A rolling thread where we are teachers

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This is how a teacher in Gaza welcomes the children in her class every morning.
❤️🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/LdVvz29AMV

— James Melville (@JamesMelville) August 10, 2019

j., Monday, 12 August 2019 02:48 (one year ago) link

that is so precious and totally a kid-friendly way to teach about consent!!!

Carisis LaVerted (m bison), Monday, 12 August 2019 03:10 (one year ago) link

I love that.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 12 August 2019 07:24 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

A friend interviewed me about teaching just before I retired last spring (link at the top):


If anything, it's mostly about how difficult the job was even 20 years along. There's some stuff on my various principals that I contemplated removing, but I decided in the end it wasn't that big a deal.

clemenza, Monday, 9 September 2019 19:00 (eleven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I've invented a new term for supplying a couple of days a week after you retire: load management.

If you ever get the chance to supply (or, for Americans, substitute) post-retirement at the school you just left, especially if you were there for a long time (21 years for me), I highly recommend doing so. The kids know you, so you get zero grief; you get to see all your old students, who basically give you a hero's welcome; you know all the staff. My old room is being used for storage this year, so even my nameplate is still up there. As close as I've ever gotten to getting well paid for doing nothing. (I was in for an old friend last week, and she told me she needed me to actually teach for two periods--she was practically apologetic.)

clemenza, Thursday, 26 September 2019 02:15 (ten months ago) link

I'm just entering my fourth year of teaching (fifth, if you count the *shudder* training year) and it's been a really tough start. It's an Outstanding school and we've just had what are basically the best results we've ever had. Due to the Oustanding status, we've not been Ofstedededed for over ten years and since that privilege was recently officially removed, everyone is shitting themselves. We've always been left largely alone, with a 'let teachers teach' mantra but the purported Ofsted visit has meant a whole bunch of shit pouring in from above: directives for seemingly every kid - on various lists -, new safeguarding measures, new disciplinary procedures which is resulting in 100+ kids every night in detention. It's making for a really odd atmosphere: embattled, faintly aggressive, stressful. I've properly fallen out with both my Y11 classes and I'm sure it's transferred stress. I've also managed to fall upwards into a 2nd in department role, under a part-time HoD, which is intense and seems proper ad hoc at times. I'm also really aware for the first time of the problems associated with teaching the same texts over and over - great for planning, but also an edge of drudgery, which I'm concerned I'm communicating to the kids.

Anyway, short version: this fucking job, eh?

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Thursday, 3 October 2019 20:05 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...

I must say that I am very anxious to get away from this place. I have become very weak in health and do not seem to recover myself here or likely to do so. Teaching is very burdensome, especially when you have much of it: I have. I have not much time and almost no energy - for I am always tired - to do anything on my own account.

Gerard Manley Hopkins on teaching

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Friday, 31 January 2020 22:26 (six months ago) link

Ontario's a huge mess right now. Rotating strike-days board to board (my old school was out today), a province-wide strike-day next week, endless sniping in the media, escalating job action (onto extra-curricular) if there's no settlement by Friday. I was supposed to supply next Monday/Tuesday, but Tuesday's another strike day; I'm at my old school, so I'll stick around and walk with them.

clemenza, Friday, 31 January 2020 22:37 (six months ago) link

Just read your post from three months ago, chinaski...Some of it didn't make sense to me (Ofsted?)--are you in Britain? My standard advice for stuff pouring in from above is smile, nod, and let it go in one ear and out the other. But I know that's not always possible.

clemenza, Friday, 31 January 2020 22:42 (six months ago) link

G.M. Hopkins otm as usual.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 1 February 2020 00:02 (six months ago) link

Clemenza - yes I'm in the UK; Oftsed is the government office for standards in education. And they are as Orwellian as that sounds. I mean, they were set up to introduce some sense of accountability, which I can understand, but the relationship has become so toxic and punitive that they basically exist to make teachers' lives a misery. I'm lucky, in that my school remains largely untouched, but schools in 'special measures' or 'requires improvement' are under what amounts to outside rule and governed by whatever directives are imposed upon them. It's hideous. Our previous head was brilliant in shielding us from the latest bullshit but we've had a new head and she has retained the basic ethos but there are things creeping in...

Anyway, aye - GMH otm.

Ngolo Cantwell (Chinaski), Saturday, 1 February 2020 10:24 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Teachers...you remember them.

Got a FB birthday notification today for a former student (I was still substituting at the time) celebrating his 40th. Felt like some kind of a vicarious milestone.

clemenza, Sunday, 15 March 2020 13:47 (four months ago) link

A Brooklyn high school teacher died yesterday from COVID-19.


clemenza, Thursday, 26 March 2020 16:31 (four months ago) link

The mom of a student I had 20 years ago posted some old photos on Facebook this week, one with me, so we're FB friends now. From a post she just put up: "I’m running out of batteries......get yer mind out of the gutter." Geez--moms!

clemenza, Monday, 30 March 2020 14:13 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

My wife (public school librarian) got a linkedin email from an old lawyer colleague (literally named Karen) who was looking for public school teachers who "might be looking for extra work" to run some pod for her kids and a couple other rich families. My wife gently told her that she wasn't interested and that she wasn't comfortable with the ideas of these pods given the huge equity issues they raise.

DJI, Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:12 (three weeks ago) link

Felt a pang of deep shame when I saw a former student at my part-time job and I recognized them first. Not really sure they even remembered me when I told them how we were supposed to have known each other.

very avant-garde (Variablearea), Thursday, 23 July 2020 01:35 (three weeks ago) link

no need to feel shame about that! i love recognizing people and if they don't recognize me, oh well!

the separation of fortunate children into private learning pods makes me feel ill; i can see the temptation to do it esp for unemployed teachers or those who are looking to gain experience or whatever reason but it's just so wrong. still, i know it's coming and probably not too long before some people i know are even hiring private instructors for their kids :( :( :(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:14 (three weeks ago) link

thinking of taking a pod gig and seeing how long i can teach age-appropriate lessons on das kapital b4 i get fired

methinks dababy doth bop shit too much (m bison), Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:53 (three weeks ago) link

Well this is interesting:

San Francisco officials are readying an unprecedented educational assistance program for the fall meant to help up to 6,000 children with their distance-learning needs, as parents and students confront the reality of starting the school year without classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting in September, dozens of recreation facilities, libraries and community centers across the city will be transformed into “learning hubs,” spaces where young students who may struggle with remote instruction can go each day to access their digital classwork and the social interactions that virtual schooling cannot provide.
Officials are prioritizing low-income families, children in public housing or the foster care system, homeless youth, and others in living situations that make remote learning particularly challenging. At first, the hubs will serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade, a group that has lower rates of infection, but officials will consider making the hubs available to older students. They will operate five days a week during ordinary school hours and will be staffed by experienced nonprofits and other organizations — many of which already partner with the city to provide after-school programs.

Hm. Well then I guess if rich people want to pod up (in San Francisco, at least), have at it? What do you guys think?

DJI, Friday, 24 July 2020 00:03 (three weeks ago) link

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