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What's a Day in the Life of a Student?

There's an interesting piece in the Washington Post about how stressful it is to be in school all day. Perhaps we don't see or envision the lives of the kids we serve. Doubtless we all find our own classes fascinating, or we probably...Show More Summary

The Paradoxical Attraction Of Sports

Sport in general has always been a paradoxical attraction for me. I grew up on a farm where my father didn’t believe in the value of sport – it was more important to be watching the sheep on a Saturday or chopping weeds in the back paddock or collecting the eggs than to be hitting […]

What if You Have to Skip Town Before You're Observed?

You never know. Maybe Cathie Black finally read those awful things you said about her and the DOE has put out a hit on you. Maybe your rich uncle in Tasmania is sick and needs you by his bedside. Perhaps you've finally found a killer deal on that chateau in the Ozarks you've always dreamed about. Show More Summary

Parent Teacher Conference Notes

As chapter leader, I get one period off to deal with various and sundry crises, so I only teach four classes. As a matter of fact, since I teach beginning ESL I teach two double period classes, so I have fewer students than most teachers. Show More Summary

When the UFT Starts Looking More Like a Parasite...

We are not our union. I haven't exactly figured out the relationship yet. I know teachers need the UFT and the UFT needs teachers. In defense of tenure, I feel the relationship is one of symbiosis, but at other times, as with the Common Core, teacher evaluation systems and treatment of ATRs, the parasitic relationship seems essentially harmful. Show More Summary

Small Game Hunting in Mr. Educator's Classroom.

I had my initial planning conference yesterday. I selected option one, with the formal observation. I always think it's a good idea to plan with my supervisor. That way, if she says my lesson was awful, I can ask why the hell she asked me to do it like that. Show More Summary

The U.F.T. Unity Caucus Respects Parliamentary Rule

NYC Educator carried a post earlier in the month with a quote by Leo Casey of UFT Unity: To honor their democratic decisionmaking processes, some parties and caucuses adopt an understanding that is known as cabinet rule in the British...Show More Summary

MORE and the Mission from God

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with MORE since its inception. Though I ran a few times with ICE in ill-fated union elections, I was never completely sold on MORE. As they were the only non-Unity endorsed option, as I knew and respected...Show More Summary

MOSL and the Ten Commandments

Every school needs to determine precisely how junk science is utilized to determine teacher ratings. In our school, we tried to make measures as broad as possible. Wherever we could, we did not tie teachers to ratings based on their individual students. Show More Summary

The Lost Boys (and Girls)

I didn't need 35 minutes on Tuesday to make home contact because home contact has become part of who I am. I was once instructed to teach special education, and though in addition to being totally unqualified I was not very good at it, I learned a lot. Show More Summary

CNN finds zombies in Chinese finance

CNN applies the zombie meme to China. Specifically, it's a question of undead financing. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney often cite concerns over runaway credit growth, but many now single out corporate debt as a major threat to China's economy. "The...

The sun's hidden face

Sometimes the sun's warm face turns sinister. How can this be? This visualization shows the sun's activity in two wavelengths of light, 171 Angstroms and 193 Angstroms. But wait. Is this benign, or something more disturbing? Extreme ultraviolet light isn't...

Take away the descriptors

We are reckless jargon users in education. Just ask anyone coming out of your local supermarket what they think “effective pedagogies” or “student agency” means. Jargon is used to: exclude; disguise; imply expertise; and to market product. No one benefits...

Some fun haunted houses

"Most extreme haunted houses" ia what a Fox News report promises. And the article delivers a fine sequence of intense-sounding experiences. Note one bit of moralism early on: "extreme" haunted houses – also called “interactive” or “intense” haunted houses... cater...

Clowns with weapons

The California creepy story escalated in the media, with accounts of clowns now going about with weapons. Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week,...

If You Liked Philly, You'll Love Asorino

Teachers in Philadelphia recently had their contract pretty much tossed in the trash. Step-raises were abolished, and teachers will be forced to pay into health care.. This is ostensibly because the district is desperate for money. Why?The...Show More Summary

Tweed Selectively Enforces Contract and Enables Teacher Bashing

In the Daily News today there's a story about a teacher who lost his job. That in itself is interesting, since renowned legal expert Campbell Brown asserts it never happens. Also interesting is the fact that what this teacher is accused...Show More Summary

Who Is UFT Making Calls For?

I'm a little surprised, not only by the volume of email I've received, but also by the message I'm getting from leadership. In numerous ways they're asking me to come out and make phone calls. But not once have I gotten a message about who exactly we're supporting. Show More Summary

McEducation

It seems that in running schools like businesses, many corners have been cut. Recently we've heard of food providers who won City contracts. Perhaps they seemed like the best option, but in reality it seems they were cheating their workers. Show More Summary

A nuclear missile ghost

2 weeks agoEducation / Learning : Infocult

The recent book about atomic weapons Command and Control has some terrific Gothic passages, as one might expect. Here are two. First, a spooky silo: One [Titan II missile] launch complex, however, stood apart them the rest: 373-4 was known...

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