When Did Teaching Become Such a Dangerous Profession?

August 28, 2016

 

 

Police, firemen, nightclub bouncers – these are dangerous professions. It seems you can now add teaching to that mix.

When a student fires a stun gun at a teacher for doing nothing more than his job, you have to wonder how this great profession became so dangerous.

 

 

Click on the link to read Protect Our Teachers

A Teacher Doesn’t Get to Go Off Duty

August 22, 2016

 

If you want to get drunk and do foolish things in your non-working hours don’t become a teacher. We are role models long before our first lesson and long after the bell at the end of the day. Emily Higgins will be embarrassed by her actions.

And so she should be.

 

 

Click on the link to read Father Gets Revenge on Teacher Who Had an Affair With His Young Daughter

Why Many Teachers Leave

August 15, 2016

Megan Webb

 

I would continue to be a teacher even if my pay was substantially cut, but I am very much in the minority. Teachers get paid better than some might think, but not as much as they deserve.

One teacher penned a very thoughtful piece on why she chose to leave the profession:

 

Heartbreaking – it’s the only word that can describe how it feels to walk away from something that was once your dream. The one job you always wanted to do, the person you wanted to become.

For the first time in 10 years, I am not anxiously preparing my classroom, anticipating the arrival of twenty energetic children and a new year full of learning, laughter and excitement.

Instead, I am preparing myself for a new career in the business world. And not because I wanted to. I absolutely loved my teaching job at Equestrian Trails Elementary. But sadly, love just isn’t enough.

Why am I leaving? I am being forced to make a decision between the absolute love of teaching and living up to my potential to support myself. Since graduating from college, I have been fortunate enough to focus on my work, and ignore my stagnant income by living with my parents.

It has been a very comfortable living arrangement that’s worked well for my family and me, and I just assumed I would move out when I “met the right guy.”  But, that hasn’t happened yet, and at the age of 32, I decided it is time for me to move out on my own and become a fully independent adult.

There is just one giant obstacle standing in my way: I simply cannot support myself comfortably with my current income.

A year’s experience worth just $274

I’ve always known that education would be far from lucrative, and I have always been accepting of that. However, I never anticipated that my salary would not grow along with my years of experience.

When I started teaching in the Palm Beach County School District a decade ago, I made $33,830. Today, I make $43,239.

While that’s a lot more than I made in my first year of teaching, it’s just $2,464 more per year than an incoming first-year teacher today, or an additional $274 for each year of experience.

When I began my career, the hope for a more comfortable future seemed attainable. The pay scale in 2007 reflected a more sizeable difference of $6,600 between a first and tenth year teacher.

Unfortunately, since I began teaching in 2006, we have seen serious changes to our pay structure, and a lack of substantial raises.

Compound that with an inflation rate of 19.6% over the past ten years, rising healthcare costs, and a change to our state-funded retirement pension (requiring a 3% deduction from our paycheck), and we as a teaching class have gained very little ground in a decade.

Discouragingly, the prospect of meaningful increases in the future seems dim.

 

To read more of her fabulous essay click on this link:

 

Click on the link to read The Countries Where Teachers Are Paid the Most

Click on the link to read You Can Get Paid Like a Monkey Without Being One

Click on the link to read Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers

 Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!

Father Gets Revenge on Teacher Who Had an Affair With His Young Daughter

August 11, 2016

teacher-stripped

 

I have long argued that teachers who abuse the privilege bestowed on them by having affairs with their impressionable students are evil. Their conduct is absolutely reprehensible. And whilst I absolutely don’t agree with the conduct of this upset father, it is up to teachers to avoid any altercations by leaving their students alone. Similarly, it is up to the courts to send a loud and clear message that teachers who are involved sexually with their students face many years behind bars:

 

Footage has emerged online of a teacher stripped and beaten after an alleged affair with a high-school pupil in China. 

Internet users claiming to be his former pupils said on social media that the man had sexually assaulted a female student, reports the People’s Daily Online

The parents of the girl reportedly beat and stripped the man before the video was captured in Wei County, northern China’s Hebei province.

In the footage the teacher can be seen sitting on the floor without clothes as people can be heard crowding around the man and talking. 

Other onlookers can be seen filming the incident on their phones. 

The teacher sways backwards and forwards throughout the video.  

Staff at Weixian Number 1 Middle School confirmed that the man in the video was a teacher at the school surnamed Li.

He had been a teacher at the school for some years. 

They said that ‘student evaluation of Li’s classes were good.’ 

Police have confirmed that the incident did take place and have said that they are still investigating the case. 

The local Public Security Bureau issued a notification on August 9 confirming that they found a naked man suspected of crimes on the north outer ring road. 

The man was injured and so police took him to hospital.  

In March this year, it was reported that a teacher tried to rape a female student in Lingshan County, China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region. 

Teachers immediately intervened and managed to free the student from the 30-year-old male teacher, surnamed Huo. The victim reportedly suffered no injuries. 

Photos from the incident show the naked man grabbing hold of the girl from behind and pushing her against a wall in broad daylight.  

