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The Squirrel Dam

I share students with the Spanish teacher.  I share the strange and ridiculous gene with the Spanish teacher.  Plus, well, the Spanish teacher is my child.  So, she shares the strange gene with the Chemistry teacher.  Last week the following occurred: Girl One:  So, all the water is gone from this reservoir?  And it left behind a dam?

Jordan H:  A dam.

Teacher:   Yes, dam.

Girl:  Where did the dam come from?  (teacher:  From made the dam?)

Jordan H:  A squirrel.

Girl:  Squirrels make dams?  Oh, yeah, where else would they come from?

Teacher:  beavers.  Beavers made the dams.

Girl:  Are you sure?

As the Spanish Teacher tried telling me the story with a straight face, I told her I was sure Jordan meant to say “fish.”  It just seemed right somehow.

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Attract the Best and Brightest (education)

How to attract the best and brightest into education:

1- offer them a salary that does NOT require a second or third job to survive.  Offer them a salary that does NOT qualify them for government assistance.  IF you check any pay schedule in North Louisiana you will see why most students will not opt to teach in Louisiana.

2-Focus on their pedagogy.    Do not spend their time testing,testing, testing students.  Allow them to teach the subjects and the students they love.   What causes an Oak to grow best: water, sun, and feed? or constant measurement?  That’s right.  This push to test EACH AND EVERY SUBJECT with a mandated test is ludicrous.

3-Offer them your support.  It takes over five years for a teacher to feel confident in their ability to teach.  TFA people give it two.  If you think about it, any endeavor takes time to develop expertise.  Stop trying to make a square peg fit a round hole.

4-Stop being antagonistic.  Every day it seems that another non-educator has jumped on the anti-education bandwagon.  Now it is stop automatic withdrawals from pay to join a teacher’s union.  The ONLY liability insurance most educators have is through a teachers union.  OUR superintendent informed us at the beginning of the year that we must join in order to have any protection from frivolous lawsuits.

5-Stop being antagonistic.  Every day it seems another non-educator is telling me how to do my job.  I don’t even presume to tell a ditch digger how to better do his job.  I love having book studies written by people that have never taught.  Or having a state super that has spent a few days in a classroom.

6-Stop being antagonistic.  Allow me to do my job.  Realize you have to nurture teachers.  I spend my time mentoring young teachers.  It takes time and patience…and most will quit before they learn to do a decent job.

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