The Teachers’ Rite of Spring

teachers rite of spring

 

There is such optimism at the beginning of the year. No matter if it is a new calendar year or school year–either way, people convince themselves that things will be different this year. Continue reading

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47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job

47-reasons-i-cant-find-a-teaching-job

Summer is over, which means kids are back to school (and parents are rejoicing).

I’m still at home.

I’ve completed paperwork in several districts. I’ve applied for teaching positions. I’ve emailed principals and called them on the phone. I’ve reached out to friends who have suggested jobs and let me know of openings in their orbit.

Nothing.

I filed for unemployment the other day. I’m going to try to get a teaching job for another few weeks and then… Continue reading

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

democracy-cover-5

I had been to the Lincoln Memorial before. I had visited earlier in the week, even. But on this scorching July day, I wasn’t there by myself. Or with a few friends.

I stood before the Lincoln Memorial with hundreds of like-minded people. Ready to talk. Ready to listen.

Ready Continue reading

Again

lone-tree

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

Racing to Read

I confide to some teacher friends that I don’t think my new school’s leadership likes me very much. This surprises them, since I am generally known as a nice person.

It’s not that, I explain. It’s my low test scores.

Now they’re looking at me with confused faces. But you’re not in a testing grade, they argue.

It doesn’t matter. Regardless of the grade, it’s about a test score. In my case, it’s how much my kids can read.  Continue reading

Maestro

opera

The conductor holds the baton in the air. The audience waits in silence until he finally lowers the baton to thunderous applause.

The author looks over her glasses as she gives a reading of her latest work. The crowd listens attentively.

The cast and crew come back out on stage after the performance to have a Q&A discussion with the audience about their performance.

 

We view them as the experts.

We stay for the talks and read the interviews and listen to the DVD commentaries. We read other works or watch them performed in YouTube clips and put it all together to compose an image of our favorite artist or writer or musician or thespian.

We watch them at work, and we marvel at what they do. They have worked and trained and prepared and now, now they can do this. Continue reading