I could feel the unease around me. As a parent, former educator, and editor at The Mailbox, there was a lot I wanted to stand up and add to the discussion, both to calm parents’ uncertainty and help the teacher team with their job… Have you encountered pushback or concern from parents over the new common core standards? Share your ideas for explaining it to parents.
What do you have in common with Philippe Petit?…What is your teaching style? Quiet guide, loquacious lecturer, empathetic educator, academic ambassador, or something else entirely? What style do you embrace when you walk the tightrope between curriculum requirements (or standards) and the moment when your students are touched by “the excitement of discovering”?
Almost all of us have our days. What kind of days? Those days when no matter how well-prepared you feel going in, events seem to find a quick and unexpected way to unravel in your face like a rogue wave. Very few of us seem to escape these kinds of days.
Are you familiar with Pineapplegate? Because if you’re not, you really should hear what this is all about. Although the reading selection—an extensively edited version of a brief scene in a Daniel Pinkwater novel—and its accompanying questions have appeared in standardized ELA tests since 2006, it was only recently that this test selection made its way out of the classroom and onto the desks of a few well-connected education bloggers and journalists.
The most starkly unsettling finding in the survey was teacher job satisfaction, which has reached its lowest level since the survey series began more than two decades ago. Just 44% of respondents are satisfied in their jobs. Coupled with this growing lack of job satisfaction is the survey’s other dramatic finding—more teachers than ever before are planning on leaving the profession in the next few years. Twenty-nine percent of teachers say they’ll probably look for a new career.
It’s never hard to tell when a class project comes in that’s been touched by the hand of a helpful parent. Who can blame them? A fourth or fifth grader may or may not have lovely printing or the presence of mind to use the computer to print succinct, uniform text. These days it’s also easier than ever to assemble a project on a sturdy, tri-fold cardboard display. Why scavenge images from newspapers and magazines when a Google Image search is so much more fun and rewarding?!
Do you remember your first school open house? Or do I need to ask Dr. Peabody and Sherman for their Wayback Machine again? Because I sure remember mine…It had taken less than a week together for my students to understand me, my quirks, my sense of humor. They knew where to place completed homework, when to take out their books for independent reading, and why I tossed dry-erase markers across the room to differentiate “these” from “those…” [The] parents, however? They were tough nuts to crack…What are your classroom open house memories? What tip or activity would you never want to be without when parents come to your domain?