Wednesday, February 24, 2016

University of Texas Allows Open Carry of Weapons on Campus

Faculty at University of Texas have been warned to drop controversial and sensitive topics from curriculum, limit student access and only meet students in controlled environments after the school as the law now allows students over 21, with licenses to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Even the military does not allow weapons in barracks and classrooms.

Imagine a crazed student with a gun and a failed exam or an F paper!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Meaningful Evaluation

Last semester I ran into one of my former high school students, a girl from an AP calculus class.  She told me she graduated Queens College with a degree in Human Relations and after nine months working for a firm that was making her miserable she decided to return to school, come to the community college to make up courses she needed to go on to become an occupational therapist.  We planned on getting together but things came up and we never made it, until today.

We sat and chatted for about an hour.  It was great seeing her and hearing about how great she is doing.  The words that rang out for me was when she told me she learned to love math in my class and how she had no idea how she even ended up in an advanced placement math class as her math grades leading up to the class were not very good. I didn't want to tell her that I would bet being the same race as the assistant principal might have had something to do with her being in the class as other students, possibly more qualified were not allowed in, but that is another post, ones addressed on this blog many times.  Anyway, all ended good for this young woman.  She got a 3 on AP exam, enough to get college credit and never having to take math again.

I worked for an AP who, day after day, tried to make me feel like I was the world's worst teacher.In fact, years after I left, he still spent many department meetings talking about what an awful teacher I was.  I'm glad I never bought into his nonsense and left before he had any real power to destroy my career but I know he is doing the same to teachers still in the school and good, caring teachers are leaving in droves before they are actually ready to go.

The real evaluation of what I do and did as a teacher comes from the students who sat in my class daily.  A young woman who graduated in 2010 still remembers how she felt and learned in my class lets me know I really did make a difference.  The students are the ones who know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


There is a debate on a former colleague's Facebook page about whether parents should take their children out of school for family vacations.  While I don't know the people who are pro doing this, I do believe they are not teachers as they do not understand the repercussions of doing this.  These people, well meaning, feel a week of fun with their children is more important than school.

As a math teacher I strongly take the opposite side.  I have seen students come back from missing only one day and are lost.  They cannot do the new work because doing it depends upon what they learned the previous day.  After a week of vacation it is almost impossible to get back on track.

Family vacations are great but they have a time and a place.  If parents cannot take off when school is not in session parents must find other ways to bond with their children.  There are always weekends and evening.  Even before all the testing, the stakes were just too high and no one will convince me that vacations should take place on school days.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daily News Does Not Like Trump

Daily News editorializes on its front page and inside as well.  I loved these and just had to share.

Even Trump's son is not a fan.