Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teacher's Job Description

Job Description

Title: Teacher

Education Required: College degree and teaching certificate that will need to be renewed on a regular basis. Must also be willing to work towards master’s degree or higher level course work.

Duties: As a teacher you will be required at any given time to do the follow:

  • Wipe noses of crying children




  • Help a student open combination locks




  • Loan a student $2 so they can eat lunch




  • Call Department of Child and Family Services because you suspect abuse at home




  • Open a Gatorade bottle for a student because they can't




  • Attend department meetings




  • Listen to a parent tell you that you are a bad teacher




  • Laugh at a horrible joke your student said to make them feel better




  • Sit with a student at lunch because they have no friends




  • Hold a parent teacher conference where a parent will scream at you




  • Be told by an experienced teacher that your opinion is invalid




  • Attend IEP meetings




  • Write letters of recommendations for your students




  • Watch the news and understand your profession is not respected




  • Break up a fight between students that are larger than you




  • Tell a student to stop picking their nose…and eating it




  • Call the custodians to your room to clean up a pile of vomit




  • Listen to a student tell you they hate you




  • Listen to a student tell you they love you




  • Be told by your college friends that you are dumb for choosing this profession




  • Attend faculty meetings




  • Help a student pick up their books in the hallway




  • Watch as a student with unlimited potential wastes it




  • Testify in court against a student or parent




  • Help a student clean their locker




  • Give a student a hug




  • Get to school well before the students arrive and stay well after they have left




  • Read to a student who doesn’t know how to




  • Grade until your hand falls off




  • Be a role model in the community even when not at school




  • Plan lessons that will keep the attention of a boy that plays 8 hours of Xbox 360 at home




  • Help students find friends




  • Instill hope in a hopeless situation




  • If you finish all of these things you might actually teach as well.





*numerous other duties as assigned

Benefits: Intrinsic, not monetary. You will be benefited with knowing you are molding the future and if done with passion the rewards will be far greater than any Wall Street bonus or corporate perk.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Google Docs 101

Many folks have been sharing lately their love of Google Docs which is a free collaborative workspace available through Google. Here is a brief tutorial that I came up with primarily for those that have never used this tool before. I am know there are more advanced features, but this should get some of the newer users on the right track.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Motivates You?

As educators we are not in the profession for the money. NFL players that are currently holding out for a better deal will make more in yearly bonuses than most teachers will make in a career. I have followed Daniel Pink’s work on motivation and what actually causes people to work hard and achieve more. According to his work, people are not motivated in large part due to incentives such as money. With this in mind, why are legislators pushing merit based pay? While I agree with the concept of better teachers being paid better (think about athletes…). However, show me a legitimate way to do this. Teachers cannot be statistically categorized like a NFL player and therefore neither can their students.


If money is not motivating teachers, then what is? I cannot speak for all teachers, but here are a few of the things that motivate me as a teacher.

I am motivated…

...when a light bulb goes off and a student “gets it” for the first time.

...by the fact that my students are not to blame for the current troubles in the world, and yet they will be called upon to fix them.

...when I get a letter from a student I had five years ago about how I changed his life.

...by my student’s passion for learning.

...through collaborating with peers in my building as well as my extended PLN across the globe.

...when an idea that begins in my classroom is shared and implemented in other classrooms and schools by people I have never met.

...by my students taking ownership for their learning and taking it to places I never planned on.

...by the idea that there is always a better way to do my work and a fear of being mediocre.

...to be the kind of teacher that parents feel safe and confident sending their child to on a daily basis.

...through the relationships with my students beyond the role of a teacher but is a friend, confidant, counselor, guide, and advisor.
There are many reasons that people are motivated by the work they do. If you are not motivated to do the work you are doing, then maybe it is time to find a new road…

What motivates you to be an educator?