilities, really nice kids, fabulous staff. My students will all be 18-21 years old with low-incidence and multiple disabilities, and I'll be teaching a lot of functional and life-skills type stuff, as well as going on community trips, doing vocational training, and teaching social skills. I'm really pumped.

Do you all think it is too much to ask if I could visit the school again before the summer to meet the students who will be in my class next year? My other idea was to get their names and addresses and send letters home mid-summer with an invitation for a home visit. I'll get their IEPs and other info to read, but I'd like to know them beyond their paperwork before the first day of school.

kelkello
8 more teaching days. Just 8. I can do this.
humanist77
wait, this thread isn't about having a crush on your teacher?

Well, I actually do have something more relevant to the topic..
The community college I go to just started a massage therapy program, and someone suggested that I look in to assistant teaching, at least for the hands on, as I am a licensed massage therapist. Do you need to have a teaching degree to be a teacher's assistant, or since this is a vocational skill, and I am licensed in the field, will I be able to do this?

and for shits and giggles, my philosophy teacher is seriously hot. Like so hot, that he very intentionally mentions his WIFE any chance he can get, to deter his students from falling in love with him. He mentioned her the first day of class, and several times after. He tries to work a mention of her into his philosophy lessons any chance he can get. When he was explaining the philosophy about how when you love something, you can't just love part of it, you have to love the whole thing, he said, "kind of like how I love my wife-I don't just love how she's beautiful, or she has a great sense of humor, I love all of her, including all the imperfections."
wretch.
maybe I'm just jealous tongue.gif
bunnyb
bump for missladyj.

The thread hasn't been deleted, just fallen off page (you need to search all at bottom, rather than last 30 days).
missladyj
thanks bunny! I had tried searching but didn't find it.


Okay I officially go back to school on the 21st of August and I am at the point where I am convinced that this year isnt going to be any better than last year which totally sucked. I am goin to try to not be enraged by the stupidity of some of my coworkers who think it is cool to swear at their students and act like frat boys or by my division head who allows this behavior to continue.


My schedule looks good so far. I am not teaching 8th period which is the last period of the day nor am I teaching four periods in a row which I did last semester. So I am happy about that.


I am most excited about buying new clothes for school. which is just sad to me.


Enjoy the rest of your summer ladies!
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