TEACHER COMPENSATION – USE APPLES TO APPLES

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

An apple and an orange.Image via Wikipedia

Okay here is my latest attempt to rock the boat.

In the educationcommunity I continually hear how teacher’s pay is too low, that we are not compensated fairly or appropriately for what or how much we do to educate our students.  That teachers do not make a reasonable wage for their education and training. I tend to take issue with that.

Like most people I would love someone to pay me a lot more money for the work that I do, but what is my view on the reality of teacher compensation?

Public school teachers are public service employees, they are not private sectorprofessionals. Comparing teacher salaries to private sector professionals (bankers, lawyers, business people) is like comparing apples and oranges they are not the same.  As much as we would like to be compensated at the private industry annual rates we are not in private industry.

Public education teachers salaries and compensation should be compared to other public service employees i.e. State Workers, Federal Government employees or even the military.  To try to compare teacher salaries to those in the private sector is not based on the currentreality and does not work.

Teachers typically get paid for about 180 seat days a year which doesn’t include weekends,  or evenings during the school year.  The typical public service employee is compensated based upon approximately a 240 day work year, which also doesn’t include evenings or weekends.  This simply means that the average teacher works about 60 fewer work days (about 12 weeks) over the course of the year when calculating their annual compensation.

I can hear the arguments starting already, teachers work nights and weekends without pay to get their “work” done. My experience was/is that most other professionals who are also paid salary work many/most evenings and weekends without extra compensation (been there done it) – so to me that argument is lost without going any further with it.  The facts are that professionals on salary in the public and private sectors both work many extra hours beyond their normal working hours, that is just the way it is and that is why they/we receive a salary, not an hourly wage.

Let’s do a little math (old math phobias die hard – I still hate math.)

If a teacher is paid $30,000 as a base salary (the beginning minimum for teachers in Maine) for 180 seat days, worked and was paid for 240 work days their annual salary would be $40,000 which is pretty good for Maine.

Take it a step further if a teacher is paid $40,000 as a base salary for 180 seat days, worked and was paid for 240 work days their annual salary would be $53,333 which is not too bad up heah (Maine phonetic spelling).
Last example I promise you – if a teacher is paid $50,000 as a base salary for 180 seat days, worked and was paid for 240 work days their annual salary would be $66,667.  In Maine those figure are pretty comparable to what public sector employees annual salaries are.
The 180 vs 240 days is just an approximation used to quickly and easily compare the amounts.

To make better comparisons of how much money teachers actually make, you have to figure out our daily rate of pay and then compare it to other profession’s daily rates of pay (not their billable rate). This provides a much clearer and accurate (IMHO) idea of the amounts of money being made in an “apples to apples” comparison.

Amount      Daily Rate 180    Daily Rate 240
$50,000       $278                     $208
$40,000       $222                     $167
$30,000       $167                     $125

Even though the above amounts are just approximations, I believe they show there is a significant differences in the daily rates of pay for a 180 day and 240 day employees.

The reality was that I took a pretty significant pay cut to my daily pay rate to become a Senior Planner in State government in 2008 and I received a pretty good pay raise to my daily rate of pay when I returned to teaching last October.

Would I like to make as much in annual salary as private industry or even my public sectorcounterparts…absolutely!  But at the same time I don’t want to work as many days/weeks during the year as they do.  I enjoy the extra 60 work days (about 12 weeks) that on average I do not work that they do.  This is the area where many outside of education resent teachers, especially when some teachers make more in annual salary than they do, while working many less days.

It does mean that I believe that we need to carefully think about who and what we are comparing our wages to, before we complain about how little or how much we make.  I understand that this post may cause a real consternation among some of you out there and many may castigate me for writing this post, but from where I sit, my wages are pretty comparable to other public service professionals for the number of days worked per year, experience levels and educational requirements.

There is an old saying is that you will never get rich working for the government and that is what public education teachers do – work for the government.  If you want to get rich – keep trying to hit the lottery or go ahead and take your chances in the private sector.  For me I am tired of hearing about how we should be paid the same as the private sector when we are not part of the private sector and will not be paid as though we are.

Or another way to look at it for all of those public education teachers who want to be paid the same annual rate as the private sector.  Be careful of what you ask for or you too may be working in the private sector and still be a teacher at your school with a completely different set of rules.  Some leaders are really attempting to push public education into the private sector – is that what you want?

That is the reality as I see it.

