Monday, July 17, 2017

Dilbert Explains Again


The reason school's have their heat on in June,

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Adjuncts


This is so true.  Adjuncts make a great hourly salary.  It is a fantastic way to supplement a paycheck  or a pension but it is a crappy way to have to survive.  I have worked with adjuncts who go from school to school and teach 8 classes.  And, while many adjuncts are better teachers than their full time colleagues, they do their students a major disservice as they are not around for office hours and extra help.

I love being an adjunct but being an adjunct is not a career.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Success



I met Ahmed when he came to my class in the middle of the term.  He was newly arrived from Pakistan and barely spoke English and his bathing habits were not up to our standards.  He was shy and quiet and struggled with the math but he was never absent, never late and worked hard.  This was extremely difficult because the class had a lot of uncontrollable students.

Fast forward to today.  Ahmed and I are Facebook buddies.  The picture above is him, minus the face.  He is a sharp dressing, confident, successful young   I commented how nicely he grew up and how happy I was to see the transformation from the shy young boy to the confident, successful young man.  He replied that he will always remember me as his best teacher ever.

And this is what teaching is all about.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Take That Mr AP

Just got this message. It made my day.

Hello Mrs. POT,  how you've been?

I have news to tell you! I'll be attending XXX Pharmacy school this fall! Thank you for providing me the best education back in Packemin H.S. Thank you for always believing in me and always telling me to never give up. I hope to see you again some day!

Take that Mr AP!  Guess I was better than you thought!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Limbo Rock



Anyone who has ever taught knows that teaching is not a job everyone can do.  My former school had several teaching fellows who knew their subject material inside out but could not handle a classroom.  My cousin, a PhD in physics and the smartest person I know died in a high school classroom.

Unfortunately this practice of hiring teachers who know nothing about education is exactly the method being used to hire school administrators right here in NYC, okay, not in all schools.  Newbies with a minimum amount of time in the classroom are suddenly in charge to say nothing of the Principal Academy which took no educators and made them the supreme leader of many institutions.

No one would ever go to a doctor who just had a degree in anatomy or use an architect with experience with Legos yet these same people have no problem using teachers with zero education experience or credits.

Limbo lower now--how low can you go?

Monday, May 08, 2017

Sorry State of Advanced Placement


How does a school keep its high rating?  Easy.  Designate every senior English class as an AP class.

The school looks good because of all the students taking college level classes.  It costs the school nothing because all students must take English anyway.  The administration does not care how the grades come out as the school is judged only by the number enrolled, not the number passing the advanced placement exam.

Struggling students are not being prepared for what they will need in college.  Parents are being bamboozled and the ones that belong are getting a watered down education.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hatred Relived

I saw this letter in today's Newsday and decided to share it here.

Several years ago a young man in one of my classes wanted to know if I would dance if he threw pennies at me.  I reported him immediately to Mr. AP and asked to have him removed due to blatant anti-semitism.  Mr. AP refused and vehemently repeated that the remark was not related to anti-semitism.  We got into a heated fight.  Thankfully the Principal took my side with both the boy and the Mr. AP.

Not experiencing something first hand does not mean it does not exist.  This letter brought back painful memories.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bringing Back Memories

Reminds me of my great days teaching AP calculus at Packemin.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Words of Martin Luther King Jr



Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.



Martin Luther King Jr, "Where Do We Go From Here?"  (1967)
 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Validation


I know Mr. AP is happy that I am gone and most of the senior teachers are also gone but I know the teachers like me made a big difference.  It is messages like this that make me, and all of us feel special and know that the work we did made a difference.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Snow Day


Thankful for all the hard working men and women working to get our streets clean.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Alternative Math Facts


My daughter, a mathematician posted this on Facebook.  Too bad most people don't even realize it is alternative math

Saturday, February 04, 2017

A Math Teacher's Lament



I love my new watch but I wouldn't have bought it if I had looked closer.  The "9" really bothers me.  I spend hours explaining that pi is not 3.14.  Pi is an irrational number that goes on forever.  

Even

 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592 

used above would not represent 9 exactly.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Dilbert Does It Again


Dedicated to all the teachers who are still sitting through hours of meaningless professional development run by people who know nothing about what they are saying.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Why We Need Unions


The man pictured above works five 12 hour days every week.  He doesn't have to do this.  He could choose to work six 8 hour days instead.  What a choice?  He needs the job to support his family and it is one of the most coveted jobs on the island of Jamaica.

He doesn't complain about the long hours or the almost 2 hour commute he has each day on public transportation.  He reports to work daily with a smile and seems to always be so upbeat.  He hides the hardships of his life well.

Too bad there are no unions here.  The hotel owners get rich while the workers get by.  Not fair.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Union



I've been going back and forth on Facebook with an old friend of my husband over unions.  He is a big Trump supporter and thinks Betsey DeVos and her charter school agenda are pretty grand.  He has been going on about how the UFT is the most corrupt union around and how it alone is responsible for incompetent teachers and the poor education many students are getting.

I've tried, and so have others, to reason with him, to give him facts supporting what we say but talking to him is like talking to a wall.He believes every piece of garbage spewed by the Post and Fox news.  He refuses to listen to people who have witnessed things in action.

Our union has plenty wrong with it.  It doesn't always do a great job of protecting its members but we would be lost without it.  The union does not guarantee us jobs, it guarantees due process. And, although the union does stand up for the students, it is their job to protect us and it does not and should not be bashed for doing its job.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ineffective Administrator Moved On Instead of Out



The kennel clear across town has a new boss.  It seems the Chihuahua was not wanted in her old position. As we all know administrators are never removed from power they are just moved to new locations and Chihuahua is no exception to this rule.

Instead of removing her from the job she is incapable of doing well, she is in a new assignment, creating havoc and destroying the morale of once happy little dogs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mr. Danger


Years ago when I was a brand new teacher I observed Mr. Danger.  I always saw his students fighting to go to the board and I was determined to learn his secret, a secret I learned within 5 minutes.

Mr. Danger gave his class "B's" every time they picked up the chalk.  They loved the "B's" and worked hard to get them.

When the class ended I asked Mr. Danger what he did with all the "B's" the students collected.  He just laughed and said he did not do anything and the students knew it.  Mr. Danger was funny, full of life and he loved teaching and his students.  The "B's" were just a way to pass this enthusiasm to his charges and it worked.  His students were very successful.