Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lessons We Can Learn From the Rafe Esquith Suspension

June 21, 2015


The most highly decorated and dedicated teacher in America has been sitting in his lounge room for the past 2 months. He has been stripped of his right to do what he does best, because a colleague dobbed him in to the authorities for a politically incorrect joke.

Since hearing of his suspension I have been in a state of shock. Who would want to take the best teacher out of the classroom? Shouldn’t they be working on getting more Rafe’s instead of finding absurd ways of removing them from classrooms?

After days of soul searching I have come up with some lessons I have learned from this saga:


1. It Could be You – If Rafe can be barred from the classroom, anyone can. Next it could be you.

2. Leave Your Sense of Humour at the Door – Don’t even think of cracking a joke. It could cost you your job. The classroom is not a place for humour. It should be a joyless, lifeless, cold and bitter place. If you want to see kids laugh, become a party clown!

3. A Good Record Counts for Nothing – Teacher of the Year! Who cares? When a jealous co-worker dobs you in to the authorities, a lifelong reputation of excellence and integrity counts for nothing. Leave your references at the door. Educational bureaucrats with an ego the size of Greece’s debt aren’t in the mood to excuse a trivial comment, even if your name is Mother Theresa.

4. Teaching is a Dog Eat Dog Profession – Yes, I am generalizing, but don’t tell me you’ve never experienced it. Why do teachers feel the need to compete with one another? Aren’t the children supposed to be the emphasis. That teacher who snitched on Rafe has a lot of explaining to do. If as I presume, he/she did it out of jealousy, it is yet another example of teachers hurting their own. Our job is difficult enough as it is, why do we need to constantly compete against and judge one another? We should be supporting, not reporting each other!

5. Who wants to be a Male Primary Teacher? – C’mon, you know I’m right. It’s the elephant in the room. Had a female teacher made the same joke as Rafe did (a joke I don’t endorse), would she have been suspended? Absolutely not. You want more male teachers in the younger years? Start by treating us equally.

6. It’s not Just about Rafe’s Reputation, It’s a Reflection on Our Profession – Here was a teacher that absolutely adores what he does. He is a true inspiration. And what do the authorities do to acknowledge his outstanding work? Ban him from the classroom. What message does this send to perspective teachers. Perhaps it’s easier working at Walmart. I’m sure the pay isn’t all that different.

7. Teach at a Private School if You Can – By working at a public school, Rafe’s reputation was greatly enhanced. He was seen as a champion for the downtrodden, the under privileged. But the problem with public schools is that they are often run in a chaotic and cold-hearted fashion. Private schools personally select and invest in you. They choose you because they believe in you, and unless there is ample proof that they were completely wrong about you, they will give you the benefit of every doubt. Public schools on the other hand treat you like a number. Had Rafe made that comment in a private school, his Principal would have backed him all the way. Perhaps, at worst, he would have had to issue an apology, but nothing more than that. It’s great to teach those who need you the most, but not at the expense of your reputation.


Click on the link to read #StandByRafe

Click on the link to read The Teacher I Most Look Up To, Removed from the Classroom

Click on the link to read Teachers Don’t Get Any Better Than This!


Teacher Lets Bullied Student Shave Her Head as a Show of Solidarity

May 21, 2015


A wonderful gesture. I hope it has just as much impact on the teaser than it has on her teased student:


Teachers routinely go above and beyond expectations. They arrive at school early, stay late and often pay for supplies from their own pocket book, among many other things. But few would let their students shave their heads.

On Monday, Tori Nelson struck a deal with one of her fourth-grade students in Winlock, Washington: He could shear off her short, blonde locks but only if he would take off his hat, which the school prohibited, and finally come to class.



Click on the link to read Inspiring Act by Professor Goes Viral

Click on the link to read Is There Anything More Important Than ‘Knowing’ Your Students?

Click on the link to read Could this be the Most Inspiring Teacher Working Today?

Click on the link to read There Are Some Teachers That Just Love What They Do

Is Technology Making Our Kids Less Empathetic?

May 4, 2015


Blaming technology for making our kids show signs of “autism” seems insensitive to those with legitimate cases 0f autism and unfair on kids for enjoying the same gadgets we adults do:


A UK psychiatrist and former literary scholar at Oxford University has claimed the ubiquity of technology is making young children borderline “autistic”, compared to previous generations.

Dr Iain McGilchrist believes the significant time many young kids are spending with smartphones and tablet devices has resulted in children as young as five struggling to read others’ emotions and being less empathetic.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Dr McGilchrist said he had a growing awareness of teachers needing to explain to their students how to make sense of human faces.

Kids are “increasingly finding it difficult to communicate at an emotional level in what appears to be features of autism,” he said.

