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It happened again. A teacher was crying in the night for the plight of her students. Teachers are filled with a type of guilt that simply can never be assuaged by political answers. Teachers can not fill the chasm left behind by families fractured by drugs, violence, and the resulting poverty. As a nation, We Must Rise with the occasion to save the future of our nation. Or, do we even care?  True, I did invoke Abraham Lincoln’s words. These specific words were provided to Congress in 1862. But, I stand in good company. President Obama also invoked these words in his 2016 State of the Union Speech. What IF our US Education Department was required to provide a truthful annual speech to the nation about the state of education? Would Americans become shocked to learn the realities of public education? Would they even listen? We Must Rise. Parents who can afford to provide a private education already do so. White flight became privileged flight or purchasing power flight. It is easier to …
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Let go!

Week 3

We are already 3 weeks into the new school year. Time does fly!  As we ease into new routines, new students,  new platforms, and new administrators, we must let go of last year. Last year is in the past and the present is a gift. If we hold on to old expectations, we may easily miss the glorious possibility of the future.

Each year, I am amazed by the relationships and realities created by new classes of students and new groups of teachers. The dynamic can change with the addition or change of one person. You know, how when THAT one student is absent the whole class behaves differently? A new year is even better than that. We all get a fresh start. Teachers included! If you ended the year as a cranky teacher, you can begin the year fresh! This is one of the many joys of teaching!

Embrace the future is one of our school mottos. Let us endeavor to embrace our current reality and step forward into our glorious possibilities.

Suzanne M. Rogers, M.Ed.

@Rogers_Suzanne
District Direct…

“Where words fail, music speaks"

As a teacher leader, it is important to model balance. (Crazy, right?) No, it is actually essential to the health and well-being of our teachers. Simply stated, stress kills. Work-related stressors and the illnesses they cause are more deadly than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza according to a working paper from Harvard and Stanford Business Schools. Could the answer be as simple as music? Hans Christian Anderson wrote, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Tweet: “Dr. KeithHerman & Dr. Wendy Reinke, both professors in the MU College of Education, and doctoral student Jal’et Hickmon-Rosa found that 93 % of elementary school teachers report that they are experiencing a high stress level.” In the article “Lots of teachers are super stressed out” Dr. Herman is quoted as saying, “We as a society need to consider methods that create nurturing school environments not just for students, but for the adults who work there.” Dr. Herman goes on to suggest that “this could mean finding ways f…

Summer Professional Development

How many days of scheduled PD are on your calendar this summer? I’m currently at 12 days which doesn’t include professional reading (Everyday Instructional Coaching by @DrLangraad) or our annual back to school week. Yes, this is all on my vacation time. This year, our district added a voluntary week before the week of scheduled PD on campus. Perhaps teachers should share their summer plans for professional development and the cost they are personally absorbing so that non-educators could begin to glean what educators do with their summer free time. Can you believe that our schools are under 80 days from beginning another school year? https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20180806T00&p0=134&msg=%23Fireup18&font=cursive My plan (still working on it) is shared simply to help me be accountable. Teach Arkansas Lecture Series June 4th TLAG and Microcredential Work and evening lecture https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teach-arkansas-lecture-series-one-tickets-45346586862 i2 …

Sleepyogation

Sleepyogation This summer, I have dedicated myself to my sleepyogation. I needed to accomplish three goals over the course of the summer including vacation, seven to eight hours of sleep each night and rededicating myself to my yoga practice. Sleepyogation was born! Educators earn a summer break away from students. Most educators continue to work throughout the summer, just not with classes of students. My two AP classes begin their year with two summer assignments requiring my attention. I spent most of June in professional development. What I didn’t want to do was spend thousands of dollars on a week or two of sand and surf. A week or two at the beach would not necessarily help me accomplish my three goals. A sleepyogation could. Research shows that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every day. The interesting thing is that any more or any less sleep can actually lead to negative consequences such as elevated risk for disease, obesity, memory loss, and even early death. I nee…

Reflecting on Our Impact

Reflecting on Our Impact As a secondary teacher, I don’t think it is very common for teachers to truly reflect on all the lives impacted. Teacher2Teacher shared the tool to create this graphic based on an idea by Nikki Sabiston. Perhaps we should also use a tool to hear what the students say our impact has been? It is easy to put a number to the grade taught, classrooms, and schools. The actual number of students taught becomes a bit murkier for secondary teachers. Schedule changes from 50-minute classes to block classes shifted the number of students we teach. Also, in our mobile society, students often move from school to school and state to state throughout the school year. I was blessed to teach first grade in Hawaii. We moved back to the mainland in 1991, and I began to substitute and volunteer in schools while our boys were young. After a move to Arkansas, I earned an M.Ed in Secondary Education, and I was able to teach at the same school my sons attended for their secondary ye…

Shhh...We're Rocking the Test (as usual)

Shh….We’re Rocking the Test (as usual) This week we begin our annual testing season. A season that we typically rock! Someone in our school will test each week through the end of school. (ACT Aspire, AP, NWEA) As a K-12 school, this means our students need to be their best academically and behaviorally during the last month of school. Academically for their test score and behaviorally so as to not negatively impact another peer’s test score. In a perfect world, our students, schools, districts, and teachers would not be measured by one test. Yes, as an English teacher I do realize that at least in Arkansas, students, schools, districts, and teachers a In a In a perfect world, our students, schools, districts, and teachers would not be measured by one test. Yes, as an English teacher I do realize that at least in Arkansas, students, schools, districts, and teachers are measured by not one, but indeed, by three separate tests. ACT Aspire measures English, Reading, and Writing. Science a…