Trust the Teacher

I think the paradigm of the process of education needs to be turned upside down. We, the teacher, need to be the trusted one, because we care more for our students than anyone else. We spend every day with them, we listen to them, we understand them, which is as much a part of our job as teaching them. We know best what works and doesn’t work. We know what we need to do to help them.

I would continue by asking the question then, why do the higher ups continue to tell US what WE need to do in order to best plan for our students? Why do they insist on asking the teacher to account for everything we do, creating more lesson plans, unit plans to a level of detail that DOES NOT HELP US TEACH BETTER! What it does is it takes time away from our kids. We didn’t have extra time laying around, waiting for something more to do, like writing more lesson plans. This means that something that we were doing before gets pushed off our plate. And what do you think that would be? Well, it comes directly out of the time we spend on our students. Why? Because students aren’t going to give us a lower rating. We have to FIRST do what admin wants so we don’t get a lower rating and we can keep our jobs. Or so we won’t get “dinged” as they say. So what is the first thing I would stop doing? I will have to cut back on the crucial process of carefully and thoroughly grading papers. This gives me the feedback I need to inform my instruction. So in order to make time to write all of these unit and lesson plans, I will have to just mark incoming papers with a “Check +” or “Check -” Really? Is this what is best for our students? Of course not, because the top priority of the administration, and the politicians who push the administration is to hold the teacher accountable. To make sure we are doing our job. So we spend more time trying to prove that we are doing our job than actually doing our job. When is anybody going to trust the teacher? Maybe if we could spend the time on the things WE feel will help our students, they will start performing better and have a more successful outcome.

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What does a successful school look like?

Can we all agree that successful schools prepare their students for the world by giving them an education, and turning them into a well-balanced adult, ready to contribute to the betterment of the society in which they live. Can we surmise, then, that to achieve this goal, the iconic vision statement “Everything we do must be based on what is best for our students” should be adhered to at all times?

But the true goal of the upper echelon and decision makers at the top is to produce higher graduation rates, lower failure rates and higher test scores. Under this goal, our vision statement, not only becomes irrelevant, but rather a hinderance to this true goal.

One of the ways they can, and do achieve their goal was cooked up by our own Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He boosts graduation rates by pulling failing students out of the schools temporarily, sending them to a virtual learning computer farm, where they can write three papers and get a full semester credit for that pesky English class that they blew off in the classroom.   They come back in the school to walk across the stage, pick up their diploma, and cha-ching, like the sound of a cash register, Mr. Emanuel’s graduation rate just went up!

And how does this model achieve our vision?

It doesn’t.

An important note: There is quite a distinction between these computer farms and the upstanding Virtual Learning offerings that do an excellent job of educating our students, while demonstrating the importance of hard work and adhere to the goal as stated above, such as FuelEDucation, Illinois Virtual Learning or APEX to name a few.

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Rebublicans are Commiting Extortion!

Extortion is the crime of coercing someone to do something they ordinary would not do under threat of the abuse of one’s office or authority.

So the Republicans are telling President Obama to reverse his executive order and stop the deportation of some undocumented workers or they will use their office to withhold funding for a a body that would keep the American People safe from terrorism.

In other words, Republicans are saying “If you don’t do want we want, we will not protect the American People.”

How is this even acceptable? Who would vote for someone that would hold our safety HOSTAGE in order to get something, completely unrelated, that they want. Do these people actually care about the Americans? To me, this is proof that they do not.


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Ever argued with a Anti-Evolution, Anti-Global warming, etc.., Ideologue?

Ideology is the inverse of logic. That’s why they believe so strongly in so much B.S. that their ideological captains spew. Give it up. You cannot penetrate the mind of an ideologue. They have no moving parts inside their head.

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Be Informed Before You Vote! We Have a Choice! No to Mel, YES to Meegan!

I know that many people just vote for the status quo and elect the name that they know. This is the greatest mistake that we could make, and we will all pay for it later.
Who is Deb Mel? She is the daughter of our former Alderman Richard Mel. Does that qualify her? Absolutely not! Is she a name that you know? Absolutely, but voting for her would be exactly how kings are made. The offspring automatically inherit the “thrown.” The major difference here is that we have a choice!
Deb Mel has got the big machine money behind her. Does that make her the right person for the job? Absolutely NOT. Her family friends are mailing out flyers, feeding you with one liners that are total distortions of the truth.
For example, I recently received a flying saying Meegan was going to raise your taxes! This is way off base. Meegan wants to, in effect, LOWER the property taxes for the middle class and poor working families so that the wealthiest Illinoisans will have to step up and pay their fair share. Are you one of those wealthy Illinoisans? Probably not. So why would you vote to benefit the most wealthy at *your* expense.
You need to get past these one liners and think about the fact that, if you are middle class, or the working poor, or just simply a part of our forgotten underclass, voting for name recognition is a vote against your own best interests!
There is no “trickle” down of money from the wealthy. There is no reason to vote for Deb Mel, who is simply a mouth piece for Rahm Emanuel. These polished, high powered, well-funded candidates look so wonderful, but don’t be fooled.
I strongly support Tim Meegan for Alderman, because I know firsthand that he cares about this community. He is extremely committed to us, the people of the 33 ward, our schools, our children, our jobs, our homes and our lives. He is a very smart, compassionate family man who would put us first.
Mel and the machine is interested in digging deeper roots in their careers by greasing the pockets of their wealthy donors.
Meegan is interested in digging deeper into solutions for our community, solutions that would make all of our lives better.
Which sounds better to you?

