Free Vacations for Teachers

  It’s said that teaching is among the most underpaid and underappreciated careers in the world.  The men and women who help shape our children’s futures are often overworked, and in a time when the economy is incredibly dismal, the idea of an educator spending precious cash on a luxury vacation is almost laughable. Well, if you are a creative leader in the classroom, who has always dreamed of traveling to the ends of the earth, get ready to smile. Thanks to Hilton HHonors, you can jet-off on a vacation to remember for FREE.  This year, the company is giving … Continue reading

A Shout Out to All the Great Teachers

Photo by radina grancharova I want to give a shout out to all the good teachers that make up our public school system. So often we only hear about or talk about the “bad” seeds. This is especially true in the city where I live, Milwaukee. The school district has a bad reputation. But this past week I have been very impressed with my 17-year-old son’s English teacher who has decided that teaching is about more than just earning a paycheck, it is about inspiring her students. While my son is incredibly smart and never studies for tests, yet gets … Continue reading

Make Teacher Gift Giving Fun

The end of May is like Christmas around here, in terms of gift buying. With Mother’s Day, graduation, and various weddings, I’m just about tapped out. Then, just when I think I’ve caught a break, I get an email from my kindergartner’s room moms reminding me that the end of school is just around the corner and I’m responsible for coughing up a thank you and birthday gift for my daughter’s teacher. The email was sent to the parents of all the kindergartners offering to pool our money to purchase a large gift. We also have the option to make … Continue reading

When the Student is Smarter than the Teacher

Or in this case, smarter than standardized test designers. Seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Stanford royally schooled some test makers in Kansas recently, and his efforts not only sent him to the head of the class, but he also got a free ride to Hollywood to appear on various talk shows. It all started when the high school junior saw something that didn’t make sense while taking his state writing test earlier this month: The word “emission” — as in “the emission of greenhouse gases” — was spelled “omission.” Remembering a lesson about test-taking that his teacher drilled into him years ago-—”Read every … Continue reading

Teachers Speak Out About Obama Inauguration

As I mentioned in a previous blog, thousands of public and private school teachers around the country allowed their students to put down their books on Tuesday to watch history being made. When Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States new surveys estimate that more than two million students tuned in to see it live. In fact, Barack Obama’s inauguration was one for the TV ratings history books. Nielsen Media Research just released its latest numbers for Inauguration Day viewership. According to Nielsen, 37.8 million viewers watched Obama become this nation’s first … Continue reading

Father Makes PTA History

When was the last time you saw a dad at a PTA meeting? Apparently, males are scarce at most Parent-Teacher Association meetings, which is why the appointment of Charles J. Saylors as the new president of the educational organization is making headlines around the country. The Parent-Teacher Association is a national organization of 5.5 million members, though most of them are mothers, who have a reputation of being domineering, highly-organized and driven (not that I’m into stereotyping or anything). According to The New York Times, men make up only 10 percent on the national PTA membership. However, studies show male … Continue reading

Just Think of All the Teachers You Have!

When life starts to get overwhelming and I wonder why I am having such a hard time with things, it helps me to think of my mistakes and trials in terms of lessons. If I am really learning all these lessons, then all these individuals who I come across in the course of my days and weeks must surely be teachers who are helping me to learn those lessons… I am not sure where I heard the term “learning partners” first, but I have a friend who uses it often to create cushions of compassion for those people who we … Continue reading

Even Teachers Don’t Finish the Textbook

Do you have a tendency to think of yourself or your child as being “behind” because you’ve been teaching for three weeks but your still on week one according to your teacher’s manual? Do you worry about not finishing the textbook? I have a little secret for you. . .even teachers don’t finish the textbook! What Is Behind Anyways? For some, especially those of us who homeschool under strict regulations, there is a certain amount of added stress by not moving forward in the curriculum. Many parents feel like if they don’t finish the textbook or all of the lessons … Continue reading

Don’t Let Teachers and Administrators Intimidate You

My experiences as a single parent negotiating through school institutions have taught me that I have to be the number one and only advocate for not just my children, but myself and my single parent family as well. Sure, I have met some great people and my kids have had some wonderful teachers—but I have also had to stand up to all sorts of judgment and preconceived stereotypes about what teachers and administrators thought of single parent families, kids from single parent families, and I have had to learn how to NOT get intimidated… I think that what can happen … Continue reading

When Teachers are Moms

Being a teacher can have many pros and cons. I love my job and would not trade with anyone else in the world (however I would trade salaries with a few people!) One aspect of being a teacher that many moms must learn to overcome is that fact that children are a constant part of your life. While it is very important for moms and teachers to love and enjoy children, the time spent with children each day can get overwhelming. Teachers have very little time away from their students each day. They usually get a thirty-minute lunch break and … Continue reading