Certainly this is about to become a much more common discussion in Dallas ISD
Ever seen or heard someone give up on a kid?
In a year where we know more funding isn't coming, this is extra bad news.
Sometimes staff development is inspiring. This wasn't one of those times, Dallas ISD.
There are many “tools” at teachers’ disposals to deal with unruly students. Many of them involve talking. Whether it’s to the students, parents, or both, a discussion MUST happen if there will be any sort of change. Miguel Solis has been proposing an interesting solution recently that could change the teacher toolbox.
The important things you missed in Dallas education this past week and the rest of January 2016.
The state of my father's alma mater hurts my heart. Props to Dr. Blackburn and Eric Cowan for being uncharacteristically vocal.
A year ago today we posted our very first blog. Thanks for reading!
Gone are the days where each classroom is an island, it seems.
New requirements, along with the "mandatory" passing percentages we're already familiar with, are coming to DISD schools. Now, you will be assessed at subject level. That means if you are a physics teacher and only have 1% of your students failing, but the other physics teacher has 30% failing, BOTH of you will have to provide documentation for failing more than what's acceptable (come up with intervention strategies for failing students, requirements during the 6 weeks, etc).
It's a tad more complex than that since you have to break out by sheltered, modified, and on level students, but you get the gist. There will be a follow up to this blog and we'll make changes as we get new information.
Here's the thing though, the intentions may very well be good. Teachers should have some idea of what to do with kids not meeting the standards we set for them, but adding more to the already crowded plate of teachers is NOT the answer. I know student brains aren't fully developed. I agree that there should be opportunities to correct past mistakes. I don't think removing all accountability from the students themselves is productive, helpful, or compassionate.
Better get those writing hands ready because it looks like there's much more paperwork in the future.
We'll throw in a pen or two with your holiday order from the Dallas Education Blog Store! Buy something for an educator you care about today!
Grade Level Collaboration with Dallas Teachers
Team Teaching in Dallas Schools
Attendance for credit in DISD schools
Refusing to pass DISD students that don't earn it
Credit recovery in Dallas ISD
Watching this DISD Board Meeting has been wild. This is a long one. Click for quotes and important happenings.
Not everyone on campus does things exactly the way we want. Earlier today I talked about know nothing admins that cause extra work and frustration to teachers. So while it's true that many of us in the classroom have an idea of how we think admins should be doing their jobs, most of us KNOW how kids should be doing their job (learning).
I've seen teachers burst into tears talking about their students' achievement. Whether it's low test scores, their daily progress, engagement in class activities, or even the prediction of future failures, when our kids aren't doing well, neither are we. Most teachers want so badly for their students to grasp the material, perform well on assessments, and achieve some measure of success in the future.
The reality many of us face is watching kids fail to meet our expectations every single day. Not all of them, but the few that chronically under perform are the ones that distract and monopolize your attention and emotions. Those are the ones that keep you up at night trying to figure out how to help them. You plan lessons, you bring food, you have one on one conversations, you call the parents, you talk to the coach, and none of that helps. The kid doesn't want it. You start to feel like giving up on that kid. You start to getting angry at that kid for not seeing things the way you do and sharing your perspective and priorities. You start to wish ill on that kid. You start to feel like all of your students are just like this one and nothing will ever change or get better.
Once that spin starts, it gets faster and faster until BOOM: water works.
When you realize you've lost hope that hurts. Not just because you're sad for that kid, but because you realized that you've done something you got into this line of work to fight against, giving up on a child.
DISD Teacher Frustration Tears
Giving up on Dallas ISD students
“Is this real life?” “THESE are our leaders?” “We’re an educational laughing stock.” These are questions you would’ve heard if you walked the halls of my school on Wednesday morning. When trustees are screaming at each other and behaving like our students, it doesn’t inspire much confidence. I don’t believe DISD is doomed forever, but it sure doesn’t look good. Scandal, distrust, and pettiness plague our board. “What should good governance look like,” I asked the other teachers. “I don’t know, but not like this.” I’d argue that good governance is collaborative and selfless. That’s the opposite of what we’ve got now. Read more after the jump.
