If No One Sees You, Were You Ever Even There?

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When a principal doesn’t renew your contract, or fires you, or says you’re not a good fit for the school and hands you a letter…you still have to go back to your classroom and teach.

There are still lessons to teach, lesson plans to write, end of year assessments to give, report cards to fill in. You still have to do everything on the end of year checklist that everyone else does plus find the time to pack up everything in your classroom that is yours and get it out by the end of the yearBut not too early. We wouldn’t want Continue reading

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Again

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If this were a work of fiction, last year’s job loss and unemployment might have still happened. But then things would have fallen into place, a new job would appear, and the teacher would make a victorious comeback. Last year’s reality would be nothing more than memory. Not preparation for the next battle.

This is not fiction.  Continue reading

The Last Time

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“I want to go there!”

The leaves started to blow. The tree house started to spin. It spun faster and faster.

Then everything was still.

Absolutely still.

–pretty much every Magic Tree House book

We were nearing the close of our tenth chapter book–our last chapter book–and everyone knew the rhythm of these words. There had been some variation of them as Jack and Annie finished each of their adventures and returned home. As I read the words on the page, their voices recited the words with me, even though the book was turned away from them. And if any of them noticed the way my voice cracked, they didn’t mention it.

Not two hours earlier I was given my letter stating that I didn’t have a job for next year. Finishing our chapter book, it struck me that this was one of those “this is the last time”s.  Continue reading

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.