Monday, April 23, 2007

The Best of Parents and the Worst of Parents

These days it almost isn’t worth it to contact a parent regarding a child’s behavior problems.

You get hung up on, cussed at, and told it’s your fault the child did thus and so.

Heavy sigh.

The following pictures are a welcome change to all that. Check out these pics found at Make sure you click to the next picture to see a close up of the sign the child is holding. Way to go Mom!

On the flip side is this guy.

Check out the survey in the upper right corner and click on results. As I posted this 92% of those who responded said the father’s case doesn’t hold water.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sing a Song About Testing

The Georgia Carnival is up over at Georgia On My Mind hosted by Elementaryhistoryteacher. I guess Georgia women bloggers need to get a few submissions in for the next carnival, It has some great submissions, but there isn't a female among them.

The most recent education carnival can be found at The Education Wonks.

We begin state testing on Tuesday, and we have reached the place where the rubber meets the road so to speak. I’m not going to be able to cram anything else in their heads.

I opened up my email yesterday to find the following. It had been sent to me by a colleague. She had gotten it from someone else, who had gotten it from someone else. You get the idea.

Here’s how it went:

Go on to sleep now, third grader of mine.
The test is tomorrow but you'll do just fine.
It’s reading and math, forget all the rest.
You don't need to know what is not on the test.
Each box that you mark on each test that you take,
Remember your teachers.
Their jobs are at stake.
Your score is their score, but don't get all stressed.
They'd never teach anything not on the test.
The School Board is faced with no child left behind with rules but no funding;
they're caught in a bind.
So music and art and the things you love best are not in your school
'cause they're not on the test.
Sleep, sleep, and as you progressyou’ll learn there's a lot that is not on the test.
Debate is a skill that is useful to know,
Unless you're in Congress or talk radio,
Where shouting and spouting and spewing are blessed'
Cause rational discourse was not on the test.
Thinking's important.
It's good to know how.
And someday you'll learn to, but someday's not now.
Go on to sleep, now.
You need your rest.
Don’t think about thinking.

It’s not on the test.

I’m not really sure how I feel about the words contained here. I guess it does pretty much sum up the culture that mandated testing has brought us.

At any rate….the email provided a link and gave the following information regarding the guys who wrote the song:


by John Forster & Tom Chapin 2007 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

Illustration credit: John Enos

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's on YOUR Wish List?

So as the title says....What's on your wish list?

Here's some of the things on my list:

-several large volcanic pumice samples plucked from the rivers of Oregon after a spring thaw
-crime scene tape
-Mad Cow Disease microbes (the plush kind)
-instant snow polymer
-several pieces of Lignum Vitae wood----it actually sinks in water
-one 3D Standing Wave machine
-a few Neodymium magnets (most powerful magnet material in the world)

It’s that time of year again……when the Instructional Materials Money fairy begins to flit about awarding teachers with classroom money to spend on items needed for instruction. The above is my wish list for science items.

All of these items can be purchased from Educational Innovations, Inc., a fantastic company that lives up to its name……their materials are very innovative.

Follow the link and visit their online catalog. These items are great for parents to supplement their little Einstein’s toy chest or for homeschoolers and classroom educators to use in planning motivating lessons for students.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You Want Me To Do What?

The following has made the email rounds more times than I can count, however, this piece really sums up what a teacher faces each day in his or her classroom. I thought I would immortalize this piece here, so I always have it handy when I need it.

After being interviewed by the school administrator, the eager teaching prospect said, “Let me see if I’ve got this right…….

You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.

I’m supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their t-shirt messages and dress habits.

You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem.

You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.

I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all students pass the state exams, even those who don’t come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.

I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap.

I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report cards.

You want me to this with just an Expo marker, a whiteboard, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps!

You want me to do all of this and then you tell me……

I can’t pray?”

Gee, after reading this again it’s no wonder I’m so tired and brain dead each evening while I work through the bag of paperwork I have to bring home just to maintain an illusion of being caught up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

All They Need Is a Little Prompting

Every educator, including classroom teachers, homeschoolers, and parents who just want a little extra for their student needs an account with United Streaming for access to educational videos, audios clips, and images.

Recently I received and update from the folks at United Streaming to advise they have added more than 500 writing prompts based on NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) standards.

All of the prompts are difficulty based from basic to more advanced. The prompts for grades 3-12 include descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive opportunities for students, and analysis prompts are included for grades 9-12.

Accompanying images that relate to content areas in literary and non-literary areas are also included.

To enter the writing prompt center log in to United Streaming and then look to the right under “Teacher Center” for the link.