Things for Teachers

Post(s) tagged with "education"

Hey Tumblr teachers, what do you wear to work?

I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures with teachers with jeans on at work which is crazy to me! The men have to wear shirts and ties at my school and women are supposed to wear business professional (although mostly we get away with business casual, but definitely no jeans). So, what do men & women wear at your school?

The Coming Revolution in Public Education - John Tierney - The Atlantic ⇢



By tumblr standards, it’s a lot of words. 

Read them. 

Do it.

The article links to this resignation letter. It also links to lots of other stuff I’m familiar with, but I had not seen this particular resignation letter before. It struck me. I don’t really have an adjective to describe how it struck me; it just struck me.

Source: allisonunsupervised

What it truly means to be a teacher

I haven’t posted in nearly 2 years. But after a few stressful weeks at work, I was inspired to write this when I got home today.

I read about teaching constantly in the news, and it doesn’t seem to reflect what I experience each day. It’s been increasingly frustrating to me. While it’s very difficult to express in words what a teacher’s day is like, I gave it an honest shot here (warning: there is a little bit of profanity). 

What it truly means to be a teacher

12:45pm. I am teaching a 7th period class; we are focusing on the costs and benefits of British rule in India. The students are working on a t-chart on their own, referencing a textbook.

A girl in the front looks upset. Her eyes are glassy. She is finished the assignment far before the others because her reading level is on grade level while many of the students in the same class are still struggling at grammar-school reading levels (I teach 10th grade). She is drawing circles on her paper.

I know she was supposed to audition for the X-Factor, a TV show, yesterday; she had been excited about it for months. I heard through the grapevine that her dad wouldn’t let her go. I kneeled down. “Are you okay?”

Another student shouts from a few rows over: “Ms. D, I need you to show me my grade.” (Yesterday, as I tried to get him to start his work, he told me to shut the fuck up.)

I ignored him for a moment to see if he would notice I am mid-conversation with another student. She nods and says, “I’m fine” unconvincingly.

Again- “My grade Ms. D, I need to see my grade.”

“I’ll show you your grade after class- I’m trying to talk to another student right now.”

“I need to see it though,” he insists. “Is this good? Am I done?” He holds up his t-chart. I’m still kneeling in front of X-Factor girl as she absentmindedly traces the already-drawn circles on her paper.

“Ms. D,” another student shouts from across the room. “Can I stay after class and see my grade too?”

It’s been 1 minute.

1:01pm. We have 4 minutes in between classes and the bell has just rung to mark the end of 7th period. My 8th period class is honors-level and they are preparing for a debate. I need to move the desks from their standard position in rows to 2 large groups before too many students file in. I start in the back and manage to get 2 desks flipped around.

A girl runs in who should have been in my 7th period class but wasn’t. “I came to say bye, Ms. D. I’m not gonna be here anymore.” She’s standing by my desk at the front of the room.

“What?” I ask, not fully processing what she’s said.

“I’m not coming back,” she repeats.

I walk up to my desk. My 8th period has started to file in. “Guys, if you could group the desks into your 2 teams, please,” flitting my hand at them since I’ve been pulled aside.

“My foster mom kicked me out and I’m going to a homeless shelter,” the student continues. “I can’t go to this school from there.”

A student I advise in NHS comes in. “Ms. D, I need to see the papers I gave you earlier today- I think I stapled something to them that I wasn’t supposed to.”

I reach for the file of papers that I had put hers in earlier that day. “You can’t come to CHS still while you’re at the homeless shelter?” I’m flipping through the pages.

“No,” the homeless student says. “Ms. M says I can’t until I’m placed, then maybe I can get transportation.”

I hand the papers to the NHS student that she’s requested. “I need you to sign these- they’re from the donation drive,” she says. I put them on my desk and sign quickly, looking over them to make sure they are what she says they are.

I turn to the homeless student again, not sure even what to say. “Do you have paper? Will you keep in touch? Call me if you need anything? Please?” I write down my phone number for her.

NHS girl waves a paper in front of my face. “Do you need this to verify my hours?” I shake my head.

“Ms. D, I have a question!” calls a student from across the room. I walk over.

The bell rings for 8th period to begin. I turn around and the homeless girl has disappeared; I didn’t even get to truly say goodbye.

It’s been 4 minutes.


1:20pm. My honors students are in their teams, preparing for their debate. There was tension in this class yesterday; the teammates weren’t getting along well. One of my students approached me in the morning saying she felt as if her team was not taking her comments seriously.

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Teacher people: If you don't have a Dropbox account, you need to get one. ⇢


Click the link above and sign up for a free account.

I use mine for school.  It’s so easy to work on something at home, save it to the dropbox, and immediately access it at work.  With the printing issues I had today, I could easily go to dropbox’s website, sign in, get my stuff and print it from a different computer.

I also sync this with for students to turn in homework.  

