Monday, September 19, 2011

This, That, and The Other


THIS:
I miss you guys. . .I miss posting. Honestly, my lack of posting isn't because I'm lost under a stack of paperwork. Oddly enough, I seem to be hitting my stride with all of that. I'm a lady who likes to get that "stuff" off of her desk. So, typically, I divide and conquer that paperwork. Yay!


THAT:

What I am lacking is some posts about lesson plans. I do have several ready-to-go. I am however, submitting some of these to publications for review. And, while I am intensely inspired by all of you, rest assured these are all original (to my brain at any rate). It is frowned upon to submit and/or publish information to other publications simultaneously, and I suppose that applies to blogs as well. So upon the (likely) rejections, I'll be posting them here.



THE OTHER:

As we are all now "in-school" I just want to remind you to be careful about posting images that include your students' faces. Many schools do have sign-off sheets about printing student names and images on the internet. Please double-check your school's policy about posting such information on blogs.



My school has a very public-access Art blog. Since there is no log-in for parents; it is not secure. This means that anyone can view, right-click and save any image they see. . .Just like here on blogger. My school last year had a log-in, but the sign-off permission sheets about student images only permitted posting images on the school-secure websites.



I am not a parent. But, I do know that should I ever be blessed in that manner, I will be very restrictive about my child's face and the internet. I wouldn't want creeps looking at his/her baby/childhood images now or ever. I would flip-out (to put it mildly) if my kid's face (or niece's or nephew's) showed up on the internet without my permission. And, you know, a lot of parents, guardians, and school administrations feel the same. Protect yourself accordingly.



MORE OTHER:

My school has some discipline problems. When I talk to other educators and educational professionals about how trying this atmosphere is, I am met by an almost unanimous response. It seems many feel that I need to put in my "time" in a Title I school in my county in order to be "transferred" to another, non-Title I school next year. There have been a lot of comments about "cutting your teeth," "paying your dues" etc. etc.



And, they're probably all right.



But, I would like to point out something my sister, a child life professional, pointed out. When we discussed the whole "paying my dues" thing she said: "That is just so sad. These kids are human beings; they matter too." See, my sister works with severely poor kids who are in very ill or life-threatening situations in a hospital. She is so great that at the ripe age of 25 she is running the department. While not a highly empathetic person, she does highly value life and other the rights of other humans. I've never seen her judge parents' decisions about their child's health (and trust me, there are a lot of situations where it is easy to get "judgy"). Her point is that we shouldn't be "putting in time," "cutting teeth," or "paying dues" with Title I schools. We should be teaching there with as much grace, professionalism, and hope as we can. Instead of focusing on when we leave or simply surviving a year or two, we should focus on how we can have a positive impact now.



Her words meant more to me than I can tell you. I definitely put on my big girl panties today and felt that it went much better than usual. What do you think about this attitude of "paying dues" in tough schools?



AND YET MORE OTHER:

I'm so excited because in three weeks the Visual Arts Coordinator for my county is hosting an after-school get together for all of the Middle School teachers. We are going to share lesson plans and ideas. . .But most importantly we are going to talk about classroom management strategies and engagement activities. I'm so excited. I can't wait to pick up some more CM strategies to add to my arsenal. If you were going to this meeting what would you most want to share and what would you most want to learn?



I hope your week is off to a great start!

2 comments:

  1. I too work at a school where teachers "pay their dues" then leave. I am the 6th art teacher in 8 years (the school has only been open 8 years)- the kids are used to driving out the teachers. This is my second year and I already can tell a world of difference. The students see that I care about them and they care more too. It is so difficult to teach in a Title 1 environment yet those are the kids that need good teachers so badly. It is a catch 22 of the teaching world. I am right there with you! Hang in there, we can do it!

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  2. You make so many good points here ! I TOTALLY AGREE about putting kids faces out there, and I have demanded (nicely) that friends remove pics from Facebook when my DD appears in them.
    I also get what you say about "problem schools" (often described as 'failing' or 'sink' schools in the UK !!!)While I agree wholeheartedly with your sister, it takes a very special kind of teacher not to get burned out VERY fast. I survived - and I don't use that term lightly - a term with a class that had not only driven their own teacher out, but every other supply teacher. I stayed because I needed the money, and the reference - I was a new teacher. Sadly, I know the experience hardened me to children and it took a LONG time before I was ready to trust a class again. Sad, but true. I agree that these kind of children ESPECIALLY need good teachers, but good teachers need support to cope with the holistic demand that all children create. I suspect the US is like the UK - expect you to create miracles without even giving you loaves and fish !!!
    Loving your work, keep giving me ideas, please !!

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