Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thing 12

The funny thing about this "thing" (does that sound right?) is that I just commented on another Library2Play member's blog about this very thing (OK, now there are definitely too many things). :)

My biggest pet peeve about blogging or any other social networking comments is when they are not helpful or insightful in any way. I'm talking about comments such as "thanks for sharing" or "I agree" without any reasons why or any contribution to the post whatsoever. This is boldly mentioned as the first rule in How to Comment Like a King (or Queen) - Write a meaningful comment. I like to feel as if the comment was left because the reader connected with something I said, not because they had to or had nothing better to do.

I also enjoyed reading Your Comments? on Blue Skunk Blog. Not only did it make me laugh, it made me think. I had never thought of reading blogs and not posting as "lurking," but it also never crossed my mind that some people claim they write blogs for themselves and don't care about comments. Why make it online and public, then? I try to comment as much as I can when I connect with a blog post, but will be much more mindful in the future. I know I smile when I see someone has taken the time to leave me a comment!

I have the Newsweek article about firing bad teachers on my mind, so I used the keywords "fire bad teachers on Google Blog Search. Two blogs that I found were A Teacher's View and Teach313's Random Keystrokes. The first one is an interesting commentary on the aforementioned article, while the second is a heartbreaking account of an inner-city Detroit teacher who faces countless obstacles in teaching her 5th graders. She seems as if she truly cares about these students, but she is threatened with being fired and replaced with Teach for America teachers.

It's always interesting to hear the newest theory on how to "fix" our schools. If you haven't already, please read the Newsweek article and let me know what you think. I'll post my thoughts on it later so as not to accidentally influence opinion before you read.


  1. I loved how you found the blog, Teach313;s Random keystrokes. Reading her blog about her school just saddens me. It makes me think how the things I complain about at my school is meaningless and stupid. For a shooting right by her school to happen on a daily basis is just sad. I can't imagine the struggle she must go through of asking herself the same question everyday "Am I going to be fired?"

  2. I found myself getting defensive as I read this article. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the perfectionist in me. I want to be the best teacher I can be but it's a hard job that can suck the life out of you. Yet when I reached the end of the article, I began to see the definition of a bad teacher in the eyes of the author. Now those teachers are BAD! So I guess my question is...What is the true definition of a bad teacher?

  3. I agree. HA! Sorry, I just had to say it. I think the important thing about blogging as well is to make sure that you have left avenues for people to pursue. I love to argue and to comment but if people have not left the discussion open then it never really was a discussion. It is more of a diatribe. This seems to be ever-present in the cyber-world. People have the urge to be forceful since that is usually contrary to their normal persona. This does not create a learning environment but rather a shallow bickering pool of stagnant thoughts. Also, we have to take in to consideration that some, if not most, of these current posts are less than valid because being based on grades and assignments. When we are the point of generalization and creativity, then I think we can see more vital and worthy posts.

  4. "One recent review of the evidence by McKinsey & Co., the management consulting firm, showed that most schoolteachers are recruited from the bottom third of college-bound high-school students. (Finland takes the top 10 percent." I became very defensive when I saw this in the Newsweek article that you mentioned in your blog comment. I don't agree with this comment. Does a "perfect", "straight A" student make the best teachers, NO! I find that as a teacher who struggled in public school that I am a better teacher because of it. I was miserable math student but I am a great math teacher. i love teaching math. It feel that I am more patient, and more creative in finding ways to teach and explain number sense.

    I do agree that there are "bad" teachers. I just simply believe you have "it" or you don't. If we want better teachers then universities requirements for graduation and student teaching need to be more difficult as well as giving potential teachers a longer required time to learn through the student teaching process in many different situations i.e. low, mid, high SES, racially diverse, and schools with different ratings is neccessary.

    I have seen "bad" teachers that are near impossible to "get rid of" even in a district like KISD. Why not give them tools to improve. There has to be a way to bring in professionals that can make suggestions and stay in the classroom to assist the teachers having a difficult time. With that thought in mind, I still believe that teachers have it, or they don't.
    I could go on and on concerning this article, which includes ways to relive stress, and more support for teachers. I know I have moments that I wonder "why" did I choose to teach because I feel completely frustrated and overwhelmed. But of course, it is what I do. I love teaching. I just hate all the paperwork and the baloney you have to put up with. i can't wait to hear what others have to say about this article.

  5. Thank you for all of your thoughts! I was both irked and intrigued by this article and what I've found people saying about it. Of course it is easy to talk about what should be done about education if you aren't in the field. There is no one quick fix. It's like a double-edged sword. Sure, offer more money to teachers and it will become more competitive, but where does this money come from? Do we take it away from something that could potentially benefit the students?

    It is a bit condescending to say that they "recruit" from the bottom 1/3 of high schools, but what does that even mean? Teachers can't be recruited straight from high schools, so do they just look back at their records? What about college? My GPA in college was alot better than in high school.

    I could say alot more, but I'd be better off writing a book about it than straining my eyes for the days it would take to write it all. No one in the world is qualified to make a decision for every single school in the country. There are just too many variables. Are there teachers I wish would be fired? Yes. Is there a blanket way to do this? No. I do not have the answers,but will keep listening to those who claim they do until some sense comes along.