Like I said, I only use mine for school.  I don’t put heavy, personal information in mine (cloud services are a risk like that).  

Click the link and DOOO EET.

I echo everything GWALP says here! I don’t know how I did things before Dropbox. Do you know how many times I left my flashdrive in a school computer? Also, I love Dropbox because when I edit docs on my computer at home, they automatically update “in the cloud” and I don’t have to re-transfer them.

Tales of an 8th Grade Teacher: Back to School Reflections: What makes you nervous? ⇢


As the school year approaches for me, I always start to get nervous. I work very hard and always try to do my best, but I still worry about a multitude of things.

  • Am I prepared? Am I ready to meet every day and challenge head on?
  • Am I growing as an educator? Can I be doing more to develop as a…


Guess which Tracked Tag is the third most active on Tumblr?


Guess which Tracked Tag is the third most active on Tumblr?

Room for Debate: Can Young Students Learn Online? ⇢

I’ve been drawn to the Room for Debate forums on NY Times recently. Although the arguments aren’t necessarily the moth earth-shattering, I always appreciate reading about differing opinions, and this topic is increasingly relevant in today’s education world.

The New York Times

Teachers Working in Public ⇢


This story is brilliant. One of the remarks I hear all the time from non-educators when talking about paying teachers is the “number of hours teachers work.” People say that teachers only work 5 days a week, from 8-3 with summers off. What a cushy job! Those people are correct in that we only interact with the children from 8-3, M-F… But what people don’t see is the numbers hours spent away from the students. They don’t see the time spent grading 130 essays. They don’t see the time spent researching and lesson planning, or PowerPoint creating. On top of that, people do not realize how many teachers have to work 2-3 other jobs to make ends meet, not to mention summer work in their “time off from teaching.”

This brings me to the story: teachers doing their prep and grading work in public. Give people the chance to see how much work and effort actually goes into teaching. I easily out worked my wife when she was working full time as a nurse, doing 3 x 12 hour shifts for 52 weeks, but made a whole lot less money. No one ever told my wife, “Oh, you only worked 3 twelves this week” or told her that nurses should be making less because they get 4 days off each week.

Maybe then the public will start to appreciate what teachers do behind the closed doors of their classrooms when the students are gone. Maybe they will come to realize that teachers are not robots or baby sitters. Maybe they will realize that a free public education is not free.


I was about to post this story (although I was going to post this article) when I came across this post. Hopefully moments like these can spread throughout the nation to educate the public about the work teachers do after they leave the school building (or the long hours they stay in the building after the final bell rings).

Right now, I'm teaching ⇢

I, on the other hand, love teaching.  I do.  I don’t like the politics of it — not just the governor (though certainly that), but the jockeying to see who is going to teach what classes, the infighting that says if So-and-So’s department has an extra section of Such-and-Such, then there is one less section for Social Studies.  But the students are great.  If there is “Little Effort” in my class then I try to get a little more, and I try to explain the consequences if it is not forthcoming.  I try to engage them, try to make them laugh and learn at the same time.  Some days I succeed better than others, but I try.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m blowing my own horn, because the thing is, I’m not special.  I don’t think I do anything different than any other teacher in my building, in my district, or in my state.  Teaching is a calling as much as it is a job, and I will keep doing it to the best of my ability for as long as I can.

If people in this and other states find me greedy, or overpaid, or underworked, I’ll keep teaching.  If Governor Walker and the Radical Republicans have their way and this horrible bill passes, I’ll keep teaching.   With this blog, I will cling to the embers of my righteous rage, and will eventually fan them back to flames, because even though my dad is more than a decade gone, I still can’t stand him thinking I would put in “little effort.”  I just have to get through Finals Week first.  Right now, I’m teaching.

This is the end of a blog post written by a teacher in Wisconsin. Click the link to read the beginning.

Obama: Rewrite No Child Left Behind before next school year ⇢

Whether lawmakers can fulfill his wish to approve a bill by the end of summer remains unclear. The education law - enacted in 2002 under then-President George W. Bush - addresses issues including school performance ratings, standardized testing, teacher quality, academic standards and equity for the poor.

Consideration of whether it should also address other controversial topics, such as teacher merit pay and public vouchers for students attending private school, could complicate what is likely to be a prolonged debate.

Washington Post


Who I am: A fourth year high school history teacher at an urban(ish) high school in New Jersey.

What I blog about: Stuff related to education I like, and stuff I hope can help other teachers out. Technology, deals on supplies, helpful books. My focus lately is on educational technology & related resources. Occasionally, I also post things related to education reform. Because I post articles that I feel will be of interest to teachers with varying views, the political-related posts made here do not necessarily reflect my beliefs or opinions, nor do they reflect the beliefs of my employer.

What I like learning & reading about: Other teacher's opinions about and experiences with teaching & education. How I can enrich my classroom and reach out to my students. If you write about this stuff, let me know, because I probably want to read it.

What you should submit: Anything that could help a teacher.

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