“Children spend more time engaging with machines and with virtual reality than they used to in the past where they don’t have to face the consequences of real life,” he told The Telegraph.

In Australia, the debate has raged over the appropriate age to give children smartphones and how much time they should spend using them each day.

Research released by Telstra this year showed that more than two thirds (68 per cent) of Aussie children aged three to 17 own a smartphone and spend an average of 21 hours and 48 minutes per week on the devices.

Sydney-based family researcher and father of six Dr Justin Coulson recommends a minimum age of 12 or 13 for children to be given a phone. “And then make it a dumb one. Smart parents give their kids dumb phones,” he said.

That’s exactly what Victorian woman and mother of three, Laura Marchese did. She bought a “dumb” phone for her 10-year-old son to carry when he walks home from school.

“I don’t want him to have the world at his fingertips; a phone is in your pocket and he’s more likely to get it out and use it all the time,” she told the Herald Sunlast month.



Click on the link to read 5 Apps You May Not Want Your Kids Using

Click on the link to read 11 Valuable Digital Media Tips for Students

Click on the link to read The 10 Best Educational Apps for Children

Click on the link to read The Must Have iPad Apps for the Classroom

The Horrible New Trend Known as “Lunch Shaming”

May 2, 2015



Schools should stick to their core responsibilities and refrain from shaming the very stakeholders they should be working together with:


A busy mum who ran out of fruits and vegetables was sent a “strongly worded note” for packing Oreos for her daughter in her lunch box. The school felt that it was reminding the parent about the nutritional practices, but many feel that it was an over the top reaction.

Colorado mum Leeza Pearson had packed a routine lunch box for her daughter which included string cheese and a sandwich. Since she had run out of fruits and vegetables, she packed in Oreos for her daughter Natalie. But the pre-schooler returned home without eating her snack and brought home a note from the teacher advising parents of the importance of eating healthy.

According to ABC news, the school did not allow the pre-schooler to eat her lunch, sending the mum an advisory note instead. The note said “this is a public school setting and all children are required to bring in fruits, vegetables and a healthy snack along with milk. Lunchables, chips, peanut butter and snacks are not considered healthy.” This reaction has been considered by many as “over the top.” Pearson told ABC news that she had packed in a vegetable sandwich along with cheese in the lunch box and this was also ignored.

The spokeswoman for Aurora Public Schools, Patty Moon, (via 9News) said that the note sent out was not a standard practice and should be viewed as an advisory. The Director of Children’s Academy, where Pearson’s daughter is a student, also added that it would conduct a thorough investigation and acknowledged that the note should not have been sent to a parent. Pearson, on the other hand, said that the school was not consistent about its policies. She said that the school had asked students to bring in candy for Easter celebrations and provided students with jelly beans during after-care.

Lunch Shaming the parents has got the fancy of social media with tweets supporting the mum coming in. In USA, there is a strong movement for healthy school lunches. First Lady Michelle Obama has been a vocal supporter of campaigns for eating healthy.


Click on the link to read Healthy Easter Treat Options for Kids

Click on the link to read How School Lunches Compare Around the World

Click on the link to read Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Fruit

Click on the link to read 6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

When Bad Teaching Meets Bad Student Behaviour (Video)

April 30, 2015

I tell my students that nearly every argument has two or more parties sharing responsibility. It is rare to find a completely innocent victim in a large scale incident.

This video captures an all too frequent scenario. A teacher who isn’t short on insults and is too frustrated and disheartened to make clear and sensible decisions, and a student who is so rude and abrasive that even the best teacher would struggle to maintain their calm.

There are no victims in this video. Just bad teaching, a completely disrespectful student and a class full of unhelpful bystanders.

Please note that this clip features some unsavoury language. If curse words offends you, you may want to avoid watching it.

Edit: The video seems to have removed but can still be accessible on this site.

Click on the link to read Teachers Should be Able to File a Complaint Against Complaint Addicted Parents

Click on the link to read Where Are All the Teachers Who Promote Teaching as a Career?

Click on the link to read 20 Primary School Students a Day Sent Home for Violence Against a Teacher

Click on the link to read The Difficult Challenge that is Starting Your Teaching Career

Young Girl With Cancer Expelled for “Poor Attendance”

April 26, 2015


This story just makes me want to scream in anger:


A 12-year-old girl battling Leukemia for two years has been kicked out of school for her lack of attendance.

‘I didn’t do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me,’ Rose McGrath of battle Creek, Michigan said tearfully.

Last week St. Joseph’s Middle School, a private Catholic School, sent a letter to Rose McGrath and her dismissing her from the school for low attendance and poor academic performance.

Rose’s mother Barbara McGrath was just as heartbroken to hear the news and said even though her daughter is no longer getting cancer treatment, that her recovery will take some time.