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by | June 15, 2014 · 1:19 am

Undercover Boss needed for teachers

Teaching is a lifestyle requiring complete dedication and long work hours.  We are on the front lines, facing some of the toughest problems and the most critical assets of our future with love and care. Our top priority is our students.

I do believe that most administrators care about our students, however, they need to face the upper echelons and politicians that deal with education. They have the pressure to satisfy the public and yet find the budget to pay for teachers, support staff, services and supplies.

There is a program called “Undercover Boss” on the OWN network. The idea behind this program is to send CEOs into the fields where s/he visits the workforce to find out what some of the challenges are and what they can do to make the workers’ jobs easier.

In education, they send  an administrator into the classroom. They are not there to find out what some of the challenges are or how they can help the teacher do a better job. They are there to pass judgement on the teacher to find out if that teacher should be the first or the last to loose their job.

Do you think this is in the best interest of our students? Does it sound like our administrators and politicians are doing what they can to make the job of the teacher easier so they can better serve the student?

I don’t.

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No Strike in Syria

Have you got to be kidding? You want to destabilize a region even more than it already is? The “Arab Spring” has turned into a witches brew, and you want to throw explosives into the pot? Why?

Will it make things worse? better? All of the experts say different things.  We cannot possibly know how far reaching these consequences might be. 

Maybe you say, “If we don’t attack, they will do it again and we will appear weak!”

I respond this way:

  • Chemical weapons have been in use for years. Why respond now? Even the United States used chemical weapons in Vietnam!
  • The United States may “appear” weak for a week or two, but we will never actually be weak, and everybody knows it.
  • Who would we support by this? Some of those rebels are terrorists. And believe me, they won’t thank us later for fighting their enemy!
  • Actual consequences are unknown. Can we take that chance? Do we want more bloodshed? 

Let’s stay out of this one.


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Ask a teacher. We know the truth about education. We live it.

I am a teacher for the Chicago Public Schools, and I can tell you that Rahm Emanuel  is just like the republicans. Teachers here call him Rahmney.
He wanted to convert 50% of Chicago Public Schools to charter schools. This is only the beginning of privatizing the public schools. Charter schools are profit centers for Rahm Emanuel and Penny Pritzker and family.
The extreme poor and minority community cannot get into the charter schools. If you are a discipline problem, some charter schools will CHARGE you a fine that you cannot possibly pay, which pushes you right back to the ever shrinking public schools. Some charter schools hire NON-CERTIFIED non-union teachers, who are cheaper. They can do this because they don’t have to follow any state laws, they are private!
What they want (Rahm and his chronies) is to shrink the number of public schools until there are only a few left for the poor and minority students. This is segregation, and it is also giving up on these kids.
Poverty is the problem with public education, not just because the impoverished don’t get books, paper or proper supplies, but research shows clearly that there is a direct correlation between poverty and low test scores. These kids with low test scores often have dysfunctional families, broken homes, parents who are homeless, incarcerated , chemical dependent, or alcoholic parents, just to name a few. Many of these kids are children of children.  Those pregnant girls in our classes 15 years ago are now sending their children to our public schools. Often raised by grandmother’s, aunts, uncles, or wards of the state, they barely had a chance.
Public schools are there for these kids and for all kids.  We cannot forget them or round them up into a few public schools and let them drown in their own society.


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Proof: High Capacity Magazines Should Be Banned

This post is a bit late, but after seeing our President address the nation at the memorial service for the fallen and injured in the wake of the attack at the Safeway in Tuscon, Arizona, I would like to drop all divisive rhetoric.  I will say that I do honor my president, I think he is a great man. If there are times when he has disappointed me,  I speak out, but this is not one of those times. He has instructed me, us, all of us, not to use this event to polarize the country.  I listened. I hope we all listened.

I do believe that we can come together as a country and pass legislation to ban these high capacity magazines.  I strongly believe that this could saves lives and if just one life were to be spared as a result of this legislation, it would be in the name of Christine Taylor Green, and all the other lives that were taken out that day.

Let me state this as clearly as I can using the following conditional statements:

If a gun had more rounds of ammunition, it could kill more people.  This statement is true. If you had a counter-example to prove it false, I would love to hear it!

On the other hand, the converse of this statement: If more people were killed, then the gun used had more rounds of ammunition, is clearly false.  There are an endless amount of counter examples that can prove it to be false, such as the skill level of the shooters ability to change magazines, etc. You can find counter examples all over the internet.

The original statement, not this false one, is the only argument required, in my opinion, to remove these magazines from the market. If even one more life could be taken using high round magazines, if even one persons liberty could be taken away at the expense of the freedom of their shooter, than this argument is enough to ban this high capacity magazine.  If you disagree, tell me how many people is your limit? Is it ok if only 5 more people could be killed? 10? I say 1, just one life, is enough to ban these magazines.

You see, I am pro-life.


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