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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Students Get Rewarded for Setting up Their Vice Principal

March 21, 2015

 

I may be wrong, but I wouldn’t label this man a racist. I think he was trying to be playful rather than hurtful, and even though his comments were unfunny and inappropriate, I’m not sure he deserves what may be coming to him.

What I do know is that those kids that framed him with their hidden camera and “set up question” will be feeling pretty good about themselves and the story they have helped to expose. I don’t feel right about such actions being rewarded. I think they should have been suspended for filming a teacher without his knowledge and uploading the clip onto YouTube without school permission:

 

A California school official has been placed on leave after a video surfaced in which he can be heard saying “I just don’t like the black kids.”

Joe DiFilippo, vice principal of Scandinavian Middle School in Fresno, California, was recorded by a student outside the school cafeteria, district spokesman Jed Chernabaeff told the Fresno Bee.

The full clip, which can be seen below, was posted on YouTube on Friday and shows a man identified as DiFilippo leaning against a pole while several kids speak, mostly off camera.

“Who at this school do you not like?” one of the off-camera students asks. Kids continue to talk, with one saying something that sounds like “me… all of us, all of us.”

After about 10 seconds, DiFilippo says, “I just don’t like the black kids.”

The clip ends suddenly and it’s not clear if he was attempting to make a joke. If he was, parents aren’t laughing.

 

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Why Reading to Your Kids Isn’t as Easy as It Sounds

March 15, 2015

 

 

 

I love reading to my children when the book I’m reading is somewhat interesting. When the book is boring and repetitive, however, I am tempted to do what Liam Neeson does in the video above.

 

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Teacher Expresses Desire to “Kill all Black People” and Keeps Her Job!

November 2, 2014

camden

If you can’t get sacked for this then what can you get sacked for?

 

A North Carolina math teacher has been allowed to keep her job despite allegedly saying she wanted to ‘kill all black people.’

Cynthia Ramsey, head of the math department at Camden County High School in North Carolina, allegedly said to a student that if she only had ten days left to live, her bucket list would include told ‘killing all black people’.

The conversation is alleged to have taken place in her classroom this week, following which she was suspended but then reinstated.

Kimberly Ashcraft, the mother of the Camden County High student who reported the teacher’s offensive comments told WAVY: ‘It is very disturbing.’

Ashcraft’s daughter said Ramsey was in her classroom along with several other students who were eating lunch.

In the course of a conversation Ramsey began to talk about what she would do if she knew she was going to die.

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Classroom Display Tips for Teachers

September 2, 2014

disp1

 

Courtesy of The Guardian:

 

disp2This display was posted by @piesatthekippax. He said: “I only moved into year 6 in December last year (I’m still a newly-qualified teacher). I wanted to create a mural that would create a real wow-factor and I have had idea for a landscape for a few months now. My plan is to add details throughout the year. This will mainly include literary characters that we look at throughout the year. I also plan to include inspirational quotes. The children will also decide what they want to add to it themselves.”

 

displ3Vincent Rice (@MiloVent24), a year 5 teacher from Lord Street primary school, sent us this. It’s the background for his class’s art display, and Rice says it took him hours. “It’s focusing on colours, the classroom was a state when I got in there; it was dark, dingy, dusty and not child friendly. Five days, 16 bin bags and lots of laminating later we have my new class.” Rice said he had heard that the children in his new class were interested in art deco so he created the wall to inspire them. Around this wall they will have an “artist of the month” display, focusing on both well-known and lesser-known work.

“As a young teacher working in a deprived northern town, I like to wow kids, interest them, and make sure learning isn’t a chore,” he said.

 

disp4Jen English, a geography teacher at Wellington school in Cheshire, sent us her words display after finding the idea on Twitter and Pinterest. “I have spent the last year telling students to be more specific in their writing. Fed up of having to correct words like “people” and “place” I have decided to ban these words in writing.

I challenge my pupils to look for an alternative word when doing peer marking or teacher marking. I get students to highlight any banned words when they are used, and replace them with another word. “Then I use my display in class activities to get students to post their alternative words on the display.”

 

disp5Rebecca Franks, curriculum leader of computing at The Kingswinford school, sent us this display. “The smoothie hut was designed to get the students to understand the word ‘algorithm’,” she said. Franks looked up “tiki hut” on the internet for inspiration and built it up from there. “I think that the best displays should simply ask a question that gets the students to think of their own answer.”

Franks also sent us another display she made which is designed to get students to think about where they are going. It’s displayed in the school’s inclusion room. And a magic themed display about algorithms.