‘Even though she’s now done with her treatments you still have a very long recovery process because you’ve basically just put two and a half years of poison into your body. You’re not recovering overnight,’ said Rose’s mother, Barbara McGrath.

Rose has been attending the Battle Creek Catholic Schools her whole entire life and when she was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia her world was turned upside down.

Rose told WWMT that school was the one place that she actually felt normal.

‘When I’m at home, I’m sick, I don’t feel well; no one else does that. But when I’m at school I’m like everyone else,’ Rose said.

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

How Does a Teacher Stop an Out of Control Classroom Fight

April 20, 2015


The parent in question is justified in complaining about her son’s teacher, based on his seemingly excessive approach to stopping a classroom fight. But she should also reflect on the reason for such a scene, namely, her son’s involvement in the fight.

Additionally, the question has to be asked, what on earth is a teacher supposed to do when two students, or groups of students are engaging in violent activity in the classroom? Calling for help is the obvious answer, but in many cases the damage would have been done before the help arrives.


A concerned parent in the US has handed disturbing footage of a teacher putting her son in a choke hold to the police in a bid to have the teacher punished.

The Memphis high school teacher is seen completely immobilising the student on the ground after trying to break up a fight between the 16-year-old and another boy.

Students try to separate the pair but the teacher persists until he wrestles the boy to the ground.

The boy’s mum Shunkita Qualls said her son came home with bruises but school officials had initially played down the classroom.

But Ms Qualls was shocked when she saw video of the attack and believes the teacher was too heavy handed.

“(It was) heartbreaking. It brought tears to my eyes,” Qualls told FOX13.

“No mother wants to send their child to school and have to see something like that.”

The school released a statement saying it had reviewed the footage but believes the teacher’s actions were necessary to prevent the student attacking others.

Police are investigating but no charges have been laid.


Click on the link to read Teacher Hires Hitman to Kill Her Student

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Have Sex With Students Deserve Jail Time!

Click on the link to read Drama is Taught Very Differently Than It Used To

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Bully Students Make Me Sick

Teacher Hires Hitman to Kill Her Student

April 16, 2015



This is not a Hollywood movie. Stories like this one reflects very badly on the millions of teachers who do their profession proud:


This is the shocking moment a teacher is filmed hiring a hitman to kill a pupil she was reportedly in love with.

Music teacher Yulia Simonova offered the killer £1,400 to ‘get rid’ of the 15-year-old student, according to Russian media reports.

But Simonova, who worked in the Russian city of Shatura, near the capital Moscow, was caught out in a police sting operation.

The 52-year-old was detained after she attempted to hand over payment for the alleged hit.

An undercover policeman pretending to be a killer met with the jealous teacher and filmed the entire exchange on hidden camera, police claim.

She now faces a 15 year jail sentence if found guilty.

Ms Simonova reportedly saved up for an entire year to pay for the hit. Her plan was discovered when the martial arts instructor she asked to do the job contacted police.

In the hidden camera video, the teacher makes it clear she wants the boy to suffer badly and die slowly.


Click on the link to read Teachers Who Have Sex With Students Deserve Jail Time!

Click on the link to read Drama is Taught Very Differently Than It Used To

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Bully Students Make Me Sick

Click on the link to read 50 Shades of School Madness

VIDEO: Teacher exposes flaw in Fla.’s merit-pay plan for teachers

April 6, 2015

I am in favor of paying students according to their merit, but the system still has to work. If it doesn’t make sense, it certainly doesn’t sufficiently reward the best teachers. This video shows what happens when legislators configure a shoddy system of tying a teacher’s worth with data from standardised testing.

Extra Credit

Indian River County teacher Luke Flynt Indian River County teacher Luke Flynt

By next year, salary raises for all Florida public school teachers will depend in part on how their students perform on the state’s standardized tests.

But there’s been lots of controversy about how Florida measures students’ progress using something called a “value-added model,” or VAM.

Last month, an Indian River County teacher named Luke Flynt raised a major issue with the state’s model, which tries to measure teachers’ impact on students by assigning students predicted scores and then measuring whether they exceeded them.

Flynt’s issue: In some cases, students’ expected scores are “literally impossible.” He tells school board members:

“One of my sixth-grade students had a predicted score of 286.34. However, the highest a sixth-grade student can earn earn is 283. The student did earn a 283, incidentally. Despite the fact that she earned a perfect score, she counted negatively toward my valuation…

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How to Get Fired in the Name of Science

April 2, 2015


This teacher seems to have been fired for a most dangerous classroom experiment gone wrong. I love ideas which engage students, but never at the cost of the health of the students. You may want to avoid the video as it fairly confronting.


Click on the link to read Teacher Encourages Students to Plot Her Death

Click on the link to read The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Click on the link to read I Love it When Teachers are Excited to Come to Work

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