Monday, March 25, 2013

Letter to A Teacher

By: Abraham Lincoln

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just, all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy ,if you can,
teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him they are wrong
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon
Teach him to listen to all men
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage to be impatient
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do
He is such a fine little fellow, my son!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Crazy Things People Say to Teachers

Crazy Things People Say to Teachers… AND HOW TO RESPOND!
Adapted from

Next times someone accuses you of having the summer off or tells you teachers are just glorified babysitters, you don’t have to take it. Be ready for them with our comebacks to crazy things people say about the teaching profession.

Why are you teaching? Don’t you have an M.A.?
Teaching is a calling, not just a job. Compared to the challenges (and rewards) of the classroom, graduate school was a cakewalk.

With tenure, you can’t be fired no matter how you perform.
Tenure simply means there needs to be a just cause to be fired and you have a right to a fair hearing to contest charges. Tenured teachers can be fired for a legitimate reason, after school administrators prove their case. To thrive in my profession, I must do a good job.

Teachers are just glorified babysitters!
Okay, pay me what you pay your babysitter. Ten dollars an hour for six hours (even though I actually work nine or 10 hours a day) is $60 a day, times five days a week (though I often work weekends) is $300, times 36 weeks a year (even though I’m taking classes and professional development year-round), is $10,800 – but that’s just for one student. Multiply that by 30 students and that’s $324,000. That’s a good start.

All your union cares about is bargaining for higher salaries and more benefits! What about the students?
When state laws allow, the NEA routinely bargains for student-friendly conditions like class size limits, staff training, collaborative time for sharing effective classroom techniques, school building health and safety, classroom materials and equipment, and labor-management solutions designed to boost teaching in low-performing schools. Shouldn’t we also have competitive salaries so we attract the best teachers?

Summers off! Nice!
During my first weeks “off” I’ll map out curriculum for next year, clean and organize my classroom, and catch up on professional development coursework. Want to trade places?

If my job doesn’t work out, I can become a teacher!
If you have the desire and commitment to put 50-plus hours a week toward a large group of extremely diverse learners of varying abilities, please consider it. We always need more passionate teachers.

It can’t be that hard to control a bunch of children.
Classroom management is an art. But if you think you have some special tricks, I’ll bring 30 kids to you tomorrow morning and watch you work you magic.

Why are lunch ladies, custodians, and bus drivers member of NEA? Do they contribute to our children’s education?
Education Support Professionals are the fastest-growing segment of our membership. They are on the frontlines of our schools getting students to and from school safely, keeping our schools clean and environmentally sound, and making sure our students eat healthy meals. Our paraeducators assist students in the classrooms, and office staff help our parents and administrators. They make sure students get a well-rounded education.

Why do teachers object to merit pay? You should be paid what you’re worth!
The trouble is defining the value of a good teacher by test scores. Unless, of course, you think your SAT score was the ultimate predicator of your worth?

Friday, March 8, 2013

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spread the Word to End the Word

Read more about this amazing event and find out how you can SPREAD THE WORD.

I've pledged... inclusion, acceptance, unity, and friendship. Have you? Be a fan of RESPECT.