Category Archives: Snarky

Snark Central

I walked into the copy room today, and my new principal smiled and said, “How did the day go?” My reply: “No one cried today.” (Actually, it was a great day. No one came close to tears.)

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A while back I spoke with the Learning and teaching Director, and she mentioned wanting to know how the teachers in our school plan out their days. I laughed and said, “Days?! I have the whole year planned out.” She looked shocked and asked me how that’s possible, and I said with a grin, “Check out my website.”

I hurried down the hall and accessed my server and changed my links for every day to “continue watching Lord of the Rings.” (Hey, If you only talk to me once or twice a year, this is what you get.)

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For the last few years we have been required to write learning targets on the board and to be able to show anyone who may walk in how my students participate actively in class. I knew my old principal would be stopping by my room, so I taught the kids how to make me look good.

When I asked a question, everyone had to raise their hands. If they know the answer they raise their left hands, and if they do not know the answer they raise their right hands.

Every time I asked a question while the principal was in the room, it looked as though I taught them perfectly. Every hand was up. She was very impressed.

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A student asked me what I do in my spare time, and I replied, “Study the dictionary and read some Shakespeare.” She thought I was serious. (I’m not sure how I feel about this.)

By The Numbers

Let’s look at the numbers.

  • 17% of charter schools are “superior to a matched traditional public school” and
  • 37% were worse than the matched school.

Of course, this means that charter schools are the answer to education’s woes.

  • 7.5-10% of student test score gains can be attributed to teacher quality and
  • 10-20% of student achievement results can also be statistically linked to teachers, but
  • “about 60 percent of achievement is explained by nonschool factors.”

So, this means that schools without adequate family or community support must be solely responsible for the ills of education. Anything less than 100% success is unacceptable!

Yep, that sounds like what I keep reading and hearing. Here endeth the snarkiness.

The Most Relaxed Man in Education

Bad Taste Alert:

I bet he was the chillest teacher ever. He was probably buds with everyone in school, most likely seeded his classes with happiness, and assuredly didn’t mind being blunt.

I’m guessing his students lit up every time he entered the room. He would weed out the token troublemakers and hash out appropriate discipline, but he would never have them stoned.

I bet he has a smoking car in the garage and while home would keep the local kids off his grass. I can see him dropping his bowl of brownies and blazing a trail to answer the bonging doorbell when his fatty Aunt Mary arrives. After a great visit and a small case of the munchies, he would hit the hay with a relaxed, blank expression.

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In all seriousness (and I know this is a serious subject), I wonder if he will lose his license. Even a non-violent felony not related to his job can cost him his career.

You Don’t Say

So….”the new math scores signal that Chicago is nowhere near the head of the pack in urban school improvement, even though Duncan often cites the successes of his tenure as he crusades to fix public education.” Really? Very surprising indeed.

Hmmm….”gains on state test scores were inflated when Illinois relaxed passing standards and that too many students still drop out of high school or graduate unprepared for college” and “Duncan’s closure of low-performing schools often shuffled students into comparable schools, yielding little or no academic benefit.”

You mean Secretary Arne Duncan’s methods are not the panacea long sought for by education reformers? I just can’t believe it.

Well, why wouldn’t we want to apply his Chicago methods to education around the country?

Sigh. My snark meter is running high today.

Obama Speaks to Kids

President Obama gave his speech to students today on C-SPAN, and I had not planned on having my students watch it since it’s not directly germane with the course of study; however, my students requested to watch it, and I let them.

Here is the transcript.

I don’t really understand the objections to Obama’s speech since his message was to become successful in school.

However as I heard today, if you play it backwards you can hear his Communist plan to indoctrinate our youth and to destroy America…or it’s simply the perfect cheesecake recipe. I can’t tell which. 🙂