This Is What Happens When Teachers Stand Up For Children

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We interrupt the unfortunate series of “I lost my job“-ness for this special post.

Which is still about someone losing their teaching job. But this time, it’s not me. This teacher is not in my district. In fact, I don’t even know this teacher.

But her story resonates with me. She, too, stood up for children. She, too, has been told she does not have a teaching position next year.

Watch. Listen to her tell her story. And then look around you. Wherever you are, this story or one like it is probably happening. Maybe in your neighborhood school. Maybe the person you see shopping at the grocery store. Maybe the person crying in the car next to yours.

This teacher’s story happened, in part, because she is not tenured. Tenure does NOT mean a job for life; it means you get due process. In other words, they can still fire you, but they have to explain why. Many cities and states are trying to eliminate tenure or make it harder to obtain. Just ask North Carolina. Or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Huffington Post just did a story on this very topic today.

Teachers who stand up for children are being silenced. We need everyone’s help to fight this.

On social media, please use the hashtag #nodueprocess. Let’s have as many people share their stories as possible.

Because this story? It’s just beginning.

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Counting Up

child reading

It began as a comment made by a presenter in a workshop. He talked about how his class kept track of all the titles they read together throughout the year. The idea intrigued me, but I could also see how this could quickly turn into “one more thing.” So I tweaked it. We wouldn’t write down titles; we would keep a count of how many books we read.

I’ve kept count ever since.  Continue reading

A Tale of Two Schools

It was the best of times

I’ve taught in my building for years. Long enough that I know how everything works, who to go to if there is a question I can’t answer. Long enough that new teachers now come to me instead of the other way around.

I know the kids and their families. I’ve had the big sister and the little brother and the cousin and their neighbor across the hall of the apartment complex. I can go to a parent night for any grade level and wave to a number of families; I know them and they know me. I’ve already called dibs on the youngest members of the family who aren’t in school yet, and I talk to younger siblings about the older siblings who have since graduated from my school. Continue reading