Archive for the Politics & Ulcers Category

Tired

Posted in Life & All That Jazz, Politics & Ulcers, Soapboxes on May 22, 2010 by Magistra

I’m tired of the drama
Of the haters
Of the press

I’m tired of being told what to wear
What to think
How to dress

I’m tired of being subjected to anger
Pure jealousy
And unveiled cruelty

I’m tired of hearing her screams every night as they fight
His fists hitting I’m not sure what
Her stifled sobs

I’m tired of being attacked for standing up for what is right
Being targeted for speaking truth
For holding fast

I’m tired of meanness from strangers
From friends
From colleagues

I’m tired of double speaking
Gossip
And lies

I’m tired of seeing people sit on their ass all day and do nothing
I’m tired of working my ass off to pay for them to do so
I’m tired of learned helplessness and sloth

I’m tired of bitchy women and hateful men
Of the people who think they have a license to be asinine
To judge

I’m tired of doing the right thing to see others drop the ball
Fall for an excuse
Or make one

I’m tired of being constantly bombarded by negativity and hate
Of being the voice of reason
Preaching to an empty choir loft

I’m just so fucking tired of it all

© Dulcinea 2010. All rights reserved.

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Don’t

Posted in Life & All That Jazz, Love or Hate (depending), Politics & Ulcers on May 3, 2010 by Magistra

Don’t…

shush me
interrupt me
abuse me
mock me
ignore me
push me around
insult me
treat me like a child or an idiot
embarrass me

Don’t…

expect me to sit back quietly and take abuse
treat me like I’m on layaway
underestimate me
think that just because you’re in my world you’re there to stay

Don’t forget…

I am a woman.
I deserve respect.
I should be treated with gentility, kindness, and caring.

Don’t forget…

That I chose to let you in,
And I can choose to close you out.

© Dulcinea 2010. All rights reserved.

Teachers Should Talk Good?

Posted in Politics & Ulcers, Shop Talk (or something like it), Soapboxes on May 2, 2010 by Magistra

So in following the goings on in the Arizona law debate, I came across this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal: Arizona Grades Teachers on Fluency (Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal).  It tells about a new push to ensure students who are English language learners (ELL) have teachers who have a command over English not only in terms of grammar but also in terms of accent and teachers who speak English as a second language (ESL) themselves.  Fascinating!  It seems that there are many qualified and experienced teachers who are ESL that were hired in an attempt to diversify the teacher workforce.  However the concern is that ELL students may not be given the greatest advantage in learning alongside native speakers if their teacher doesn’t speak English well either.

Here are my thoughts:

English is the language of our city, state, and national governments, of the laws of our land, and of commerce.  Countries worldwide teach their students English.

Regardless how long a teacher has been teaching or why he or she was hired, it is their responsibility to have a command of the curriculum, including English.  Teachers are required to participate in ongoing education, keep themselves up to date on relevant research and technology, and maintain a standard of excellence in the eduction they provide.  Frankly, I don’t care what the motivation was behind hiring teachers without a command of the language or that English is not officially the national language.  The ultimate question here is not about what is best for the teachers but what is best for the students.

I care about the level of understanding a child can have over English when the teacher doesn’t have a command over the language.  I’m not simply looking at ELL students either.  English is the language used in math, science, social studies, and health books.  It is the language of the standardized tests students are subjected to yearly and on which schools are judged.  In a time when student achievement is a focal point of politics and the media, I find it fascinating that anyone would object to having teachers who speak English well.  Without a command over the language, no students can be expected to perform as well in school or later in life as their potential had they the ability to comprehend and communicate well the written and spoken language.

As a teacher, I know what it is to be concerned about the politics behind education today and the lack of concern over students as individuals.  I know what it is to be concerned that my job may be in jeopardy because my students may not be able to make the progress the government says they should make because teachers do not exist and teach in a vacuum; my students are affected by society, pop culture, their parents and the nurturing they received prior to stepping foot in my classroom.  I also know what it is to struggle to see students make progress learning how to write, read, or follow simple spoken directions because their spoken and written language in 3 or 4 years of school has been allowed to exclude the all important verb or a basic understanding of word order.  I have seen and work with teachers who use incorrect grammar daily in their lessons, conversations, and notes home.

Make no mistake about it: It is a disservice to students that they should receive an inadequate education, whether it is because a teacher is under-qualified, a danger to children, unwilling to grow as a teacher, or unable to teach using the language used in the texts, the tests, and higher levels of education.

© Dulcinea 2010. All rights reserved.

I Am A Teacher, Too

Posted in Politics & Ulcers, Shop Talk (or something like it), Soapboxes on May 1, 2010 by Magistra

I read a great article recently in NEA Today about how teachers feel about the lack of respect they receive despite their service.  It seems that in America today, teachers have become the whipping boy for lack of progress overall.  Complaints pour in from every corner.  Teachers aren’t teaching children respect.  They aren’t doing all they can to help students succeed; just look at their test scores.  Teachers are paid too much for what they do.  Being a teacher has turned into a never-ending battle to do what we are passionate about: reaching children.  One teacher in Florida found her voice and the voice of teachers across America as she wrote about what it is to be a teacher.  For those readers who share the aforementioned adverse opinions about teachers, I ask only that you will click the link below, read the article, and read the full text of Jamee Miller’s essay, “I Am a Teacher”.

A Cry for Respect for Educators

© Dulcinea 2010.  All rights reserved.