Portrait of a Lunch Lady

 My name is Tina Adams, and I am the lunch lady. Every school day for the past 27 years, I have cooked healthy meals and nutritious treats to feed hundreds of hungry kids. For many of my students, the food I serve may be the only meals they receive all day. I keep my students’ bellies full, so teachers can feed their minds. My current salary is just under $20,000 a year, which has grown only a measly amount since I started as a school food service worker nearly three decades ago. Falling under the federal poverty level, my annual salary is so low that it ironically qualifies me for food stamps. Continue reading →

More Than Just a History Lesson

 Many of our students do not know life as it was before 9/11. September 11th is a day that they’ve heard about but neither remember nor fully understand. Because 9/11 falls on a Sunday, you will need to plan activities for the Friday before or the week after. There isn’t much time to pull ideas together so here are a few quick suggestions. Continue reading →

Students Lose with SB 5

 My name is Sophia Rodriguez, and I am the American dream. The daughter of a migrant worker, my parents came to Mercer County in the ‘50s so they could build a better life for me and my three siblings. I vividly remember that day my mother received her GED—I was […] Continue Reading… Follow Continue reading →

School Nurse: Safety At Risk

 In the 21 years that I have been a school nurse, I’ve seen it all. From treating students with strep throat to comforting children who are coping with mental illness, I have devoted my life to helping kids. That’s why I have very real fears that Issue 2 will […] Continue Reading… Follow Continue reading →

People Need to Bargain for Fair Wages

 Here’s what the SB 5 proponents want the people to ignore. Public workers make a fair wages and have decent benefits because we bargain for them. Too many private workers don’t have the opportunity to bargain. Collective bargaining in the private sector is at historic lows, far lower than […] Continue Reading… Follow Continue reading →

Endangered Reading: Reading for Pleasure

 One of the things I will miss most about the summer is the time I have to simply sit and read a good book. Sadly, reading for pleasure is just not what it used to be. Last year, as part of our professional development, the Language Arts Department at my middle school decided to explore new ways to promote and encourage reading for fun. After analyzing the results and researching some ideas, here are some of the strategies we chose and implemented. Continue reading →

Back to School: Be Prepared!

 Yes it’s already that time again. Like it or not, school starts in just a few weeks. Don’t beat yourself up for not opening that book bag all summer. If you are like me, you need the first two months of summer to relax and you deserve it! Besides, teachers work best under pressure! Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself, prepare your students, prepare the parents, and prepare for the first day. Continue reading →

Why Teach?

 I have been a teacher long enough to remember when the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued 1983’s “A Nation at Risk” report and teachers were informed they were failing their students. For the better part of thirty years, teachers have been prevailed upon to work harder, to get better test results from their students and to restore our country’s health and status by producing shiny widget-like Lake Wobegon students, all college- and career-ready, regardless of the influence of anything outside of our classrooms. Fast-forward to January 2011 when the most vicious attacks on teachers began in earnest in Ohio and in many other states throughout the country. So, why teach? Continue reading →

A Paraeducator’s Perspective: More to Support Professionals Than Meets the Eye

 Just like so many other support staff in the field of teaching, librarians are seen as the fringe elements of the profession, not as important as core instructors, and, in most districts, the first to go when funds get tight. Not many people know all that I contribute or how much I am responsible for, but obviously it is far more than just checking books in or out. Continue reading →