Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Hate Saying I Told You So...

The NY Times today reports that principals are being instructed to group 3 "small-group instruction" groups together in single classrooms. Randi says she's against it, and that the DOE is trying "for a second bite of the apple," but the city claims it's Randi's UFT trying to renegotiate after the fact.

To me, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, since a sixth class is, after all, a sixth class. But the move tells a lot about the city's attitude toward "small-group-instruction," which will be completely ineffectual in their preferred setting.

1. They couldn't care less about its quality.

2. Their sole interest in maintaining it is the anticipation of the next contract, 10 more minutes, and six full classes.

Unity will claim they never anticipated such things. Well, if I, a lowly teacher, can see them coming, why can't our highly-compensated leadership?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

No Wonder No One Likes Science

Here's some disappointing news--passionate love, apparently, is bound to end in one year.

Or maybe those scientists who spend all their time studying molecules are simply trying to jinx those with active social lives.

Honor Among Thieves?

Today a kid walked into my class after having been absent for maybe 10 weeks.  He handed me a doctor’s note that said he’d been under care since September 3rd—diagnosis “leg broke.”

The note was signed by a few teachers, but I found it odd that I’d seen the kid, from time to time, hanging around on the street corner by the school, with no apparent signs of this unfortunate disability.  I called the number, which turned out not to be a doctor’s office, but another kid’s personal cell.  The kid, perhaps, had forgotten his agreement to pretend he was a doctor.

You can’t hardly count on anyone anymore.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bulletin Boards

A commenter asked if I'd put something up about bulletin boards.

I teach in a high school, and I haven't had to deal with this mania nearly as much as my JHS and elementary colleagues. In fact, I haven't designed or taken part in decorating a bulletin board in 10 or 15 years. Of course, I teach in an overcrowded school, usually in 3 or 4 different classrooms.

How is the bulletin board craze affecting you and your school? Will the new contract help you with any of your difficulties?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just Do It

As I pointed out recently on Jenny D’s blog, I’ve been very lucky thus far, in that I’ve been able to keep up with my fourth grade daughter’s math homework. However, I fear those days are rapidly coming to an end.

A few weeks ago, she brought home a multiple choice test that asked her to identify equations displaying “commutative properties” of mathematics. I suggested she select a pair of multiplication problems, something like 5 X 7, and 7 X 5, which happily turned out to be correct.

I have to question the need for her to know that term. I’m admittedly not good at math, not interested in math, and very grateful I no longer have to study it. But I don’t feel my quality of life has been markedly damaged by my unfamiliarity with that term. The concept, to anyone schooled in basic arithmetic, is obvious.

As an English teacher, I have to suppose that many Americans don’t know what present progressive or future perfect means, yet manage to speak perfectly. Many can even write with clarity and precision, despite our best efforts to churn out automatons who do nothing but five-paragraph compositions.

On the other hand, I’ve had hundreds of foreign students who could name the grammar terms backward and forward, but could not speak.

I figure if you’re not a teacher, you don’t need the terminology. You just need to know how to do whatever it is you need to do. We’ve got it backwards—which is why so many of us have studied Spanish but couldn’t speak it to save our lives.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lost in Translation

Now, before you accuse me, it wasn't one of my students who translated this sign.

Actually, I stumbled across it on an odd little site called
A Welsh View.

While it's the sad truth my daughter, along with much of her generation, would applaud this sentiment, I'm sure you can see the sort of thing that's liable to happen if we don't teach sufficient English to our newcomers.

If anyone out there can offer a more accurate translation, I'd be interested to see it. Regardless, I don't think I'll be doing much shopping in stores that display signs like this.

Friday, November 25, 2005



Thursday, November 24, 2005

Everything Old Is New Again

Do you think your job is tough?  Well it probably is.  Maybe you’ve taken the wrong path.

If you’d only known the right people, you could have become a Tweed flunkie, perpetually dreaming up new ways to justify your six-figure salary.  How would that be?

Well, you’d have to sit for hours and consider, for example, should you come up with a new idea?  No, if you had any imagination, you’d probably never have gotten this job in the first place.  Should you inspire teachers with your years of experience?  No, that’s out of the question, what with your not once in your life having ever set foot in a public school, let alone worked in one.

Should you amuse them, at least?  No, if you had any talent or sense of humor, why would your mother have had to get this job for you?  What if you just gave them another few hours of long-winded convoluted trendy edu-speak with no value whatsoever?  That usually works.  Hmmmm...  

Wait!  You have a sudden flash of inspiration.  You could just take the same old idea everyone’s been using for fifty years, give it a new name, and claim to have invented it.  Then, when they do the same old thing they’ve been doing forever, you can tell the chancellor they’re using your idea.  When standards go down, and test scores consequently go up, you can take credit for it!

Let’s see…you’ll need a big word here…OK, you can call it congruency, and amaze everyone by announcing that the do now and motivation have to be mostly related to the lesson. For example, you could caution teachers not to give too many algebraic equations as leads-up to lessons on Hamlet.  

Wait—you’d better throw in another big word here—tell them to not even call it the do now and motivation—it’ll now be now the “anticipatory set.”  That’s far less likely to be understood!  You could explain it by saying “Teachers consciously stimulate the neural network so that the learner will be ready to make connections between prior experience and new learning.”  Let them crawl under their beds and figure that out.

This has great potential.  You can make up confusing handouts with arcane illustrations and spend hours at meetings explaining them to supervisors who are obliged to pretend they’re interested.  Then, for the two extra days of talking you’ll have to do this August, you can rattle off the same thing to the teachers.  Just sit them in groups and make them discuss it and give presentations on how they’ll use it.  That’ll kill three or four hours right there.