 

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Why Teachers Choose to Teach

July 1, 2014

 

why teachers

I love this pie graph I stumbled across from ukedchat.com. It dispels the very frustrating myth that teacher fall into teaching because of a lack of other opportunities or for the generous holidays.

I chose to teach like most of the teachers surveyed, out of a desire to make a difference in an area I felt was in need of more idealism and passion. I also obviously enjoy working with students and really appreciate how lucky I have been to work with so many gifted and caring individuals.

What is the reason you chose teaching?

 

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Teacher Headbutts a Student and is Given Permission to Resume Teaching

June 9, 2014

 

A teacher that headbutts a student, particularly if the incident was deemed to warrant a criminal record, should never teach again! How teachers like this one managed to avoid such a sanction baffles me:

A teacher who violently assaulted a child in the classroom was able to continue working despite being given a criminal record for the attack, The Independent can reveal.

Mark Lonnie, 53, headbutted the boy so hard he suffered a chipped tooth and a bloodied mouth and nose, yet the teacher has been able to work for five years after the incident and was cleared last month to resume teaching.

 

UPDATE: Reader ArtyMiss sets the record (and me) straight about errors in the reporting of this case and responds to my words of outrage by offering some understanding as to why and how the incident took place as well as providing a character reference for Mr. Lonnie:

Hello Michael… in response, let me tell you the truth about teachers ‘like this one’, or more specifically this one in particular, and perhaps you will be less baffled. Mark Lonnie had an exemplary teaching career up until this incident. He dedicated his career to teaching the ‘unteachable’… working with teenagers who had been permanently excluded from mainstream education as their levels of behaviour and violence were too extreme. So they end up in SEBD state or residential schools or secure units. During his career he suffered various injuries including broken ribs on 4 separate occasions, punches, kicks, black eye, split lip, spat at, bitten etc etc…. all part of the job in such educational settings. The incident in question occurred in this environment with a youth with a history of violent conduct and assault. The photograph on the Independent web page is deliberately misleading as it depicts a small primary age child looking like they are hiding or crying at a desk. It is highly inaccurate and emotive and likely to prejudice any reader. At this moment the Press Complaints Commission are investigating the Independent newspaper over the untruth, inaccuracies and bias of this article.
Mr Lonnie, was attacked in the classroom, in 2009 ,by a 15/16 year old youth, physically larger than him, with a history of violent behaviour who was threatening to kill him at the time.. The teacher had already stepped in to protect another student from a racist attack by this youth and had told him to leave the classroom. As he was calming the class again, the youth suddenly burst back into the room and assaulted Mr Lonnie, shouting abuse, threatening to kill him and then physically assaulted him first. The same youth had attacked another member of staff a few days earlier and it had taken 3 adult males to restrain him… something this teacher was aware of. All official training for restraining violent students requires 2 members of staff working in a team together. This teacher was alone and cornered in the room by a youth, physically larger than him, with his back literally against a wall, and with all means of escape blocked other than forward, no support staff to help, already assaulted once and fearing further serious attack, he struck out in self-defence, clashing heads with his attacker. For the article to describe this as happening when ” when Mr Lonnie lost his temper when a boy in his art class started misbehaving” is decidedly underpaying the seriousness of the incident.
The article states that ” Mr Lonnie was arrested” -this is untrue too. He went on 2 occasions voluntarily to a police station in the weeks after the incident, first to be interviewed and second to naïvely accept a caution for the affray (the criminal record of the headline), as the youths tooth got chipped.
This case was flagged up due to changes in the law since 2012, and heard at a hearing in public session, at which I was present as an observer. It is a matter of public record (on the NCTL website where the journalist took his story from ) that in the Professional Conduct Panels opinion, after listening to evidence, and background and testimonies that this teacher
>acted spontaneously in “a one off, extreme situation”
>that his “actions were not deliberate”
>and that finding himself already threatened and assaulted first, anticipating more violence “He acted under genuine fear that an attack was imminent”
>and “considered Mr Lonnie to have been acting under duress”
>and “he was under threat from a pupil who was larger physically than him” >and “he did not have the appropriate support”
To make no mention of any of these facts of the case is a distortion of the truth and likely to mislead any reader. The decision document this article is based on states the Panel “was satisfied that Mr Lonnie is not a violent, confrontational man” and posed “no threat”.
The article headline and first paragraph mention “the teacher has been able to work for five years after the incident” – this is misleading as it would lead any reader to assume he had just continued as a teacher all those years. He was devastated by this incident and for 4 years following this was mostly unemployed and not eligible for any social security benefits, with short periods of minimum wage manual work in warehouses and cleaning jobs, had to move home, declare bankrupt, unable to provide for his own family. Again, the Panel make mention of this in their recommendations “Mr Lonnie has already experienced a significant period in which he was unable to work as a teacher whilst the DBS or predecessor bodies concluded their investigations”.
To state that “Michael Gove has now stepped in to overrule the decision” is misleading. These decisions are made by a Decision Maker… in this case Paul Heathcote…who acts on behalf of the Secretary of State’s office. To suggest that it is so important that Gove personally reads over these cases and steps in is, just sensationalism for the sake of the story. Although, the Education Departments sound bites are in full flow at the moment, with an election due next year, so who knows what political machinations are at work.
In conclusion articles like this present a heavily loaded, distorted version of a set of facts and will cause a prejudiced view of this teacher in anyone who doesn’t know him personally, or the true circumstances of the case. It has been a traumatic 5 years for this teacher, and everyone connected with this case is shocked at the overturning of the Panels decision. All the judgemental media has caused severe emotional distress and embarrassment for Mark and his family at an already stressful time. He had only returned into supply teaching in 2013, this time in mainstream, and was really enjoying being able to teach again, with students who actually behaved in classrooms. He was also getting brilliant reports back from these new schools . But now, one man in the governments Education Department, who didn’t even attend the hearing, has overturned the right and fair decision of the Panel… how is this even justice? So this teacher has now lost his supply job as the Prohibition Order has immediate effect. He hasn’t even been able to go into school and say his goodbyes to his colleagues and the students, who are left in the middle of projects and exam work without their teacher. .In particular this ‘Independent’ article, and the spreading of it on social media, will impact negatively on any future work prospects, even outside of teaching as he has been presented in the press and all over the internet as a violent attacker of a young school child. The fact that such a biased poor quality article was published by a national newspaper is distressing enough but the fact that it was published during the 28 day window in which Marks teaching union has the opportunity to appeal to the High Court to contest the Order is a disgrace.
As a teacher who has always been passionate in his profession about affording a second chance to those written off by society it is upsetting that the same compassion is in such short supply to him now. I would ask anyone, now you know the facts, to put yourself in this teachers shoes that day and tell me how much better you would have handled this. I have years of experience working in a senior school setting with volatile students and have been physically injured when furniture is thrown or students fight and lash out but I’m not sure how I would react if directly targeted in a physical attack. When asked at the hearing what he would do if attacked in future his answer was that he would just curl up and take a beating. Is this right? Is this what it has come to in our school system? Only earlier this year a teacher was tragically stabbed to death by a student, in front of her class in a mainstream school. It begs the question that had she had any chance to strike her attacker and escape and be alive today… would she possibly be banned from teaching for injuring him? Perhaps a better angle for a story might be to raise the subject of increasing levels of violence towards staff in the classroom. I see you are in Australia, so maybe it is different there but in the UK it is a serious issue. The punishment meted out to this teacher for a split second reaction in a seriously compromised extreme situation is beyond what is fair or reasonable. Carrying a caution on record for the next 99 years, yes they last for 99 years, is stigma enough. The Panel recognised this and the mitigation in this case lead them to make their decision. To have this chance snatched away and then to be vilified and misrepresented in the media is a heavy burden to bear. Please do not add further to this injustice by spreading press misinformation about a fellow teacher on web education forums and blogs etc. One day, heaven forbid, it could be you being judged…

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Appaling Footage of a Teacher/Student Fight (Video)

April 5, 2014

 

 

This is a truly horrible look but it is important not to judge the teacher just yet, especially with reports that he was repeatedly stabbed with a pencil by the student in question before the fight escalated.

 

 

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15 Famous People Who Used to be Teachers

February 18, 2014

 

morris

In honour of former teacher David Morris’ incredible feat of winning a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, here is a list of 15 famous former teachers courtesy of mentalfloss.com:

1. Gene Simmons
The tongue-flicking bassist of Kiss taught sixth grade in Harlem before he became the world’s most famous bass-playing demon. Simmons later revealed in interviews that his superiors canned him for replacing the works of Shakespeare with Spiderman comics, which he thought the students were more likely to actually read.

2. Alexander Graham Bell
The telephone pioneer got his start teaching Visible Speech at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes. He developed a bond with a student named Mabel Hubbard, and when she was 19 the two married.