Disclaimer:  No I am not anti-teacher’s union; yes I am a real public school teacher – not some “ringer” with an axe to grind against educators; yes I am liberally-conservative and no I am not attempting to subvert teacher wage earning capabilities.  I just happen believe that many (not all) teachers are fairly compensated in comparison to other public sector employees, but certainly not overpaid by any stretch of the imagination for what we do.

Have you made a difference today? How?

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TEACHING IS WHAT I DO – NOT WHO I AM

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Part of teaching is how we spend our “down time”.  What do we do when we are not in the classroom or at home correcting papers, preparing paperwork or planning for next week is just as important.  That is what makes us a complete person, teaching is what I do as my profession, it is not who I am.  That is something that many people forget – that they are not what they do for a living, there is so much more to a person than what they do for work.

I plan to show you the reader other parts of the whole person that I am, not only the teacher part.  I hope that you will enjoy this small change to this blog, because it will be a regular feature in My Thoughts in the future.

It was a relatively pleasant day here in Maine, so my wife and I took advantage of it and went for a couple hour walk this afternoon. Here are a few of the photos that I took this afternoon.

This was definitely the saddest part of our walk, last year they came in cut this part.  This was an old beaver pond, if you look below this picture, I have added a picture of how it looked before the cutting.

I call all of the smokey areas “spirits of the forest” who no longer have a home, because they are not in the other photos I took today — only of the areas that were clear cut.

Same picture from almost the same angle a year earlier.

I understand the financial reasons behind going in and cutting an area, but at the same time…it just bothers me to know what was there vs what is there now.  The natural beauty that has been lost, for someone to have a few dollars more.

Overall, it was a great walk, just a little brisk at first, but still enjoyable.  This is one of the major things that I love to do when I am not a teacher, being outside: hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting and taking pictures whenever I can.  I guess I am just a very visual person and enjoy the beauty in ordinary things that I look at.

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THE LITTLE VICTORIES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT

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Alfond Middle SchoolImage by hshawjr via Flickr

I was out sick on Tuesday and when I came back on Wednesday (still about 60% sick) there were the usual stack of papers on my desk (actually a few less than usual thanks to Google Docs) and a note from the substitute teacher, that explained how the studentsbehaved during the day.

Some did really well, but some of the others didn’t have good days. The sub gave me the names of the naughty and nice list.  On it were the names of some of the usual suspects (the coal burner brigade), but there were some others too, that surprised me.  The “others” are students who were pretty “interesting” when I first arrived, but have done really well and made a lot of progress since then.

This note made me stop and reflect on the progress that many students in my classes have made since October 5th.

  • The kiddo that didn’t do school – who now shows up almost every day and tries in class
  • The student who doesn’t care about others – showing a spark of humanity by asking how someone is doing and actually meaning it.
  • A tough kid using “super squirrel” to show good things and a great imagination.
  • A different tough kid calming down and smiling during classes, without being overwhelmed and attempting to be bad, instead of stupid.
  • 3-4 kids who were picking on a certain kid when I first arrived and last week they advocated to me to do something in class where his expertise could be used by the rest of the class.
  • the students that fought me tooth and nail to not read, who now beg to keep reading a few more minutes to the end of the page, the end of the chapter, etc.

There are a multitude of these kind of small victories in my classes and it makes me smile to think about the progress that many of my students have made.  These may seem inconsequential to those outside of the school, but to the students, their families and me these seemingly insignificant student victories are so very important.

The thing is that these are the battles that we teachers are winning everyday, it is not easy work, it is not even be noticeable on many days, but the changes are there and it is noticed by those who are living it.  Have you looked at the positive differences in many of your students since the start of the school year? Multiply these little victories by the number of classrooms we have in our Country, the number suddenly becomes pretty significant…but there is no standardized test to measure these positive changes in a student’s education or their life.

This note also reminded me of the many students that I met at Good-Will Hinckley over the years.  How many of them were on someone’s “coal burner” list at some time or many times, but now that they are adults, many of them are turning out pretty well.  They needed that stable environment to give themselves a chance to be more than they thought they could.  Is it sometimes the job of the school to simply provide a stable environment for students, to have a chance to get through those tough teen-age years.

I think that many of the policy makers have gotten so involved in the macro-education world, that one where students have become part of a number, that they have forgotten to look at students as individuals who have a wide variety of strengths, weakness, dreams and desires.   What the policy makers statistics and rhetoric show as a failing system, is actually a fairly effective system, that needed tweaking, not a major overhaul.  But we have gotten major overhauls any way as NCLB, RTTP and the Common Core Standards have shown.

