Every year they ask the same questions when they get back from summer.
If you have the opportunity to see what's happening over at Cristo Rey, you should definitely take advantage of it. I hope to return many times over the course of this school year.
It feels good to hear. It feels better to say it and mean it.
Yesterday was rough, but today was easier.
Anyone else get up and pretend like they had school today?
I'm sitting in my classroom and I have mixed emotions.
Is everyone ready to get pumped up for the school year at convocation? "No." - Every teacher I've talked to about convocation.
What will be different from last year? Probably less dancing (particularly from the Superintendent). Probably. No guarantees.
As much as I've tried to dig up some positivity around today's event, I've turned up nothing. Excited for teh school year? Sure. Excited for convocation? For sure not.
At a time where DISD is about to ask voters to approve a billion dollar bond because we're so desperately in need of funds, events like this seem like a waste of money. What is more concerning? That it is a waste of time. The vast majority of teachers would rather spend the next 4-6 hours planning and getting ready for their students that will be arriving in less than a week than seeing a long, drawn out presentation and performance.
Based on the community meetings and town halls about the DISD bond proposal and the Oak Cliff DISD districts, nobody is focused on making sure there's a big kickoff for the year. In fact, many communities already plan and put on smaller, localized back to school events that are well received and attended. So why do we do this every year? Who is this really for?
Either way, go (because you don't have a choice), talk with your fellow teachers, and try to feel the energy. Stay positive. It will all be over soon.
Buses leave at 8!
TFA DFW DISD Summer Institue
Superintendent Mike Miles leaves DISD
It's been a restful and exciting summer, but school is right around the corner. Most DISD leadership and department chairs are already back at work planning for the next semester. Many teachers have already started PD. Summer is over whether we want it to be or not. People often say the best part about being a teacher is getting the summer off, but what they don't understand is that teachers get way less time off than they think. Most of that time is spent working or attending PD. We need the summers to recharge and get ready to care for everyone's children for 9 months.
What's been going on in Dallas this month? Tons. Between the superintendent search, the bond proposal, Mike Miles' resignation, and other pressing issues, it's been a busy summer.
We've only covered a few things this month, but without writing really anything this summer, you all have been reading by the hundreds everyday. For that, you have our thanks. To show our appreciation, we'll be having a Welcome Back to School event for Dallas teachers from 3:30 to 6:30pm at Brain Dead Brewing on Wednesday August 12th. It's in Deep Ellum and there's plenty of parking near by. Metered Parking is free until 6.
*Completely Revamped Podcast*
Brand new Dallas Education Podcast featuring Stacey Hodge - First three episodes available
Articles this month
Teach for America bring summer training to DISD
South Dallas welcomes the Oak Cliff DISD Trustees
Urban Leaders Fellows Present Solutions for DISD and other Texas schools
DMN covers Oak Cliff Town Hall
DISD police officers find new ways to respond
Education Post - Mother makes tough choice for her students
Video: If teachers were treated like athletes
Weekend suggestion? Watch Teacher of the Year. It paints a fairly realistic picture of teaching from high achieving master teachers, teachers bitter over not winning teacher of the year, "the jaded veteran," and the over eager novice to unsupportive principals, unwarranted retaliation / legal action, inept counselors. Watched with some teachers and we were all yelling at the screen. It's on Netflix and other places around the internet.
Today I attended part of the presentations for the Urban Leaders Fellowship here in Dallas. It's a cool program that matches up motivated educators with elected officials in hopes of creating policy that can benefit the community. The turnout and viewership was small but very engaged and I enjoyed being a part of it.
The fellows spend the summer working on implementation strategies and content at different levels of the process but these fellows focused on 3 specific areas: ELA/ELAR, Bilingual Educator Recruitment Pipeline, and House Bill 5.
The first presenters were two young women, one with 3 years of classroom experience and one with 6 years, who were both products of Fort Worth ISD education. So proud.
The benefactors of these fellows were DISD Board of Trustees representative Miguel Solis and State Board of Education Member Erika Beltran, both of whom I've gotten to know very well and appreciate here in Dallas.
Despite only being able to stay for part of the event, I was moved and engaged right away. The presentation on ELAR was admittedly data heavy, but it was extremely engaging and interactive. The crowd, made up of a mix of community members and experienced educators, was excited to take a look at, and criticize the TEKS used to govern ELA/ELAR in our schools.
Big takeaways were things that those of us who are teachers already know. The Texas students are below the national average in terms of achievement on nationally monitored tests, and the TEKS are overly complicated without adequate support for mastering / implementing them in a practical classroom setting.
What was the interesting part of the event? Getting to see Trustee Solis and SBOE Member Erika Beltran get back to their teacher roots and see the TEKS from the perspective of a classroom teacher. The common concern was that they are too complex and not formatted in a way that's conducive to teachers successfully communicating the "necessary" lessons to their students.