Skip to main content

Focusing Forward

Shortly after noon, my phone was abuzz with texts asking if I'd heard that DeVos' nomination had gone through. I wasn't able to stream it at that point, but I had assumed her nomination would move forward. I'll also admit that I was hoping McCain would be willing to go "rogue" or "maverick-y" like he once prided himself on.

I will leave this image of McCain and Clinton here and not even comment.


So, in the mean time, what should teachers do? Well, we shouldn't get upset that our calls, our letters, our rallying "didn't work." In fact, it did. It proved we are a formidable force. 

This is the first time in history that a vice president has had to be the deciding vote for a cabinet nominee. This, to quote Vice President Biden during the passing of the Affordable Care Act, is a BFD. 


We must continue to be vocal. We must continue to tell our stories about public education. We must continue to speak out against injustice and the potential threat that Secretary DeVos will pose to public education. We must continue to raise our voices. No one knows our students' needs better than we do. And I can tell you one thing they don't need: some pseudo-science like Neurocore that promises to wipe out your ADD/ADHD. They need teachers that are advocates for them, for their local schools, and for public education. 

You might start by subscribing to the Michigan legislature's listserv. I get daily emails that show me legislative action regarding education. That's how I discovered Colbeck's sneaky "education savings account" (what a euphemism!) plan. Do that by registering at this site

The next thing you could do is start having real and honest conversations with people--and I'm talking about people that aren't already in your close circle of friends. Sometimes teachers surround themselves with teachers (most of my friends). We need to start reaching out to others even more so and bringing them into the conversation so they are truly informed. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Targets and Time

I just finished Cris Tovani and Elizabeth Birr Moje's No More Telling as Teaching: Less Lecture, More Engaged Learning from Heinemann's Not This But That series edited by Ellin Oliver Keene and Nell Duke.

Needless to say, I pick up anything that's by Tovani and Moje because of Tovani's belief in the workshop model and Moje's extensive work in both disciplinary and out of school literacies.

After finishing this quick read, I've been thinking a lot about two things.

First, how we spend our time matters. I get less than 60 minutes with students each hour. Time is a hot commodity! Because of that, I am constantly looking at ways to maximize instruction. If I pass papers back this way or if I move this to this point in time, I can gain another minute. And those minutes add up! Sometimes, however, it feels like there is just never enough time. All teachers know that. In fact, I've yet to meet a teacher admit that she or he has too much time with students, especia…

A Lasting Impact

I love graduation season. It's a time to celebrate hard work and academic achievement. For many students in both my hometown and where I work, many students who are graduating are the first in their families to graduate from high school.

As teachers, sometimes we forget that. I've been guilty of assuming before that because we're past Y2K that everyone has a high school diploma. I remember my own realization when I found out my mom's mom hadn't graduated high school. Encouraged by a doctor to drop out (I remember her vaguely mentioning something about an enlarged heart), she was told that she wouldn't live to be 18. Naturally, she carpe diem-ed. (Well, there wasn't much living it up. She married and had five kids. She also lived to her late 70s.)

So as I sat on the dais at my hometown's graduation ceremony, I reminded myself to remain calm about the air horns, the catcalls, the shouting. High school graduation might not seem like a big deal to me (everyo…

Kids Wielding Critical Thinking

I first heard Cornelius Minor speak at NCTE’s convention last fall, and I was instantly impressed. He very quickly had dozens of adults moving around the room, jumping rope, making lists—learning in some of the most engaged ways.
I recently subscribed to the Heinemann Podcast and I found myself devouring the series of episodes featuring Minor. Trust me. You don’t want to miss these.The episode on “The Over-Engaged Student” is one of them. Through the story of “Prez,” a nickname given to one particular student, Minor explores ways that he is able to “turn the volume down” “but respect his enthusiasm” on the type of student that we have all encountered. You know, the one who always seems to have a comment or contribution to make, even if, at times, it might not seem relevant. And that’s when Minor says this: “One of the things that we never want to do is silence kids.” That made me stop and think about all the times that I’ve asked kids to “hold that thought” and then never returned to …