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Badass Teacher

Those Who Can

1/7/11 08:43 pm - rpeate - One of My Pep Talks

“Here’s the work. I can’t make you do it. You will either do it or you won't. You will either pass or fail, be graduated or not. It’s your choice: if you want to pass, you will. If you want to fail, you will.

"Oh, yes--and I see a lot of students who want ‘F’s. They sit there the entire period saying, ‘I will not do work! I will not do work! I will not do work! I really want an ‘F’! I really want an 'FFFFFFFFFF'!’ They work very hard to get ‘F’s.

“Do teachers give grades?”

“No. Teachers do not give grades. Teachers record the grades students earn. Teachers cannot do your work for you. It is, by definition, your work, your responsibility. Meet it.”

12/18/10 08:17 am - llemma

I've set the community to require moderator approval for new posts until the spam problem clears up. Sorry about that, y'all! All non-spam posts will still be approved. (:

7/20/10 07:37 pm - celestialnyte - For all you Connecticut teachers!!

Hello all!!

I was a teacher for the last 4 or so years, and I have recently taken a position at a nonprofit organization that works with families that have children with mental health challenges (we primarily work with 0-6, but we also work with those older than that). For the upcoming year, I'm looking for classrooms/schools to come in and do "special readers." I'd come in (or my coworker would) and we'd read to your class, as well as leave the book that we read, and leave a stuffed animal. We'd leave the animal for comfort reasons. I'm not sure WHAT we're going to call it, but it'll be there for when they're scared, upset, etc. (We're working on thinking of a cool name for it ... we haven't come up with any yet!) We'd also leave some material to give out to your students families if you'd like - we run monthly support groups (August is back to school, September I believe will be Eating Right, etc).

So, fellow teachers, if you're interested in having me come in, please let me know. And if you could pass this along to any of your friends, that'd be great too. I can give you my email, as well, if that helps.

Thanks everyone

(Also, mods, if this isn't allowed, please feel free to delete!)

cross posted!

6/19/10 08:51 pm - imbrub

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knew any high school level history or social studies related websites that would be useful in the classroom. Compared to English resources they seem to be few and far between!
I'm looking for web 2.0 software, like www.voicethread.com for instance, or other kinds of social media that students can engage with and that I can use in a history classroom. The resource doesn't have to be subject or classroom specific, just the ability to use it to adapt to a history class.
Any and all answers are appreciated. Thanks!

PS. Check out voicethread, it's an awesome tool for any class.

6/12/10 05:34 pm - romanfeatures - praxis ii - social studies

Do any social studies teachers have any advice on how to prepare for the Praxis II content and pedagogy tests?

I am a full-time special education teacher in MD, but I have a BA in history so I am getting certified as a secondary Social Studies teacher. I've been out of school and teaching for three years, and my undergraduate studies focused on 20th century US and European history, so I'm particularly nervous about the content knowledge test.

I ordered the study guides from ETS. I am taking the tests on July 24th, so I have about 6 weeks to study - since I'm working only sporadically over the summer, I'm hoping this will be enougb time.

Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for these tests or what to expect?

Thanks in advance!

6/8/10 04:22 pm - v3g4n - Advice for the new teacher?

I'm *so* scared to have my own grade 5 classroom next year!

I'm super stoked on planning, but I know I have an infinite amount of work to do to feel prepared. I also really hope I can help set a positive environment in the classroom from the get go. It's so hard to figure out how to make it feel like a supportive community. In French Immersion, they are often with the same kids for years. It really is a tight community, but it means that kids can straight up hate each other. I need to teach communication first. Conflict resolution. Get to know each other. Present on ourselves, families, etc.

I also want them to reflect on the need to show kindness to themselves and others. I want to teach destressing techniques.

Advice? Planning advice is also appreciated. I'm worried I'm not going to use or prioritize my time appropriately.

PS: I created a radical teacher journal with the intention that people with radical politics (anti-oppression/diy/consensus/etc) might shoot around ideas regarding the best way to break down hierarchies within the classroom, etc. Is there a need for that, or is this community already serving that purpose also?

3/28/10 09:32 am - sanba38 - text structures

Sorry to be all scholarly here all of a sudden, but can anybody direct me to some scholarly research that meets these criteria, off the top of your head?

1) Students were middle school or upper elementary.
2) Students were taught to read nonfiction passages and identify the organizational structure of the passage.
3) Students had pre- and post-intervention assessments of reading comprehension that was not designed by the same people who made the curriculum.
4) Students made greater gains in reading comprehension than a control group who took the same assessments and did not receive explicit instruction in identifying organizational structure of texts.

I'm just asking because my students and I have been struggling with these, and it seems to me that the ability to understand what you are reading is more of a prerequisite than a result of learning to identify organizational structure.

3/24/10 05:36 pm - laralikesska - Power struggles.

This past fall I student taught, had a great experience, and now I am subbing while looking for a permanent teaching job. Subbing is making me come up with all sorts of new classroom management skills I never needed in my own classroom where I had a relationship with my students. It's difficult trying to manage a class where you don't know the students and they don't know.

My specific inquiry is about how to avoid and deal with power struggles with students. I haven't encountered this too many times, but at a job the other day I had one student that pushed his boundaries as far as he could. I don't like sending kids to the detention room, so I try to use it as a last resort, but with a sub, a lot of students think there is no consequence to not listening to a sub, until you warn them that the next time you will send them to detention. Most of the time that warning works. But with this student, he would be doing one thing and I'd tell him to stop (mostly things that were distracting other students, or when the aide in the classroom told him to sweep up the (art) room to keep him busy, he was using the broom inappropriately, etc), and he'd keep doing it, and I'd say if you do it again you're going to detention. And he wouldn't do that one thing again, but he would start doing something else he shouldn't, and I'd give him a warning for that, and he would just move on to another inappropriate behavior. There were also small things, like when he was sweeping, he kept coming by me, and every time he would bump the broom into my foot and say, "excuse me" loudly. It was just small things, done for no other reason than to annoy me, but not large enough for me to kick him out of the room. I left a note about his behavior for the teacher, for him to handle however he wanted when he got back, but that didn't do much to help me through a very annoying and exhausting hour with this student.

I know he was doing it on purpose, I know he wanted to annoy me. So, how can you stop a power struggle like that from escalating? And how do you keep it from getting to you? I never show my emotions in front of the class, but I had prep/planning the next hour, and I just sat down and cried because I felt so helpless to do anything with this student. Any advice or suggestions? Thanks!

3/22/10 07:19 pm - cpufem - kids out of their seats before bell

maybe it's the spring weather but for the first time all year, half of the students in my 6th period class were on the way to the door today. i told everyone they better get in their seat if they wanted to be dismissed at all. they listened and obeyed but i don't want to go through this every time i see them!

any tips/suggestions ? 

3/15/10 02:30 pm - mshrmit - NCLB


I like more funding, but worry about the potential for abuse when it comes to rewarding the "good" school.
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