Monday, March 21, 2011

The Celebration Cathie and Michael Missed

I was glad I went to the Saturday session of the Celebration of Teaching and Learning.  I got lots of great freebees--enough hand sanitizers, pens, pencils and erasers to last until the end of my career.  I got tee shirts and post-its, key chains and notebooks.  Best of all, I got a flashmaster, a little hand held computer that drills basic arithmetic facts in a really fun way.  You might think, teaching high school, I don't need this, but you are wrong.
I didn't bother going to most of the workshops and lectures.  Spending my weekend listening to that stuff held no appeal.  I did go to the Town Hall meeting with Michael Mulgrew (got my ticket though a UFT contest writing an essay about effective teaching) and I got to speak!  I got to speak out about how Value-added evaluation will pit teacher against teacher and how I am a 36 year veteran teacher, still going strong.  The crowd seemed to love my comments, but I don't have much faith in any difference they will make.  The only other session I went to was one with Dr. Oz.  I refused to wait on line to see him, so I sat all the way on the side.  I didn't mind watching on the big screen since I'm not a fan.  (I never saw him before.)

I didn't notice Cathie Black or Michael Bloomberg anywhere on the progam, which seemed kind of strange to me.  You would think, the Education Mayor and the Chancellor would definitely be key note speakers at a conference hosted in the city they represent.  Could it be that people who celebrate learning see how education has been harmed under their leadership?  It is probably a good thing they didn't show up.  I bet they would have grabbed all the samples and left none for the people who need them.


Anonymous said...

I heard you speak at the Town Hall meeting. I was sitting all the way in the front and the crowd did love what you said. You were very good, sharp and clear on the facts. Since I did not get a chance to speak, I stayed for the last 20 minutes to speak to Mulgrew 1:1. I do not know how long you stayed but Mulgrew had a fair number of people who wanted to talk afterward.

I was not sure if I wanted to go (I mostly want my essay published in the newspaper). But I am glad I went, and I won the ticket. I wasn't too engaged with the vendor booths. The only thing that I thought was worth keeping is the 2010-2011 class trip directory and Math For America key chain. I really need both of those. This will be my bible for the next 20 years. (2 years ago, principal gave me 48 hours to plan 5 trips with the day and time.) This class trip directory is great.

I was not too thrilled with the workshops either. The only workshop I made a point to go to was the one sponsored by Hofstra. It was geared towards teaching pre-k and k children science through landscape and environment. I know from experience that a Hofstra workshop usually means that the participants are up and moving around and part of the process. I left after this workshop which was about 3:45.

I also went to Dr. Oz's lecture and never heard of him before. I also snuck into Walter Dean Myers' lecture too which I thought was better. I snuck in a little late but I am glad I went to his.

Anonymous said...

I also have a brand new PBS Celebration of Teaching and Learning bag which will be my new teacher/work bag. (I needed a new one anyway)

Thank you UFT for sponsoring my ticket