Friday, September 25, 2009

Five for Friday

  1. The Teacher Salary Project - Very interesting documentary project based on the Dave Eggers book Teachers Have It Easy. They're collecting stories submitted by teachers themselves, so you could be in pictures!! Check it out.
  2. 100 Free and Useful Websites for AP Students and Teachers
  3. The Unofficial Toolkit for Teachers [@Whiteboard Witch] - Following up on the standard and secret toolkits I shared recently, the good Witch shares an equally useful list!
  4. "I want to say a word about hope here." [@Math Be Brave] - Awesome inspirational post you should bookmark and maybe print out and hang on the wall by Jesse, a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. If you're feeling beaten down after a month or so in the classroom, this might be exactly what you need to keep going.
  5. There goes another 35 minutes... [@A Few Degrees Short of a Right Angle] - This teacher's school has a sort-of advisory/homeroom that only meets every 2 weeks or so (during her planning time, no less). She views it as wasted time, but I think you can turn that situation into something positive. Go read the post and leave a comment there with your suggestions!
By the way, if you're an RSS addict like me, you should definitely subscribe to the blogs in the last 3 links.


sassybug said...

I am the author of, "A Few Degree's Short of a Right Angle" an while I read your post about taking back advisory and I loved it. I truly wish I could do this with my advisory class but instead I am given lesson plans that include the same old boring interest surveys and daily time logs that must be done with the students and have to be turned in to the head of the advisory focus team. These are the same activities that the kids have done for 3 years in a row. These activities take most of the class period and the kids feel like they are time fillers. I wish I could take the reins of my advisory and do something fun. Thanks for the link and the input!

Mr. D said...

sassybug: At the risk of sounding subversive, is there any way for you to skip the activities and just have the students fill out whatever they need to fill out quickly? I have a suspicion that no one actually reads these and just needs to see that you hand in something.

You could go to the principal or whoever's in charge about changing advisory, but you have to have a solution to the problem. In other words, if you just go in and point out what's wrong with the current program, no matter how right or well thought out, you'll just be spinning your wheels.

Coming up with an alternative shouldn't be too hard: try to find examples of what schools with successful advising programs are doing and use that both as evidence to support your idea and a model. Just remember to make it simple for teachers to implement, and be careful to not burn any bridges.

If you don't feel like you have that kind of voice, find a like-minded colleague who does, and go in there together!

I mean, if you don't fight for a positive change, probably no one else will!