School today, other than the desks, looks nothing like it did even a decade ago. Teaching methods and practices have changed, technology has leapt forward, and students express themselves in ways they simply didn’t in the ways of old. Veteran teachers barely recognize education anymore and that’s due largely in part to the changes in instruction and discipline. The big question is learning and achievement, and the answer to that puzzle is often put on the teachers. Why and how has the classroom changed so much? People blame No Child Left Behind, but the answer is probably more complicated. How do we resolve that conflict for the benefit of our students, teachers, and communities? Read more after the jump.
Mike Morath. The name itself is polarizing. The rebel trustee frequently seen lounging, pacing, and not wearing a suit. THE AUDACITY! Clearly he hates our kids right? Wrong. Miguel Solis, the young president, clearly has no idea what he’s doing because of his age right? Haven’t you heard he used to assist Mike Miles? That means they are in cahoots right? Probably not. The DISD Board of Trustees gets a pretty negative casting in the media and on most blogs, but the reality is that they ALL care about our students in their own way and are invested in our diverse communities. Yes, even our grumpier members from the 9th and 6th districts. Our board members are here to help and are always no more than an email away. Why does that matter? Read more after the jump.
Yes, that is a new book with the front cover ripped off and the back cover barely hanging on. The pages are crinkled and I saw the student doing this while sitting at her desk. I asked her "what do you think you're doing? What did that book ever do to you?" She laughed and said, "It hit me." I took a second one on one to ask her why she destroyed, not my, but OUR property, that the book was hers while she had it and she just destroyed HER book. Her response was that she "don't know that shit." What does this mean for our students? More after the jump. Read More.
Why are some schools more successful than others? Is it the teachers? Maybe its the technology. Could it be that good facilities produce good students? All of these are pieces to the puzzle; however, some schools in Dallas are used as dumping grounds for the "undesirable" students from other campuses. This dooms certain campuses to failure and tells the students already there that they pretty much go to school in an educational dumpster. That causes problems for everyone at those campuses: students, teachers, and administrators.
With so much controversy surrounding DISD central staff in the past week, it's important we realize that DISD isn't some student focused, cohesive group fighting against educational inequity. Should it be? Yep! Unfortunately, politics are still politics at EVERY level. Between the administration (Superintendent to Assistant Principals), teachers, and students (including parents), there is an unhealthy amount of animosity and mistrust. Why? Nastiness behind the scenes is one example, but it doesn't tell the story of mistrust in the classroom. More after the jump, read more!
It is a reality that teachers face punishment for "making their school look bad" by "failing too many kids," whatever that means. Dallas ISD has a "goal" of only 15% failing, while some schools have administrators striving for only 10%. Admirable? Yes, but not if you're cooking the books by strong arming teachers. The last blog was spot on about how it affects student culture, but what about teacher culture? More after the jump. Click "read more" to find out.
How do we determine Talented and Gifted? A better question is, "how SHOULD we determine Talented and Gifted?" The reality is many kids are sorted in to TAG programs from an age where the only requirement is to be able to spell T-A-L-E-N-T-E-D and G-I-F-T-E-D earlier than their peers. We've started closing doors on kids that keep out kids that bloom later and lock in kids who have long wilted. More after the jump.
Hello students, teachers, parents, and people who just plain care about education, Welcome to Turn and Talks!
Anyone who has been in a classroom in the past few years knows what an MRS is. As teachers, we're encouraged to get our students talking, and that's what we're trying to get EVERYONE doing, both during and after the school day.
Here's what you'll be getting here: An unfiltered and honest discussion on education from two twenty somethings with a few years in the classroom under their belts. We're not experts, we're not classroom veterans, but what we are is two people that care and believe in a better tomorrow. Check out our daily blogs, weekly podcasts, and, most importantly, our comment sections where you can turn and talk to other people with the same interests as you. All material is personal opinion and not at all meant to be represent as 100% fact. Since we're sharing out opinions with you, share yours with us!
This is the blog where we share our thoughts with you! Please comment below. Feel free to say we're wrong, yell at us, tell us we're SO RIGHT, and anything else you want to say. After that, turn and talk with someone else and keep the discussion going.