Sow. Cultivate. Bloom.

An online journal of an uprooted life.

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

What Happened to Local Control in Nashville?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Amy Frogge is a recently elected member of the Metro Nashville school board. She overcame a heavily funded opponent. She was named to our honor roll because she ran for school board to speak for parents and students. A lawyer, she takes her civic duty seriously. She believes in democracy, where the people closest to the problems have a voice in resolving them.

That’s why she has been a strong opponent of the Great Hearts charter school. Frogge describes the situation here.

Its plans were inadequate in relation to diversity. Few of the Arizona Great Hearts schools are diverse. This was not acceptable to the Nashville school board. It was no problem for state commissioner of education Kevin Huffman, who didn’t care if Great Hearts ended up with few or no black children. He withheld $3.4 million from the children of Nashville to punish the school board for turning down…

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More brilliance to inspire me!

No Sleep 'til Summer::

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I feel I have always been a very reflective and responsive teacher; if I saw something I was doing wasn’t working properly or supporting the kids enough, the next day would be different. Sometimes that meant a new center, chart to reference, a new approach to behavior management or reorganizing the room. I was self-critical enough to learn from my mistakes but not dwell on them. I believed I was a good teacher because my students grew quickly; I could assess their learning and it was even obvious to them. They often made more than a year’s progress, sometimes going from a first to a fourth grade reading level.

So, why was I worried every time I stepped out of my room to let a cluster or sub teach them? Why was I scared about what would happen to them in middle school?

Even though part of my worry was…

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2000+ Paper Cranes and A Wish

Months back I wrote a post about something unrelated to education.  We’d been folding paper cranes for months because we’d learned that Mom had the dreaded C word. Cancer.

Well those cranes must’ve worked their magic because Mom got a clean bill of health this week. 

I believe this is what the kids call WINNING.

Schoolyard Troubles

As I begin to wind down my time here I’ve been reflecting more and more on some of the similarities and hilarity that I’ve encountered this year. My first two years teaching yielded a plethora of funny yet maddening events. Just yesterday I was reminded about how in my first year, one of my students pushed another student off a small wall onto cement which caused fallen student to break both her ulna and radius on her right arm.

My time in teaching has not been without drama. Oh boy, has it not.

I used to write a little end of the year diatribe to my colleagues called Me Teach Pretty Someday. And here I am about to finish up year 5 and well, I’m still not teaching pretty.

So without further adieu, some schoolyard troubles and funnies from my year:

1.) The other day a student put his hand on my belly and said “Teacher? Baby?” Keep in mind I’m 5’11”, run 5K three times a week and lift weights. What I’m saying is, I don’t really have a belly. Later that day, I pulled him aside and said “If you learn anything from me this year, ________, let me tell you, don’t do that ever again to any woman. Trust me.”

2.) Just the other day, a kid bit another kid enough to break skin. Did I mention, this was an almost 6th grader? Yup. Defense is rough.

3.) Once during question of the day, which was “What would you do during the Zombie Apocalypse?” a student replied “First I’d paint myself like a zombie, then I’d hunker down and start folding my thousand paper cranes.” I had just taught them about the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Priceless.

4) Just yesterday someone took a fancy to squirt rubbing alcohol into a classmates eye. They had made some project in Social Studies….I have no idea! All I know is, WHAT?! How do you even do that?!

Though my list is long, for now I’ll leave it at that. These are the moments I like to look back at and laugh at because they are the ones that make this job so dynamic. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter where you go, kids are kids and dang do they do some random things.

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