Friday, January 25, 2013

Let's shed our neckties and our professional dignity- it's Friday!

My Necktie by bjohnson, on Flickr

There are many, many, many misinformed people who believe that teaching is an easy job and a profession that is chosen more for the time 'off' than anything else.  Teachers seems to be constantly trying to defend the worth of their profession with people who work outside the field and disparage our work.  Why the hell then would so many educators fight soooo hard to wear jeans at least once a week.

The notion that it's okay to dress unprofessionally 20% of the time (every Friday) is absurd and degrades our profession.  When parents visit schools and see staff in jeans, t-shirts, shorts, sandals, and other ultra-casual dress items it reinforces the negative stereotypes that dog our profession.  When the community is asked support schools through referendums, we want them to envision a classic professional, not someone who appears to be heading to Ribfest.  It's considered a "white collar" profession for a reason.

Please note that the faded t-shirt with the elastic long gone from the neck line that just also happens to have your school logo on it also looks like total shit.  Couching it as having school spirit is just bad rationalization.  Take it off, maybe use it to dust, and then throw in the garbage.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License
  by  bjohnson 

This post originally appeared on Tales in Education which appears to be written anonymously - so if you are the author of this post and would like me to take it down, please shoot me an email.  But please know that your thoughts mirror my own ... you just did a great job of expressing our shared ideas.

PS - If you need a new tie to wear next Friday, hears a good-looking one from Guess.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Silly Teacher - Jails are for Convicts

Jail cell painting by ABN2, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  ABN2 

Have you heard about Jennifer O'Brien? She's the teacher from the City of Paterson (NJ) school district who was recently fired for her musings about students on Facebook.

In case you missed the details, Ms. O'Brien was 4 months in to her tenure as a first grade teacher when she posted the following to Facebook:

"I'm not a teacher - I'm a warden for future criminals!"
"The had a scared straight program in school - why couldn't [I] bring [first] graders?"

The comments didn't go over so well with parents, administrators, reports, or the public in general.  O'Brien, who will now hold a spot in our Teacher's Hall of Shame, was discharged.

Eric B. Meyer, a lawyer and blogger, recounted the trial,

At her tenure hearing before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, the court upheld the firing in this opinion. It emphasized that O'Brien's postings were not entitled to any First Amendment protection, because she was engaged in "personal expression" of dissatisfaction with her job and was not addressing a matter of public concern.

The Court added that even if the comments were a matter of public concern, the district's need to operate its schools efficiently trumped O'Brien's right to express her views on Facebook. Indeed, it becomes "impossible for parents to cooperate with or have faith in a teacher who insults their children and trivializes legitimate educational concerns on the internet."
 Principals you can share a few things from this case:

  1. Remind teachers that First Amendment rights do not extend to insulting your students and disrupting the educational milieu;
  2. While you're at it, remind them not to act like dumb-asses on Facebook;
  3. If you're faced with a similar situation, deal with it quickly and decisively.  Parents and the press will find out and you'll have to answer for it.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The #1 Twitter Tip for Teachers, Administrators, & Other Educators

Twitter Profile 

This post first ran back in September but my Twitter inbox tells me it's time to run it again.

I've been hanging out with my growing PLN for about a year now.  A great group of people and tweeple from whom I've learned a lot.  There is one lesson that my PLN needs to learn and share and that is if you get a direct message like any of these -

"Hey is this you in this video?"

"Didn't you even see them taping?"

"This person is saying really bad things about you."

"LOL you're famous now."

"What are you doing in this vid?"

"This person is writing horrible things about you."

THE MESSAGE IS NOT REAL!  Trust me, you're not really in a video, no one is saying horrible things about you, and you're not going to become famous in a viral video.

These messages are a phishing schemes.  Someone is trying to hijack your account by getting you to click on the link, enter your password, and hand over control of your account.

So there you have it - the number 1 twitter tip for teachers, administrators, and other educators - be smart and keep control of your accounts.

photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Next Level by nixter, on Flickr
The Next Level

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  nixter 

So I was talking to my 7-year-old, Zachary,  about his new year's resolutions and the conversation went something like this.

Me, "Zachary, have you made any resolutions this year?"

Zachary, "Yes, I'm going to stop doing, you know, all that bad stuff."

Me, "Great! How do you think you're going to do that?"

Zachary, "Well, dad, people don't really keep those, so I think I'm good."

A cynic at 7 - he's far so like his father.

Like Zachary, I don't put much faith in resolutions however, this year I am committing to one thing in my professional life.

My motto for 2013 is - The next level.

Simple. Direct. Applicable.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...