The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Living History: The Berlin Wall

Here is a creative history lesson.  A Florida high school erected a paper replica of the Berlin Wall (complete with graffiti on the west side) through the middle of campus.  While students on one side of the wall were allowed to socialize and carry on with their normal day, students on the other side of the wall faced a stricter dress code, only orderly behavior, and even propaganda films.

The lesson commemorated the 20th anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

(So what happens if teachers want to keep the wall?)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You're Fired!

Rhode Island... This one's all over the news.  A Rhode Island high school is in trouble -- hasn't met state standards in a while.  According to one report, the graduation rate is 48% and only 7% of the 11th graders meet state proficiency standards in math.  It's time to do something drastic (as per NCLB).  The Superintendent recommends a plan where the teacher work day is extended 25 minutes each day.  Some of that time would be spent tutoring, some days eating lunch with the kiddos, some days planning with other teachers, and so on.  Some of the plan was uncompensated, some of the extra time would be paid at $30/hour.

The teachers' union said, "NO WAY."

That meant the superintendent had to go to an alternate plan: firing the entire staff.  The... Entire... Staff.  The staff can reapply for their jobs, but the district is not allowed to hire back more than 50% of the original staff.  Bet those teachers are loving their union now.

Teachers Suspended: Pep Rally Claims Two More Victims

Winnipeg (Canada) It's just your normal, everyday high school pep rally... until your teachers perform a lap dance.  "The teachers, who are said to be relatively new to Churchill’s staff, were sent home with pay," according to the article from the Winnipeg Free Press.  You can search out the video on YouTube, but you won't get the link from me.  The cell phone video features a female teacher in a football uniform sitting in a chair in the middle of the gym while a male teacher (in another football uniform... perhaps the opposing school?) simulates a lap dance... for a minute... with gyrations... and other simulated... stuff.

Now, it's no secret that I do not like pep rallies.  But I really don't understand how the lap dance figured in to any normal pep skit.  I do like the student getting in front of the screen shot, looking into the camera saying, "That's so wrong!"

Don't you want to know what they were thinking?  Who came up with this idea, who ran with it, who turned it into something that resulted in suspended teachers?  Don't they know you are supposed to save those skits for inservice days when the kiddos aren't around?!