We as educators need to continue to remind policy-makers and others, that school is not about being a number or part of a number, it is about the individual student and the progress that that those individual students make over the course of a hour, day, week, month, year or lifetime, not a snapshot that is permanently recorded into a standard score.

That is what we need to make schools be – a place where success is possible and where impossible successes are a reality.

Have you made a difference today? How?

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ALL THE NEGATIVITY IS UNDERMINING EDUCATION/EDUCATORS

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The re-drawn chart comparing the various gradi...Image via Wikipedia

The power of being positive in educationcan not be underestimated.  How powerful is it and what affect does it have on people?  Unfortunately, in today’s world the focus towards education is on the negatives.
Every day I read the headlines in my feeds and the local newspaper(yes I still look at the paper).  Much of what I see is so negative:

budget shortfalls are closing many of the smaller local schools

school systems are laying off employees

that we need a national curriculum or national common core standards

politicians spouting rhetoric and about how they are going to change education for the better

that increasing standardized tests are the answer to education’s problems

student standardized test scores are down or not improving, therefore we must be failing as a nation educationally

how teacher performance evaluations need to be tied to student standardized test scores

bad and lazy teachers are the problem

statistics showing how Charter schools are out-performing public education

and the host of other “stuff” that is in the news and the constant parade of statistics that shows how bad schools and teachers are.

Based on everything I read from politicians and hear in the news I have to wonder –“am I a member of a profession that is generally considered to be incompetent by many in leadership positions?”
My personal experience with several school systems (having been in military I saw more than my share) and since I have become an education insider (a teacher) is:

I absolutely do not believe that that vast majority of my chosen profession is incompetent or unable/unwilling to professionally teach students.  

In fact I strongly believe the opposite is true, I find that most educators want to teach students effectively and are willing to do what is necessary to ensure that they do.

How many other professions routinely give of their own time to their company (not charging for overtime) by routinely working 60-70 hours a week, using their own money to see that a child eats or has clothes?   How many teachers do you know that bring in extra food for lunch or have a food stash in their desk for the student that comes in and says I am hungry?  In most schools this happens every day.

The news and our political leadership doesn’t highlight the positive things that we do over the course of a school year, yet why do they continue to choose to accentuate the negative?

What would happen if they focused on what we in education do right and expanded on those things, instead of proposing or making mandates that have little value in the real world classroom in our schools.  I just wonder if suddenly our schools would once again regain much of their lost luster?

I believe that they would!  

As my Statistics teacher once told me “You can make statistics say whatever you want them to, so it is important to know what you are talking about when you use statistics to analyze anything.”  Those words stuck with me throughout my military career and seems even more important now that I am an educator.  I tend look at any statistical analysis with a “jaded” eye and attempt to find out the bias of the author or user of those statistics before I embrace the “facts” they may or may not bring out.

I believe it is past time for educators and schools to really push to our political leadership and the media (local and national) what we in education do correctly.  That we do a great job with the resources and support that we have.  Yes there are some problem areas, but let’s work to address those small areas instead using a shotgun approach to overhaul the entire system and throwing out what is actually working.  We don’t have to use rhetoric or vitriol to tell our story, but we have to get our stories told and heard about the progress we are making in the education of our students.

The constant bombardment of negativity is undermining the public’s view of schools and teachers.  It is affecting teacher morale and performance in the classroom.  Ultimately, all this negativity is starting to affect student performance in the classroom, which is to me is the biggest problem.   The undermining of “respect” that many students have for teachers, is becoming very noticeable. I believe it is directly attributable to the negativity and lack of respect that is being shown by our leadership at the local, state and national levels for teachers.

I guess it comes down to whether our leadership is looking to have the American Educational System remain a publicly financed system or should education be taken over and become privatized (Free Enterprise) with the owner’s profit as the over-riding goal?

What do you think?  Are my thoughts that I have expressed above accurate or are they not?

If they are not please provide me with the reasons why they are not.

Have you made a difference today? How?

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EDUCATIONAL MANDATES – CAN WE IGNORE THEM?

