Education in North Carolina

1 03 2014

I teach in an amazing school.

I work with fantastic teachers.

I have awesome students.

I love being a teacher.

Having said all those things, know the state of education in North Carolina is not in a good place right now.  There are THOUSANDS of teachers, students, parents, and administrators who are working their buts off and it is like moving through molasses.  We do LOTS of work and don’t really get anywhere.   The North Carolina legislature has made it dificult to be a teacher.  There are LOTS of ways they are undermining teachers: testing, tenures, 25% rule, teacher evaluation, and changing the rules for these things without any warning.

We have read lots of articles and blog posts about teachers leaving NC, teachers who need to be on public assitance in order to feed their families, and teachers who are leaving teaching all together.  I can’t write anything as eloquent as those teachers, but I do want to say to every voter in NC, think about the teachers when you vote.   While you might not feel a teacher’s  influence as quickly as you feel the influence of the people who work to collect the trash; but our influence is felt in every single person.  I remember my favorite teachers–Mrs. Smith in second grade, Mr. Kelly in tenth grade English, Miss Hodel in eleventh grade English.  I remember the teachers who later became my favorites because she made me work so hard–Mrs. Case-Reynolds in tenth grade world history and Mrs. Pasto in eleventh grade US History.  We ALL remember those teachers who inspire us, those who might have wounded us in some way, and the teachers who made us the people we are today.

I won’t be leaving, because I am working too hard to make a difference.

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Did you know?

4 03 2010

Did you know I’m looking for a job?  I’m one of the uncounted unemployed in the United States today.  I have been out of the workforce for the past 8 years and I’m picking one of the worst recessions our country has ever seen to return.  Go me! 

Seriously though.  Before having my children, I was an educator.   I taught HS life science–biology and anatomy/physiology.   I was a pretty good teacher.  I was tough and if you didn’t do your homework and your lab reports, you’d fail.    The tests made you think, not just memorize.   I took some of the questions directly out of my college textbooks.   Seriously hard core.  Ok, not all the time, but most of the time…

Now, it is time to go back to the classroom.   In eight years, technology has gone from zero to 10 million.   I had a Palm Pilot and that was cutting edge.  I kept my grade book and lesson plans on it.   I was the first teacher in the school to use a WebQuest and actually use the computer lab for something other than typing a paper.   Today, those things are obsolete.  They have been replaced with iTouch, twitter, Web 2.0, wikis, blogs, digital cameras, digital media, and countless other technologies.  

Ok, Twitter doesn’t sound like an educational technology, right?  But it is.   I recently discovered how educators are using twitter and other technologies in the classroom and it has created an excitement about returning to the classroom.   At one point I thought I would never return.  I didn’t think I could be a good mom if I spent my day being a teacher to other people’s kids.   Teaching during the age of NCLB is different and I didn’t like the way it stiffled creativity in the classroom.  Seeing all the amazing things that are out there–smart boards, elmos, iTouch apps, blogs & wikis to name a few–make me excited to return to work.

Here is my favorite inspiration: 

Extreme Biology:  Check out some of the amazing work these classes are doing.  They are writing blog posts about their labs!!  Genius! 

Sure, I’ll miss my days at home watching Regis & Kelly (followed by HGTV), drinking coffee and surfing the web, however, I am excited about the prospect of not only bringing an understanding of biology to students, but bringing students to biology and letting them see how it impacts us all.  

I’ve been brushing up on my pedagogical language and Bloom’s Taxonomy.   I’m ready with my wiki and blog.   So, if you know of any biology teaching positions in Guilford County, NC, drop and email or a tweet!