Some call me "Flem"

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B.S.Ed, M.Ed I'm a passionate, purpose-driven, public school teacher! Here I write about teaching, learning, public education, public schools, the African American experience, and whatever else might come to mind.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kids say the...

"Mr. Flemming, yesterday when I was in the back of the SEPTA bus, I said, 'police don't have probable cause to search you.' Then two [older] boys said, 'you smart.'"

This from one of my 3rd graders!! Same one who said I was a "beast"

Dear Republicans and some Democrats (Williams)
Left up to certain people with power, I would be one of the ones laid off because of some data twisting, vindictive, hidden agenda people! Seniority is what keeps this EXCELLENT teacher in the classroom!

{toots own horn}

SSR in 207

Silent Sustained Reading
There are lots of opinions about this practice and whether or not it's beneficial. Some researchers are fans of making this a structured time.

Here's my take:
1. Let them choose to read whatever they want. Minimally, this means a diversified and well-stocked class library. I also allow them to bring books from home, the school library, or the local library.

2.  Let them read. No teacher intervention. Just let them read. Ideally, the teacher (yours truly) would be reading along with them. I need to come up in this area. I normally use this time to meet with small groups of children or one-on-one with certain students.

3. After about 20-30 minutes of reading a book of their choice, I follow it up with
     a. Having them write a written summary (modeled in the beginning of the school year)
     b. Have them do an illustrative summary, no words, just pictures to represent the portion they read
     c.  Prepare a pantomime presentation
     d.  Followed by a "Book Talk" where they discuss with classmates around the classroom the content of their written or illustrative summary or pantomime what it was they read as their classmates guess, not the title, but the events.

My take on SSR!

"To become better readers we {Class: "READ!!"}, we don't {Class: "SWIM!!"}"
~Mr. Flemming and whatever group he's teaching at the time

Saturday, May 7, 2016

TEACHER Appreciation

I appreciate and honor the countless contributions and tireless love and dedication that many school support staff members bring! Many are the life blood of any school!! If there isn't a day to shower all kinds of love on them, we should start!! Real talk!! I try to at least verbalize my appreciation to many of them every chance I get! I really do!

On Teacher Appreciation Day and during Teacher Appreciation Week, the same should be done for teachers!! NO teacher should have to "hurry up" to go get the lunch that some teachers had to strong arm the principal for because the school had more "teachers" than they realized!!

Teacher Appreciation WEEK???

Wait, there's a whole week??? Tell me something!

In some schools we don't even feel the love from administration on the actual day itself, even less throughout the week or year!

In fact, in one school, some of the children who tend to always set the school on fire were called to the office and treated to all kinds of goodies on TEACHER Appreciation Day!

Noxious school climates aren't healthy for anyone! Unfortunately, many of us experience these on a daily basis!

Big ups to the administrators who are wonderful leaders!! You are the ones who create environments where teachers, students, parents, and the community at large want to be there and feel they belong! Wherever these needles in haystacks are, keep it up!!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Because I'm a "BEAST"

Because according to my student, "I'm a beast!" lol

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Instead of going above and beyond to ensure that there are teachers in every classroom, the unelected, unaccountable, charter courting SRC, with Simms leading from behind, are insistent on under-supporting real public schools like mine only to turn around and call us failures and convert over to charters---many of the students we end up seeing again anyway!

What does "SRC" mean to me?
Here's what "SRC" means to me!!

Seriously Ridiculous Commission

Supports Right-wing Charters

Sounds Real Convoluted

Some Rotten Commissioners

Suspicious Republican Camaraderie

Snakes Rats Crabs

Some would tell me that I can't post this! I'll put that to my 3rd graders who are studying the Bill of Rights and see what they have to say about that!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Scott Gordon admits he got it wrong!

“A mistake that we made was the assumption that schools were not successful because they weren’t well run, or they weren’t well organized, or that teachers weren’t trained and supported...that may … be true...our communities face lots of barriers and problems – kids in trauma – that need to be addressed if we’re going to be successful" ~Scott Gordon
[emphasis mine]

So, why then are you still pushing your imperialistic ways in Philadelphia and Camden?

In the spirit of objectivity (and full disclosure since I am quoted in the report), here's the full article

(Semantics question, can it be the "spirit of objectivity" if I then mention in my parenthetical phrase that I'm quoted in the report? lol #foodforthought)