The Inspiring Things Teachers Often Do for Their Students

August 7, 2016

I am so happy that the press ran with this story. All the negative publicity that follows teachers around prevents the public from fully appreciating the many teachers who inspire their students.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Pens Moving Letter to Autistic Student

Click on the link to read Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl

Click on the link to read A Profession that Truly Cares

Click on the link to read Connecting With Your Students is the Key to Teaching Them Effectively

Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

July 31, 2016

behavior-cartoon

 

Written by Josh Work courtesy of edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

The School Where Clapping is Banned

July 21, 2016
The Elanora public school’s newsletter banned clapping out of ‘respect’ for noise-sensitive students who may now ‘punch the air’ or do ‘silent cheers’. Picture: Elanora Heights Public School

 

If we keep fashioning school rules to look after the 1% at the expense of the 99%, it will have a dramatic effect on the kids’ general enjoyment of school.

I love to clap. I clap my students all the time. One of my students wrote a recount today that was so funny and perceptive I found myself laughing and clapping throughout the whole thing. The rest of the class were doing the same.

Yes, I am aware that there are students who find loud noises quite difficult, and I obviously care about their needs too. But the reality is, that if you put 25 kids in a room you are going to get noise. Schools are not libraries and shouldn’t have to adopt library etiquette just because some have sound sensitivities.

Schools that look after their 1% need to ensure that their rules don’t inhibit the enjoyment of the 99%, because then you don’t have a school the wider student community can enjoy:

 

CLAPPING has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”.

The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The latest example of a political correctness outbreak in Australian schools, which have banned hugging, singing Christmas carols, celebrating Australia Day and singing the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “baa baa black sheep”.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.

“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”

 

Click on the link to read Don’t Blame Teachers for National Anthem Furor

Click on the link to read Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

And You Say You Want Male Teachers!

July 14, 2016

male-teacher-discrimination

 

I’ve heard it all before.

“Where are all the male teachers?”

“If there were only more male teachers!”

“What these children need are positive male rolemodels.”

Don’t listen to them men. The reality does not fit the theory that male teachers would be welcomed into the profession with open arms. In fact, it’s worse than that. There is a prevailing stigma that our intentions are not the same, that our conduct isn’t as righteous and it is much harder for a male to gain the trust a female teacher gets.

I am not playing the victim here. I don’t want sympathy. I’m just advising any prospective male teachers to watch out.

Take this news article about male teachers below the age of 50 being purposely overlooked for teaching jobs in an all girls school. How are we supposed to react to this? And don’t argue that this is an isolated case. No, on the contrary, this kind of thing does happen all over the world.

 

Under the new policy, unveiled on July 13, teachers below the age of 50 (as on June 30, 2016) will not be eligible for transfer to any government secondary school for girls. The policy is applicable with effect from the academic session 2016-17.

Ram Bilas Sharma, the education minister of Haryana, has said teachers are to submit their choice of schools online for transfer from this academic session onwards. “Any teacher who has not completed 50 years as on June 30, should not opt for girls’ school. Even if any teacher opts for it, he would not be considered for transfer,” he said.

 

Click on the link to read A Male Teacher Drought or a Great Teacher Drought?

Click on the link to read Double Standards on Gender When it Comes to Teaching

Click on the link to read Sexism and Schools

Click on the link to read I Would be Happy to Have CCTV Cameras in My Classroom

Funny Things Students Do and Say

July 13, 2016

1895

Below is a list of 21 anecdotes shared by teachers on Reddit (courtesy of people.com):

 

1. “I was having a conversation with my manager, and my second grade student comes out of the classroom and says very seriously… ‘Can I poop?'”

2. “I was with a student, waiting late after a rehearsal. The kid called home: ‘Hey, can you tell mom to pick me up? Oh, she’s in the shower … what about dad? He’s in the shower too….?’ Then he turned to me and said, ‘It’s going to be awhile, Mr. M.'”

3. “A student was mad at me because I made him redo a math test, so he walked over to the classroom door. When I told him I would need to call the office if he left the room without permission, he proceeded to slam his own leg in the door about five times. Then he looked at me and said, ‘Now my leg hurts and I’m going to tell everyone it was your fault.'”

4. “I had a student who had extreme test anxiety. Every time we went to take a test he would throw up. After vomiting he would be fine, but he had to spew everywhere first for stress reduction or something. I would seat him next to the bathroom and provide a bucket. Now this worked on normal days, but during our state testing, he would not be able to go to the restroom unless I first called an administrator to escort him. On the big testing day, we practiced breathing techniques. I had a handy vomit bucket for him, and we were ready to go. After ten minutes, he sure enough looked like he was going to be sick. Except he forgot about the bucket. He vomited and then tried to hold it in his mouth. He shoved his puke back in his mouth, swallowed and smiled at me and gave me a thumbs-up. Horrified, yet simultaneously holding back laughter, I gave him wipes and a bunch of mints. The kid did great on the test in the end.”

