‘Tis the season for gift giving

diffendoofer-blog ‘Tis the season for gift-giving, and with so many test-driven “school reform” policies being passed at the Ohio Statehouse this year, now would be a great time to present our lawmakers with gift-wrapped copies of one of the most forward-thinking children’s books ever written, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day. Continue reading →

OEA Representative Assembly – ‘Tis the Season

OEA-RA-2013-blog It’s that time of year again. I’m not talking about the time where a local station plays only Christmas music or when the malls fill up with shoppers craving the best deal on the latest gadgets. I’m talking about the OEA Representative Assembly, or RA, the first weekend in December. Nobody knows, going into the RA, what New Business Items will be introduced. That’s why it’s important for every local to send delegates, so that the sentiments and opinions of teachers all across the state will be heard and considered. Continue reading →

Public Salaries Defy the Myth

highest-paid-public-employees In all but ten states, coaches are the highest paid public employees. This is certainly true in Ohio, where Ohio State’s head football coach, Urban Meyer, made over $4.1 million from the university in his first year, not including bonuses. The average salary of a first year public school teacher in Ohio is about $33,000. So why is the political vitriol over salaries in this country aimed at teachers and not coaches? Continue reading →

Making Schools Safe Again

gun-violence While the anniversary of the Newtown shooting massacre quickly approaches, two teachers in two states were killed at school days apart, each allegedly by a student. Still, lawmakers refuse to pass sensible gun laws and do little to make our schools the safe zones they should be. Teachers and students are being attacked more than ever. What we can do to keep our children and ourselves safe? Continue reading →

Kid bullies often turn into adult bullies

adult-bully Kid bullies often turn into adult bullies, and, like kid bullies, adult bullies focus on gaining power and dominance over others. For some reason, after kid bullies reach adulthood, our society stops calling them what they really are, bullies, and begins referring to them as “people who suffer from a lack of civility in their interactions with others.” Continue reading →

The Other “F” Word

f-word A word was said in jest, but is now calling into question a man’s dignity. It is a word that devastates character and makes the rest of the class point and howl in laughter. As an educator, what is your response? Do you start to take attendance and ask the class to go to their seats? Do you glibly utter, “Save the drama for your mama,” in hopes of diffusing the situation? Do you drop your eyes, or roll them, because this is just one more thing you do not want to deal with today? If you choose to ignore the situation, you may think that you are in the majority. You are not. Continue reading →

“Right to Work” and Other Creatively Worded Catchphrases

used-car Whenever I hear phrases such as “right to work’ repeated loudly and frequently, I know that organizations are trying to convince me to react rather than think. However, the use of other catchphrases has made me very skeptical. From the automobile marketing arena, I have often marveled at the transformation of “used cars” to “pre-owned cars.” “Right to Work,” I think, is the same kind of sugarcoated misnomer. Continue reading →

It Takes a Village: Working Together for Public Education

NWOFPE3 Our first community event was an education piece about school finance, because so many of the issues impacting schools, high stakes testing, unfunded mandates and vouchers have a financial component tied to them. For example, Jeff Fouke, Treasurer for Washington Local Schools, explained that his district receives $2,969 per student from the state, but pays $6,876 to a charter school when a child transfers out of Washington Local. This means that close to $4,000 in local taxes are diverted from public schools per child. Despite the depressing statistics, I left the evening full of hope, because the event itself was a success. Continue reading →
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