About Admin

Admin has written 196 articles so far, you can find them below.

Budget Cuts Mean Cuts in Quality

Last night, I ventured into a whole new realm of public speaking, when I addressed the Ohio House Subcommittee on educational funding, at an open hearing in Lima. It was scary. I was on a stage, telling the story of my school district’s financial hardships, to a group of nine State Representatives. Although I had written and rehearsed my remarks, I had no idea what their reactions would be. I had no idea what follow-up questions they might ask. All I could do was tell my story. Continue reading →

Union Pride

My mother always warned me not to be too prideful, not to gloat. Yet despite her warnings, I have decided to throw all cares to the wind and explain to you how proud I am to be a teacher, a veteran, and a union member. I knew going in to this job as a teacher […] Continue reading →

Share the World with Your Students

Rob Fetters is the 2012 recipient of the NEA Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award and the OEA Paul Swaddling Peace and International Understanding Award. Both awards recognize outstanding contributions to the promotion or execution of the cause of peace and international understanding. Here he challenges us to not lose sight of the rest of the world. Seek out opportunities for your students to explore beyond themselves. Continue reading →

CNN Story on Teacher Pay and Test Scores Misleads Readers

Yesterday CNN’s blog, Schools of Thought, posted a story on teacher evaluations entitled, “Ohio links teacher pay to test scores.“ While not categorically untrue, this blog seriously misleads by simplification. The writer suggests that teacher evaluation legislation is sudden and the result of Governor Kasich’s efforts, when in fact, the development of a framework and […] Continue reading →

Brushing Teeth and Gathering Signatures

Every morning my wife and I fight with my 2-year-old daughter, Ellie, to get her to brush her teeth. I think about the struggles I have with brushing Ellie’s teeth, as I work to collect signatures for the Voters First petition drive, which seeks to create a bi-partisan committee of non-elected officials to redraw US Congressional Districts. Many Ohioans don’t understand the need for the Voters First Amendment any more than Ellie understands the need for good oral hygiene. Continue reading →

Supporting Charter School Educators, Not Charter Schools

The delegates at the 2012 OEA Spring Representative Assembly made several important decisions this year. We elected a new Secretary Treasurer, Tim Myers of Elida EA. We supported the Voters First Initiative to reform the redistricting process to be fair, open and honest. And we also voted to begin organizing charters. One member opposed to the motion stated succinctly, “Can we organize teachers in the very schools we have advocated against?” The thought had crossed my mind as well. Continue reading →

That Unfortunate Rite of Spring

Unfortunately my enjoyment of spring is not all that it should be. It’s not reduced by bad weather or a stuffy head. It’s not reduced by something that occurs naturally, like rag weed or pollen. There’s something unnatural that creeps into my life every spring, ruining my mood on perfectly good spring days. That something is standardized testing. Continue reading →

I wasn’t always a union thug

union thug At 22 years old, right out of college, with several maxed-out credit cards, $50 to join the union seemed like too much to handle. Now, a dozen years later, I am the VP of my local association. I’m part of the negotiations team. I represent my local association at regional and state OEA events. I talk contractual rights with teachers most evenings and on weekends. What the heck happened to me? Electroshock treatment or a near-death experience? No, my involvement in my local has steadily increased over the past twelve years, and the more involved I have become, the more rewarding the experience has been. Continue reading →

Low Morale Equals Early Retirement for Some

Thirty two of my colleagues will box up their personal items this June. Even though Issue 2 was defeated, the toll it has taken on teachers is evident. We get into the profession because of the noble work we can do for children, not because we consider teaching a great way to earn a buck or two. Issue 2 caused people to change the way they think about teaching. It’s a job now, not the rewarding career they used to know. They will have some cake and a few laughs, as they reminisce about the things they experienced throughout their careers. They’ll make jokes about how they never have to attend another in-service or proctor another test. It will be a bittersweet farewell in so many instances, as I consider how much my colleagues, my students and I will lose, with the departure of these exceptional educators. Continue reading →

We’re all responsible for students’ success

My efforts alone are not enough to help my students be successful—everyone must work together for this to occur. In fact, all of us—teachers, students, parents and our elected officials should be held accountable for our students’ success. I could be the greatest teacher in the world, but if a student in my class chooses not to take my class seriously, if their parent can’t guarantee that their child attends school regularly or if our elected officials don’t consider students’ needs when making education policy decisions, the impact I have on my students could be neutralized. Continue reading →