Monthly Archives: June 2008

Two Week Hiatus

“Leaving on a jet plane,
Don’t know when I’ll be back again…”

I am leaving for Washington D.C. and the NEA-RA Convention today. I will post about what I learn upon my return. Also, I am helping to hire three new English teachers the day after I get back, so I’ll report on that as well. Until then, have a great summer!

Another 4th of July in D.C. Woo-hoo!

A Robin Hood Effect

One of my criticisms of NCLB is that it causes too many schools to focus all of their attention on the bottom 25% of a school’s population while ignoring the middle- and upper-level students. Some of the effects of this focus in my school are:

  • fewer upper-level course choices in order to create more lower-level courses,
  • larger class sizes for middle- and upper-level students because of smaller class sizes for low achievers,
  • teacher time used to create new courses for lower-level students rather than refining other courses,
  • school resources (support, supplies, etc.) diverted away from the majority to the minority,
  • less teacher time for upper-level students because of the forced paperwork and attention on the lowest achieving students,
  • curriculum cuts to lower the bar for students (to create higher passage rates), and
  • the focus of the school’s efforts being on the teachers’ shoulders rather than placing a focus on the parents’ and students’ involvement as well. Continue reading

Teacher Websites

I’m going to advocate that every teacher create (or have someone else create) a website for every class, especially those of you teaching in middle and high schools. I have one, though I won’t link to it because I like my anonymity, but I will say it has improved my communication with parents and students. The following are a list of benefits I have found.
Continue reading

The Year in Review

I’m such a geek when it comes to teaching. Two weeks after the school year concludes, I’m ready to start again. Since I can’t have a classroom full of students to teach, I go back and revise and adapt my curriculum lessons during July and August. This year I have some more revisions to make, of course.

First, in Sophomore Honors English I want to include a writing assignment, even if a small one, every two weeks. This may take the form of more poetry and literary terms analysis, so I can combine units a bit more, killing two birds with the proverbial stone. I would also like to splash about a few small speeches prior to the final culminating speech to help the kids get more comfortable. Continue reading