"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, November 17, 2006

Time to Teach

Our school system will start negotiating with teachers this Spring. Our current three year contract expires after this school year.

Our Teachers' Association negotiation team has been traveling around to each building asking what things we might want to work towards getting as part of our contract.

I talked to the staffs of three schools. Surprise...NO ONE MENTIONED SALARY!!!

The most common complaint was that we are so bogged down with paperwork, test prep, public relations activities, and babysitting duties (recess, cafeteria, bus duty, etc) that we're unable to meet the needs of our students. There just aren't enough minutes in the day to do all the things we're required to do and still have time to teach.

More on this later.

    “Our current ‘scientific’ method focuses almost exclusively on identifying what works best generally, [but] children differ. Therein lies what worries me about ‘evidence-based’ policy making in education. Good teaching, effective teaching, is not just about using whatever science says ‘usually’ works best. It is all about finding out what works best for the individual child and the group of children in front of you.” -- Richard Allington