Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dilbert Says It Again

Saw this and thought of all the unqualified Principals and assistant Principals in schools today like the totally unqualified math teacher (she certified after leaving a business career, failed teaching exam first time) who became an AP in special education or the math AP who observed my AP calculus class with not a clue about what I was doing.  I could go on and on but every teacher reading this can add plenty of their own examples.  Also add in all the people who think they know everything about teaching because they went to school.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Goodbye Mr. L We Will Miss You



Most people don't realize that Mr. L was really a shy, introverted guy.  The loud man who told lots of off color jokes just covered up a very private, very insecure person.  We spent a lot of time talking.  When Mr. L told me he liked a pair of shoes I was wearing, I nicknamed them Mr. L's shoes and wore them long after they should have been discarded.  Imagine, I took fashion advice from Mr. L!  When Mr. L told me his attraction for short, chubby women, I kept my eyes open always looking for a good one for him.

I remember one Passover when he came to my seder and how my dad who did not like too many people, liked him.  I remember when he had trouble walking but still vowed to walk his son down the aisle and he did.

Mr. L had health problems towards the end of his career and he could not physically be the teacher he once was.  Our principal at that time (not Principal Suit) respected what he once was and gave him an assignment he could handle.  Hats off to that administrator.  Unfortunately, not everyone was so nice.  I won't go into details here but I no longer speak to her.

Mr. L loved his job and he loved people, especially the people he worked with. Mostly he loved his sons and his grandchildren.   He glowed when he talked about all of them.   I always said he would probably die with a piece of chalk in his hand.  I wish I was right.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Letter to Editor


A recent Newsday editorial said that education standards were getting low, partly because there are teachers who want to pass everyone.  Here is a response from an actual teacher!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Retirement


A vacation in Amsterdam when flights are cheap, streets and sites not overly crowded as the school year begins.  

Picture taken in Delft.  Bikes rule in the Netherlands 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Right Choice For Me

I know people who say they don’t know what they would do if they retired. To me, it is a no brainer. This is so much better than fighting with my ill mannered, ill tempered, stupid former AP.  


Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Scowl



Let me begin this post by saying THANK GOODNESS LOOKS CAN'T KILL.  If they could, I would not be here to write this post.

I passed this woman in the supermarket today.  I know she saw me before I saw her because as soon as I saw her, her eyes darted away.  I thought, how sad.  We were friends, good friends.  We shared so many holidays.  I opened my family to her when hers was not there. I know intimidate details about her marriage, her family, her health, things I was told but asked to never repeat.  I never will.  I made a promise I will keep till I die.

I understand people grow and change.  Bonds that once held wear out.  But, should friendship be replaced with hatred?  I can't, for the life of me, think of one incident that would cause this kind of disgust.

I come home and reflect.  I write this post to get things off my chest.  I wish I could have told her  I don't hate her. I don't,   I feel sorry for the hate she holds inside, the hate that turned her attractive face ugly.

Being friends and being civil are mutually exclusive events.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Education Today

Credit recovery, everyone passes, the story of a high school diploma in today’s world.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Goodbye Greece


One of the benefits of retirement is a May vacation on a 15 cabin cruise to Greece in May, way before most tourists arrive.

These pics are through the window as we enjoyed our last breakfast on board.

Another great experience from Road Scholars.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a fascinating museum in Astoria, easily reached by public transportation and there is plenty of street parking.  There are temporary exhibits which are wonderful but my favorite is the permanent Jim Henson exhibit.  (I am a huge Muppet fan.) 

Bring your teacher ID-teachers get in for FREE!!!!

happiness


Happiness is meeting a former student on the subway and finding out she is going for a masters in health studies.  It is such a great feeling to see them doing so well.  What even made my day more was when she told me about her job, tutoring mathematics.  She told me she told her students what I used to say in class--no one is stupid, just go slow, analyze and you will succeed.  She said she built their confidence the way I instilled confidence in them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Pollock's Fractals

I saw an exhibit recently of some very abstract art, including the art of Jackson Pollock and commented to a friend that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand his work.  She told me she had read an article about Pollack's use of fractals in his work.

If only we had time to teach this in math classes, this and all the other uses of math in things our students would be interested in.  If only we had an opportunity to make math relevant instead of just teaching to the test.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Applauding Statistics

I know I haven't posted much lately, but this headline really got me.  The City's graduation rate has climbed but, what does this really mean?  Even the article states that standards have been lowered.  Students are no longer required to take social studies regents as they can opt to take exams in alternate subjects.

Let's face it.  The students graduating today, the ones in this percent increase are, for the most part, not college ready and not ready for careers either.  Their high school career has taught them that they can get away with no work for three years and showing up for a few credit recovery courses in their last year get them through.  They haven't been taught the value of hard work and have no feelings of failing and trying again, only harder.  These students come into college expecting grades to be handed to them again.  Studying and homework doesn't happen. Buying books or using them in a library is a foreign experience they are not prepared to have.  But, when final grades approach, they expect extra credit and chances to make up what they haven't done all semester.  And, while I have no experience with this, I am willing to bet the same thing happens at the job.

I am tired of reading statistics about graduation rates.  I want to see education and standards improving.  I want to see graduates ready for the next stage of their lives.  Only when this happens can graduation rate improvements mean anything.  We have to stop applauding statistics.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Friends

I worked with some amazing people over the years and unfortunately, in a school as big as Packemin I got to know a small group of them.  I can't blame the size entirely.  I was never totally happy there and preferred being by myself quite a bit of the time.

Now comes retirement.  A small group started going out for monthly lunches. The group of 5 has extended to a group of over 20, or at least that is how many are on the mailing list.  We all don't make every lunch and many have dropped out and are members in name only but the core group keeps coming back every month with a few more additions every couple of months.

The core group, many who barely knew each other before, have connected in a strong way.  We never talk about Packemin.  It is a thing in the distant past for all of us.  I can't even tell you what we talk about but the two hours or so goes quickly and it is an event we all look forward to every month.  We come away with a warm, tingly feeling inside, brought together by an environment that was not always so nice. As we walked out, many made plans to meet sooner than next luncheon for more individual time together.

I would like to give a special shout out here to Ben's Bay Terrace.  They give us plenty of space and time and treat us well.  Today we were given plates of their special latkas while we waited for lunch to be served.