Some call me "Flem"

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I'm a passionate, purpose-driven, public school teacher! Period.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our faces!

I'm getting increasingly sick and tired of seeing the faces of black men constantly plastered across the television for this crime or that incident! I'm not necessarily coming at the media, per se, but rather the accused!

Stop the madness already! Many already have a perception of us and this doesn't help! Although most alleged and accused criminals of any race are innocent until proven guilty, I tend to think the opposite is true for men and boys of color!

Monday, July 21, 2014

For selling loosies though?

Very late Saturday night I heard about the misfortune that came upon a New York City man who was being "investigated" for selling loosies. What are loosies, you say? Well for those who are that removed from urban life and lexicon, they are individual cigarettes that individual people (and almost every single corner store and Chinese store in every major city) re-sells to enlarge the profit margin they want to receive per pack of cigarettes. In some circles similar actions are called tax loop holes, but that's none of my business!

So, if I heard and saw  correctly, this Mr. Garner, who "just so happened to be black" (what critics to the black communitiy's outcry might say) was being bothered by the New York City police for selling loosies. The next thing you know, he was being choke-holded and wrestled to the ground. Within an hour he was dead. From a heart attack. Late Sunday, the news reported that EMS workers were disciplined for not perfroming CPR as he lay on the ground, not breathing (I reckon from being choked). In their defense, maybe he just so happen to have had DNR papers in his wallet, along with the profits from the loosies! O_o

There are many who would claim that the outcry from the black community over such atrocities are exaggerated. While I could go into a whole dissertation, with several examples and cases, defending our response, I won't. All I will ask is this, do you know what it feels like to be a black man in America? Do you know tha anguish of a young black mother whenever her young black son leaves the house every morning?

{Waits for reply}

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A View on Pull-Outs

"Sending kindergartners or first graders out of the room for a thirty-minute pull-out program to work on phonemic awareness or sounds in isolation when they are missing a read-aloud or shared reading or rich reading/writing experiences in the classroom makes no sense." ~Regie Routman

Amen!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just to take a test?

I took the Praxis for my Reading Specialist cert today. Talk about tight security!! Ok, empty my pockets, lock up my belongings, sign my life away and give blood. I get it. But lifting up pants legs, get "wanded" by the handheld metal detector? Sheesh! All of this for a test, that if I pass (I pray God I do), I won't get a cent above what I'm making now? Good goobily goop {in my Grady Wilson voice}! lol

"Impeccable" Timing

I find it very interesting that the salary information for every school district employee was released in the same season as the blow to the School District and SRC from the PA Supreme Court; exactly one month to the day to a provocative deadline to receive money or else delay the opening of schools; in the same season when they are looking for concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; and when public support for teachers and school employees is rising!

Is this the hope? That upon reviewing the salary data, that public opinion and support for its teachers would wane? That support for calls for salary cuts would increase? That teachers would feel so violated, they'd leave?

It is important to keep in mind, that these salaries are not the starting salaries of 22 year old young adults fresh out of college. For many, it took 10+ years to reach salaries that other professions easily pay fresh-out-of-college kids.

It is important to keep in mind, that these are teachers with families and high taxes.

It is important to keep in mind that these salaries have also been stagnant for two years, when every. thing. else. has. not. been. stagnant.

It is important to keep in mind, that these salaries, HARDLY represent our worth and work! We get one salary and perform the function of teacher, cop, social worker, advocate, counselor, psychologist, therapist, school supplier, chef, tutor, clothing supplier, interpreter, driver, parent, sometimes a babysitter, and other jobs to most if not each child in our care!

They want class sizes at 40+, when we see 33 already in elementary school or 150+ in high school! Cool! Give us the top paying salary of each of the professions mentioned, FOR EACH CHILD!

So, cool!!! They want to make salaries easily accessible to any Joe Shmoe, then PLEASE put it in the right perspective (as we check to see how much the politicians and executives at Comcast, Walmart, and other such entities make per year)!!

It Doesn't Add Up

I've thought and talked about it often, but on the eve of me taking another certification test, it's hitting home again!

So, I need to pay $139 to take this reading specialist test.
Then, I need to pay $100 to get officially certified in the state of Pennsylvania.
But, I won't receive a pay increase, for the M.Ed degree or the reading specialist certification? And with the current movement (in the wrong direction) of education reform, advanced degrees in education aren't necessary?

It doesn't add up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Two years ago..

A friend of mine, also a teacher here in Philly, is job hunting.  I should pause here to say they are not looking for a part-time job to supplement their comparatively miniscule teacher salary, but rather a replacement job.

I texted them earlier to get clarity on my role in the search. They replied and here was my final reply:

It is important to note, that we both love to teach and working with children and youth! We did it long before becoming teachers!