3. Sting
Before he became a star with The Police, Sting taught English, music, and soccer at St. Catherine’s Convent School. Sting later said of working at a convent school, “I was the only man on the faculty. In fact, I was the only teacher not in a habit.”

4. Robert Frost
Robert Frost worked as a teacher to supplement the income from his fledgling literary career. He worked as both a farmer and teacher at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire. His students called him “the Hen Man” because the poet was afraid of chickens, and Frost allegedly had trouble remembering to milk the school’s cows on time.

5. Lyndon Johnson
The man who would later become the 36th president got his start as a principal at the Mexican-American Welhausen School in Cotulla, Texas. He later finished his teaching degree and landed gigs teaching public speaking at Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas and Sam Houston High in Houston. The debate team he coached at Sam Houston lost the Texas state championship by a single point; Johnson supposedly had to vomit backstage before he could bring himself to congratulate the winners.

6. Art Garfunkel
We can’t speak for Paul Simon, but at least half of Simon and Garfunkel was really, really good at math. Garfunkel nearly earned a doctorate in the subject and was teaching math at the Litchfield Preparatory School in Connecticut when “Bridge Over Troubled Water” soared to the top of the charts.

7. John Adams
The second President of the United States spent a few years working as a schoolteacher in Worcester, Massachusetts. Teaching didn’t suit Adams, who thought his students were nothing more than a “large number of little runtlings, just capable of lisping A, B, C, and troubling the master.” He eventually gave up the job to go to law school.

8. J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter author worked as an English teacher in Portugal as she plotted out the early adventures of her young wizards.

9. Mr. T
It was hard for Chicago students to be fools when it came to gym class in the mid-1970s. You’d pay attention if Mr. T told you to do jumping jacks, wouldn’t you?

10. Sylvester Stallone
Did you know you were seeing a matchup of tough-guy teachers when you watched Rocky III? When Sly was attending the American College in Switzerland during the 1960s, he worked as a gym teacher to earn extra spending money.

11. Andy Griffith
Before he was a sheriff, before he was Matlock, Andy Griffith was a teacher. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Griffith taught English at Goldsboro High School.

12. Billy Crystal
The comedian worked as a junior high substitute teacher on Long Island while he waited for his career to take off. Among the classes he subbed for: girls’ gym, which must have been a great source of material.

13. Kris Kristofferson
The country star was a Rhodes Scholar who studied literature at Oxford before joining the Army and rising to the rank of captain. Toward the end of his tour of duty, Kristofferson took a job as an English teacher at West Point, but he decided against the professorship at the last minute. Instead of heading to New York, he resigned his commission and moved to Nashville in 1965.

14. Stephen King
Although he initially had to work in an industrial laundry after his college graduation, the horror master eventually found a teaching job that paid a cool $6,400 a year at the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. King wrote Salem’s Lot while living in a trailer and working this job during the day.

15. Sir William Golding
The author’s experiences as a teacher helped inform the novel that made his career. He once allowed a class of boys to debate with complete freedom, and the classroom quickly devolved into such disorder that it inspired Golding to write Lord of the Flies.

 

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The Futility of Teaching a Starving Child

January 28, 2014

healthy

You can have every box ticked when it comes to planning and delivering lessons and it will come to nothing if your students are hungry. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For our students it is absolutely crucial. There is little that can be absorbed by a child who is starving as a result of skipping breakfast.

To read that 1 in 7 children are going to school without breakfast in a country like Australia, is so disappointing. Perhaps, what is more disappointing, is the food wastage by students who dispose of good food from their lunchboxes:

ONE in seven Australian schoolchildren – about 600,000 kids – will skip breakfast when they return to school this week but in contrast others will be throwing out the contents of their lunchbox.

The latest Census At School data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found children skipping breakfast is equal to about two hungry kids in every classroom across the nation.

But while some go hungry, OzHarvest says the contents of many a lunchbox will be wasted.

“It’s certainly one of the ironies of an abundant society. As we become more affluent, we seem to waste more,” said OzHarvest food rescue founder Ronni Kahn.

As Australian schools open their gates this week for another year, Kellogg’s has pledged to donate a minimum of two million serves of cereal through its Breakfasts for Better Days program, the equivalent of feeding 10,000 kids each school day.

The program aims to provide 12 million serves of cereal and snacks to families and children in need in Australia and one billion serves across the world by the end of 2016.

“Our program exists to support children in need and help to ensure they have the best start to their day possible, but to see one in seven children skipping breakfast remains a concern for the community at large,” said Nitin Vig who leads Kellogg’s free school breakfast program.

 

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