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In the online EdTech world that I am a part of, I would like to think that we are fairly progressive educators. However, many times we do a lot of group think when it comes to standardized testing and other “remedies” from that are presently in place when we are discussing them online.
If you have read this blog, you know where I stand on these subjects, but just for a moment let’s take a different perspective on the use of standardized testing, standards and accountability. Let’s make believe (I can wave that magic wand here – it is my blog) that the majority of what I hear many of us want in our online community became the way we teach in the classroom: project based, service learning, portfolios, freedom to create lessons that go beyond rote memorization, explore creativity more, no or little standardized testing, little to no homework, 1:1 computing, etc.
In my education fantasy world all these progressive ideas would be mandated in every classroom that receives public funding.
How would we feel if many fellow teachers refused to cooperate with our progressive mandate (our better way to teach) and continued to teach much as they they do today, to ensure students do well on standardized tests?
Simply because they felt more comfortable with their style and it fit their idea of what education/school should be.
We may or may not be the majority opinion out there.
  • What would we do?
  • What would be our system of accountability?
  • What would we do with the classroom teachers who refused to go along with our mandate?
  • What would we do with the administrators who would suddenly have to completely change direction and didn’t?
Isn’t that what many of us are doing today, by refusing or simply dragging our feet and not going along with educational mandates that we believe are wrong. Don’t many in our online community believe that they have a better answers than our present leadership at local, state or federal levels and choose different ways to interpret how we do things in our classrooms, that do not agree with the intent of our present leadership. In other words they close the door and do what they want in “their” classroom.
I have to ask:
  • Do we have the right to openly discuss and disagree with “policy” — absolutely.
  • Do we have the right to disregard or ignore laws and mandates? — I have more difficulty with this one.
My background in the military tells me that I didn’t have to like the “orders” that come down from above, but that I did have to implement them to the best of my ability. When I disagreed with something I had to publicly support my leadership’s actions no matter how much I disagreed and work behind closed doors to affect changes to policies that I disagreed with. If I did not do what is expected of me then there were consequences for my actions or inaction.
Do we as teachers have the “right” to not be supportive of “mandates” we don’t agree with in front of our students? Would it be more appropriate and show more leadership to support these mandates, while privately working to transform education into our vision of the direction we should be taking?
Is it fair to our students for us to bitch and complain about standardized testing, standards based education, etc. publicly and then expect them to do their best on the exact same tests that unfortunately do mean something in today’s educational world. No matter how much we want to believe they do not. It is all about themoney and who gets it.
  • If we do not agree with the policies in place for our professions what should we do?
  • What should be teacher’s consequences for not implementing or supporting current educational mandates in our classrooms if they do not support them?
This post is one that I have wanted to write for a while, but just never really got up the nerve, it is a very touchy subject in many schools. Maybe it is my military background, but at times I find some teacher’s attitudes towards things they disagree with as excessive hubris on their part. Especially those that have no experience outside of education…but that is another post, for when I get the courage up for that one.
I haven’t made up my mind on this one yet, even though it is evident which way I am leaning.
What do you think?
and as always
Have you made a difference today? How?

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SICK DAY = LOTS OF SLEEP

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Wow it doesn’t seem possible that I have neglected my blog for this long! Life just gets in the way.
Today was one of those days where every thing catches up with you…you know the headache, body ache (it felt like I went 15 rounds with Rocky), not being able to stand-up without being dizzy and having to sit down quickly, plus the other things you don’t talk about. All those symptoms that we associate with the flu. Whether I have the flu or not, I know that I got plenty of sleep today and that it was definitely needed.
So what did this well-healed educator do on a sick day at home. Get up and find that I don’t have the phone number to call-in sick, so I have to call my assistant teacher at 6:00 A.M., let her know that I am not coming and beg for the phone number. I am lucky she is an early bird and we have asked if the other is coming in that we give a courtesy call or email. But I really don’t believe she expected a 6:00 A.M. call.
Once I called in, it was sleeping time again. I slept on the couch and a various times I woke up and watched SportCenter, the History Channel, News Channels, Weather Channel and History International Channel.
I learned lots of stuff about dinosaurs, Egypt, a controversial archaelogical find about a “Hobbit”, and a bunch of other stuff. It is amazing what you can learn from these sources – independent of the school room. I also learned from the news that my nation continues to biased and shows its ignorance all too often and inability to have a civil discourse. Listening to the rhetoric and ignorance made me sick and I had to turn it off. I now remember why I don’t bother to watch the “news” on television.
I attempted to correct papers and read some articles online, but gave up because I just couldn’t focus. Writing this blog has taken several attempts and rest in between…I am finally starting to feel reasonable again, but the dizziness is still an issue.
What did I do mostly today? I slept and slept and slept some more.
When you are sick AND stay home from school what do you do?