5. “My classroom carpet had the alphabet border around the edges. One of my pre-school students, Demetrius, likes to sit on the letter D because it’s the first letter of his name. One day, Zaria sits on the letter D. Demetrius gets in her face and yells, ‘Zaria! Get off my D!’ I lost it.”

6. “One kid who didn’t have that much money wanted to make personalized bookmarks for the rest of the class. Because his family didn’t have much money, he decided to look around his dad’s work place to find something he could use. In the trash can there were a bunch of long strips of cardboard. The only thing was the cardboard came from cigarette cartons because his dad worked at a liquor store. So on one side there was a kid’s name and cute pictures, and on the other was blatant advertising for Marlboro, Pall Mall, Camel, you name it. It was so hard to not laugh when he came up to me and excitedly showed them. This was my first time working in a classroom, and I had no idea what to do. The teacher ended up having me take them to the supply room and laminate them with construction paper covering the other side. We told the kid it would help them last longer. His bookmarks were every one’s favorite gift.”

7. “A student walking down the hallway had his Darth Vader mask confiscated by the principal. The kid replied the right way. He dropped to his knees and did the most perfect Vader ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!’ The principal looked at me as the hall burst into laughter.”

8. “I was teaching English to a class of primary school Thai kids. I was teaching them plurals by showing them a slideshow of cartoon monsters (‘It has three eyes’, ‘It has four legs,’ etc) and getting them to tell me how many limbs each monster had. One little kid, five-years-old, got really into it, and on one monster shoots his hand in the air and comes out with: ‘It has one….ANUS!’ I was speechless for a second so he jumped up on his chair, backwards, bends over and starts pointing to his butt shouting, ‘NO TEACHER! ANUS! IT’S ANUS!'”

9. “Female science teacher here. I was about two weeks into my first job. Another student dropped a pen by accident, so I picked it up. I stood up to find one of the biggest boys in the class (about 14-years-old) standing right next to me. He got even closer, and said, ‘Good girl.’ I was kind of shocked, so just said, ‘Excuse me?’ and he replied with the creepiest ever top-to-toe survey of my body, a leer and then asked, ‘Would you rather be a bad girl?’ My whole body just recoiled.”

10. “When reading Hamlet with the class, after Ophelia’s line about Hamlet, ‘To speak of horrors – he comes before me,’ a kid said, ‘Hamlet, get it together, man.’ I cracked up. The other kids didn’t get it luckily.”

11. “My grandma was a kindergarten teacher for a long time and has some funny stories. Once a quiet kid randomly came up to her and said, ‘Mrs. H, Jimmy said the f––– word.'”

12. “I teach undergrad courses. I caught a student that had plagiarized a few paragraphs in one of her papers. I asked her to stay after lecture and sat her down, asking if she had plagiarized her paper. Her eyes got huge, she welled up and then she said, ‘I did! I’m so sorry! I was so tired and had so much work and my roommate told me to do it and said you would never find out.’ Then with the most serious expression she whispered,  ‘And, I know now she’s the devil!’ I did not laugh even though I really wanted to.”

13. “One time a kid twisted another kids nipple as he raised his hand to answer a question.”

14. “There were fish tanks in our high school biology lab. A student pulled some brightly colored fish gravel out, dried it off, gave it to two of the ‘popular girls’ and told them it was pop rocks. They tried to eat it, which obviously didn’t go well, so they, of course, loudly complained to the teacher. When the teacher got involved the instigator said, ‘Everyone knows we’re not allowed to eat in the biology lab, so it’s really their own fault for breaking the rules.'”

15. “My friend’s wife is a high school music teacher, and once when she went into class and to get set up, she sees this kid take his trombone and place it between his legs and slid the slide out going, ‘Look, I got a tromboner.'”

16. “Half way through Animal Farm, a student says, ‘Wait a minute. This book has talking animals in it!?'”

17. “I had a kid in my music history class say ‘Queen Dildo’ instead of ‘Queen Dido’ for the whole first act of the play we were reading in class.”

18. “I showed my students a picture of the Titanic on its end beside the Eiffel Tower to give an idea of scale. A student asked how they got the big boat to balance while they took the photo.”

19. “A student called me ‘Mom’ recently. I’m a male with a giant beard.”

20. “A nursing student that my roommate was dating asked me if eggs (like chicken eggs that you eat for breakfast) were considered a fruit or vegetable.”

21. “A student once asked me what I did for a living.”

Teacher Pens Moving Letter to Autistic Student

July 12, 2016

 

teacher-letter-autistic-boy

Above is a letter sent by the teacher of an 11-year old autistic boy and has been shared by the boy’s mother.

It reinforces what all teachers believe: That our students true worth can not be adequately measured by any standardised test or assessment.

Still, for the teacher to go to the trouble to compose this letter and send it to her student is extremely inspiring.

I may start to do the same.

 

Click on the link to read Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl

Click on the link to read A Profession that Truly Cares

Click on the link to read Connecting With Your Students is the Key to Teaching Them Effectively

Click on the link to read Teachers can Make a Real Difference!


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