Things you never say to teachers!

I recently read a post containing 12 things you never say to teachers posted by 

12. “Teaching is nice, but don’t you want to be more successful and make more money?”

#12 makes me think of the great slam poem by Taylor Mali what teachers make.  Worth watching in the TED Talk HERE

Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

Read the the full post below:

The 12 Things You Should Never, Ever Say To Teachers

Let me say up top here that I am NOT a teacher — I found this on a blog (listed below) that is all about and by teachers, however. And it’s the kind of thing I hope gets legs so that people stop asking these kinds of silly questions. Oh, and next time your state wants to cut the pay and benefits of teachers, speak up

1. “We’ve all been to elementary school, so aren’t we all kind of experts on it?”

Umm, no. You’ve been sick before, does that make you a doctor?

2. “When I retire, I still want to do something, so I think I might take up teaching.”

Teaching is not a hobby, like gardening or sailing. Teaching will likely make your old job feel like a vacation.

3. “Have you ever thought about making your class more fun?”

No, I do my best to make it as boring as I can.

4. “If you really cared about kids, you wouldn’t worry about the salary.”

I love my students. I love teaching. I also love being able to support my family and feed my kids.

5. “If you managed your time at school, I bet you wouldn’t need to plan lessons and grade on the weekends.”

Okay, I’m a little busy at school. I teach and work with students almost every moment of the day. Spending 20 hours a week outside of school on prep and grading every week is normal for me.

6. “You’ll never be a truly great teacher until you have your own kids.”

Actually, yes I will. The relationship between teacher and student is quite different from that of parent and child.

7. “Why do you make them read so much and write so many essays? Why do you give such hard grades?”

Because it’s my job. Because my students are here to learn. Because they’ll need these skills to survive in the world. How many reasons do you need?

8. “I pay taxes in this district, so technically you work for me.”

Sorry, we’re not your minions. That’s not how it works. Taxes support public goods and services—such as the fire department, police, parks, and yes, public schools—for the community as a whole. And by the way, teachers pay taxes too.

9. “Ohh, you teach kindergarten, that must be fun. Playing and singing all day.”

Yes, my life is just like Disney movie. I sing and the children and the little animals of the forest come running. Actually, in kindergarten, we teach our students the foundational literacy and math skills—as well as the social and emotional skills—that set kids up for success in every grade to follow.

10. “Why are you so strict? They’re just kids.”

We make plenty of time for laughter and fun in my classroom. Rules and routine are not only necessary, they help children to feel safe, secure and valued in the classroom community.

11. “How hard can it be? You have all summer off.”

A longer summer break is one of the benefits of choosing teaching as a career. But keep in mind, it’s not all summer, I spend weeks every July and August on professional development and curriculum planning. And during the school year, I work 12 hours a day all week long and at least one day every weekend. Add it up and our vacation days are about the same.

12. “Teaching is nice, but don’t you want to be more successful and make more money?”

I teach because I want to make a difference. I teach because what I do every day matters for kids.

That’s what success looks like.

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Tech Visioning PD Days

In the real world, Internet enabled devices are used everyday, by A LOT of people, in a variety of situations. In fact, people seem to be more connected today than at any other time.  Beaufort County School District (BCSD) began a 1:1 iPad program last school year in Grades 6-8 and is working to expand the program this school year. Last week, principals and district leadership spent time with education technology expert Jeff Utecht and this week district leadership and coaches began working with all 3rd grade teachers in the district in what we have termed, Tech Visioning PD Days. Our Tech Visioning PD days are intended to provide initial training to teachers preparing for our 1:1 expansion as well as a chance to “rally back” to our core beliefs and continual training for teachers currently in the program.

I have been very pleased to be able to spend time with teachers this week, and I look forward to the weeks ahead, as they receive additional training to prepare for expanding our 1:1 program to eventually include all 14,600+ students in our district grades 3-12. I have been very impressed and motivated by the depth of conversation, questions, and insights shared by teachers over the first few days of training. Indeed, BCSD is blessed with some amazing educators. Educators who are wiling to embrace change and carry out the difficult work of educating children everyday.

Truly, we live in an amazing time. Technology has allowed unbelievable amounts of information to be at our fingertips and to be accessed in literally seconds.  As we continue to support our current 1:1 program and its expansion, we need to remember that it is not about the device.  Rather, it is about how the device is used to increase student understanding, creation, critical thinking and collaboration.

As educators, we must continually reflect on our work to ensure that our students are prepared to be successful in a globally competitive career marketplace. To that end, students need to be appropriately taught and provided opportunities to safely, ethically, and effectively use technology to gain understanding at the highest levels of any taxonomy (Blooms, Webb’s DOK etc.). Such a use of the device aligns to what Alan November described as a Digital Learning Farm model. In the model, teachers “guide students in the complex tasks of innovation and problem solving, and in doing work that makes a contribution to the learning processes of others” (November, 2012, p. 18).

Tech Visioning Page

BCSD 1:1 Technology Program Overview:

  • iPads in grades 3-5
  • Dell Venue 11 in middle and high schools.
  • Technology “visioning” training for all Principals and Instructional Services Department team members.
  • Technology “visioning” training and collaboration for teachers began January 21 with follow-up training at schools.
  • Support each elementary Principal to create an implementation plan.
  • Redistribute all iPads during summer.
  • Rollout iPads to elementary students starting in September 2014.
  • Rollout Dell’s to secondary schools once iPad rollout complete.
  • Continual review of student learning.