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WHY I TEACH

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Today one of those things happened that really hits home about why I teach.
Going back to when I first arrived at LJHS, there was that one class and a few students that really gave me a run for my money. One of those students this morning simply made my day!
We have been having some really great classes over the past couple of weeks, especially since my door slamming and little “let’s talk” with that class a few weeks ago. Well this morning during my planning period one of “those” students came in and said. “Mr. Shaw, would you like this, I made it in French class and thought you might like it.” They were making crepes in French and he had put together a Cinnamon-Sugar crepe and brought it up to me.

It is a little thing like this that makes teaching such a big deal to me. It shows me that some of the hard work that I have attempted over the past 5-6 months was worth it and some of my students are starting to see me as someone who actually gives a damn about them.
This was a kid that thought I was the devil-reincarnate when I first arrived and yet today he thought enough of me to bring me a small something. A small victory, but one that was very important to me.
Crepe image: Flikr Photo

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Alternate National Education Standards

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This is a sort-of tongue in cheek look at what if all students had to be graded on and successfully meet the following personal productivity standards before exiting high school.
  • Be able to build a 10 x 10 shed.
  • Cut and split at least 1 cord of wood
  • Plant a garden and harvest the crop
  • Hunt, kill, prepare and cook a critter to eat.
  • Figure out what’s wrong with a vehicle that won’t start and fix it so that it will.
  • Properly landscape a yard, so the water drains properly and still looks good.
  • Drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle or 4-wheeler, where you want to go without getting stuck or if you get stuck, know how to get it out.
  • Catch a fish, kill the fish, clean the fish, cook the fish, eat the fish.
  • Be there while a critter is being born and help ensure everything goes okay.
  • Assist in a nursing home for at least a week.
  • Help build or repair a trail someplace that requires you to be outdoors for at least 5 days.
  • Assist at the local fire station for at least a week.
These and many more make more sense for most students than much of the stuff that is taught in the classroom today. These are some of the rural standards, someone else would have to do the urban standards. Does anyone have any other standards to include for rural or urban standards?
I know that many people who are attempting to promote the Common Standards are well meaning and want to see education in the U.S. improve. But what makes their standards anymore important to a student or their family than the one’s that I have listed above? Which would be more practical for most students, learning how to plant a garden or knowing how to solve the Pythagorean Theorem by the end of their Eighth Grade year in school.
Then there is the controversy down in Texas over their state standards, which significantly influences what most publishers use as a basis for what they put in their textbooks, which are also used throughout the United States — talk about misuse of influence. This dispute shows how quickly and “easily” a small number of people can control the majority and quickly re-write “things” to meet their biases and requirements, not whether it is the truth or reality.
  • That is the biggest issue I have with standards – who’s standards are they?
  • What do they mean and how easily can they be subverted for non-educational reasons?
One set of Common Standards for the entire Country scares me…how easily could they be changed in the future, to meet a minority opinion of what should be taught throughout this Country.
Centralization may be great for many things, but is it right course for education?
What are the safeguards that are going to be in place to ensure that no one group (political or religious) monopolizes or is able to revise Common Standards in Education America? What happened in Texas concerns me, imagine this happening at the Centralized Common Standard level – that scares the hell out of me. Does it you?
This post went from a fairly light hearted look at standards to something more – think about why it did?
and as always
Have you made a difference today? How?

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COLLEGE IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER

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Here we go again. IDEA is up for renewal and President Obama will introduce the administration’s proposal on Monday to Congress. The words that caught my attention which were on Twitter:

 

all students should graduate from high school prepared for college and a career”…

I realize that this might be considered cherry-picking, but it follows a pattern from leadership that has been followed for several years now, that all students should go to college.

I am adding the following quote to this post, I got it from a link that @smeech on Twitter provided and it seems to be more fodder for the direction the powers that be want K-12 to go.

Amy Wilkins, a vice president with The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., called the blueprint a “culture shift.”

“One of the things America has not been clear about is what k-12 is supposed to do,” Wilkins said. “In this, we’re saying K-12 is supposed to prepare kids for college and meaningful careers.” (Turner)

Turner, Dorie. “Obama promise: Focus on getting kids to college.” Yahoo News. Associated Press, 13 Mar 2010. Web. 14 Mar 2010. <http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100313/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_education
My question is does the Obama administration and the educational leadership that has this administration’s ear,  believe that the real mission of K-12 schools is to simply become college preparation facilities?

The reality is that not all students are going to go to college, not allstudents want to go to college and not all students are going to be college ready when they graduate high school. To say that students will be or to mandate them being college ready by legislation is delusional at best or at worst an outright lie to the people this legislation will affect.

This is the way it really is, the sooner that our leadership acknowledges this and starts ACTUALLY looking at other solutions than the “just go to college” solution, schools can become places of learning again, that meet the needs of more of students than just the college bound ones, along with the artificial college prep standards that too many of our students will never achieve.
In today’s world many students are not going to have careers, they are still going to have jobs. They are going to be service workers, plumbers, farmers, the armed forces, wait staff, landscapers, auto repair work and other jobs that can be only be done locally – the jobs that cannot be exported in our flat world.
Does preparing these students for college prepare them for the jobs that they will actually have? Sort of- maybe, but not to the extent that a high school could or should. Preparing a student for college indicates that they will have 2-8 more years of school to get ready for their career after high school and experience life beyond their homes.
Those who will not go to college need to be ready to start their job immediately after high school ends for that student whether it is as a drop-out, certificate of attendance or graduate. In most cases today they are not ready for much of anything when they leave high school and end up working the lowest of the menial service jobs or resorting to crime. Starting at the bottom is one thing, but high schools can/should prepare students for when school ends much better than we do today, so that those students aren’t at the very bottom if they choose not to go to college.
As has been stated and asked several times in my PLN and on Twitter.  What is the school’s mission in today’s world?  No one really knows what or which mission a school needs to accomplish.  Until we answer that question realistically and honestly how can we answer this question?
Is it the high school’s job to prepare all students for college and a career or is it high school’s job to prepare a student for their future – whatever that future may be: college, landscaping, automotive repair, the military…let the students and their families decide?
Do we (do you) have the right to make all students walk the same path even though it is not the one they may want to use?

My position is that I strongly disagree with all leadership that believes having all students ready to attend college is the answer for all our problems in education

and as always
Have you made a difference today? How?

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Weebles Wobble and they do Fall Down

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Yesterday was an interesting day, we were finishing up 2 days of Parent-Teacher conferences. As I walked around the building and talked with other teachers, I noticed something, almost all of the male teachers were what could be called at least “stout”. I didn’t think too much of it, because I have a certain mental image of myself, AND I didn’t put myself in the “stout” class.
When I got to the gym, it was such a nice day, I decided to go outside and run an easy 3.0 miler. I had a long sleeved running shirt in my locker for just such an occasion and when I put it on I thought it felt a bit snug, but no big deal. I finished my run-walk, I couldn’t make it all the way and put it off to the difference between running on the treadmill and outside.
Then I went in the sauna for a little while…when I came out my running shirt was wet and sticking to me. Unfortunately, there is a mirror that you have to walk towards to get out of the locker room from the sauna.
THAT IS WHERE I DISCOVERED HOW FAT I HAVE BECOME!!!!
I haven’t stepped on a scale for a while purposely because I knew I was a little heavier than I wanted to be.  I really wasn’t too worried, I knew I was around 20 pounds over my ideal weight.  What I didn’t realize was that I was carrying 10 pounds on top of that.  I am not just simply stout, at 5’7″ and 190, but have pushed myself into the portly category.
I have for the second time in my life become a “weeble”, there is no other way to describe it.

How did it happen?

I have lots of ideas and excuses for myself and I am sure other teachers do as well, but the main cause is too much “good” food (i.e. junk food) and not enough activity.  There always seems to be a training that we want to go to, meetings that we have to attend, total mental exhaustion at the end of far too many days, papers to correct, paperwork to get done, etc., etc., etc. These are all excuses and do not change the fact that I am now a “weeble” or more bluntly “I am too fat.”

Okay now to get off my butt and do something about it.  I know what I have to do and will do it.
How about you dear reader…what do the male teachers in your school look like? Are many of them also at least “stout”? How does being stout affect how we teach or being a role model to our students?
Finally, what does your mental image of yourself match the reality of how you really are?
I challenge us to take appropriate pictures of ourselves, so we can see how we actually look versus just having that mental image. I have a feeling that I will not be the only teacher gearing up to change my appearance and improve my health.
Weeble image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weebles

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