So basically, the introduction to the lesson should be somewhat related to the rest of the lesson.  How can you phrase that so no one will be precisely certain what you’re talking about, thus necessitating endless hours of clarifying discussion?  What about this—“Most of the Teacher Actions are on a one-to-one match with the Teacher Objective.”  That oughta do it.  

Maybe you can make a video.  That could kill a few hours, and you can show it at every meeting.  Now you’ll need speakers no one exactly understands, to facilitate discussion groups who could try to figure out what the heck it’s about. By the time they report back, that’ll have killed two days right there.

Oh well, 11:30—time for another gala luncheon.

This job sure beats working.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No Thinking—Just Writing

That’s my new mantra. It’s odd, I know, and sort of off-putting when you first read or hear it. But I’ve been teaching over twenty years now, and it’s many the time I’ll turn to kids and ask why they aren’t working.

“I’m thinking.”

In Herman Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha writes “Writing is good. Thinking is better.” Doubtless he’s right.

But what is it, actually, that my students are thinking about? They’re thinking about how many minutes before the bell rings, or if the girl across the room likes them, or about whether they’ll visit their uncle this weekend, or why the classroom is always either too hot or too cold (I often wonder about that one myself).

They’re thinking about whether or not the teacher will let them keep thinking until the bell rings, so they can shuffle off to the next class and think some more.

I’m a slow learner, I guess, but kids thinking about what to write are few and far between. I apologize to them in advance.

From now on, my unfortunate students will have to do their extra-curricular thinking on their own time. In my class, they will write.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wondering How to Spend that Retroactive Pay?

Well, you might want to buy the original Hollywood sign and set it up on your lawn.

It's on Ebay, and CNN reports the opening bid is a mere 300K. Face it, you can hardly buy a house for that anymore. Just think of how much more attractive it will look than those lawn trolls you have out there now.

And if you're looking to meet that special someone, it could be a real conversation starter.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Art or Crap?

You decide:

Take the art or crap quiz.

I got 10 out of 16.

Friday, November 18, 2005

La Pregunta

I started out as an English teacher, but almost before I could begin, I was dispatched to teach music, math, special ed., communications, parenting (with no experience at the time, and I’m highly grateful that one didn’t pan out), and finally “ESL.”  My reaction:

“What’s ESL?”

It turned out ESL was teaching kids from other countries to speak English.  I loved it, and when NYC finally offered me an appointment as an English teacher, I turned it down and went back to school instead.

I had to take 12 credits in foreign language in order to get my ESL certification.  I took 8 credits in Spanish and four in German, and that was good enough for New York State.  At that time, I was not fluent in Spanish, and I found it ironic that a colleague of mine, who spoke excellent Spanish, was unable to become certified because she lacked credits.

When I finally found a job teaching ESL, almost all my students were Spanish speakers.  I decided I’d better figure out was they were talking about, so I spent a few summers studying in Mexico, and took more Spanish courses at night.  Before I know it, I had 24 credits in Spanish, and for the princely sum of 50 bucks, NY State sent me yet another certification as a Spanish teacher.

My former AP (not the one mentioned here) was wonderful, and when she asked me to teach a native Spanish 1 class, I was happy to do her a favor.  The young teacher who’d been leading them had been having problems with the kids, and the AP, apparently, was tired of them landing in her office.

It was fun but odd teaching these kids, every one of whom spoke Spanish better than I did.  None of them knew much about writing, and I had it all over them when it came to accent marks, sentences, paragraphs, or discussing literature.  But they didn’t hesitate to correct me when I mangled the subjunctive or said por for para, so it was a friendly but spirited battle those five months.

It didn’t help that I’d been placed in Sra. F’s classroom.  Sra. F. was from España, and considered any form of Spanish other than that spoken in her country to be an abomination.  She never hesitated to share this philosophy with my students, none of whom met her high standards. She judged my Spanish positively diabolical, and made this pronouncement to me, my class, and my AP, on a daily basis.  Having failed the NTEs and the LAST tests a dozen times, it was undoubtedly a great comfort to know she was so much superior to us.

One day, when Sra. F. observed I’d written an aim in English, she almost had a conniption.  She complained, it seemed, to every supervisor in the building.  Fortunately, they’d long ago stopped taking her seriously.

But neither Sra. F nor the annoyingly accurate ears of my students gave me much trouble till the day Oscar asked the question.  Nobody’d anticipated it, so it really took us for a loop.

“How come you’re white?”

Absolute silence, and stunned looks around the classroom.

“Well, my mother was white, and my father was white, so…”

“No.”  Simple biology was not going to satisfy him.  “This is a Spanish class, and you’re a white guy.  What’s going on?”

I decided to turn the tables.

“Actually, Oscar, from where I stand, you look like a white guy too.”

“Uh, uh, I’m Spanish.”

Maria, a loquacious young woman who sat in the front, could stand no more.  “Uh uh, Oscar, you just as white as the teacher.  And you ain’t Spanish.  Sra. F. is Spanish.”

“Come on, Maria, you know what I mean.”

There ensued a long philosophical discussion, the conclusion of which escapes me at the moment.  

The class, unfortunately, met first period—7 AM that year, which meant that half of it never appeared.  Sadder still, half the kids who did show up did no work, so I ended up failing 75% of the class.  

I’ve not been asked to teach Spanish again.

But I’m ready.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Don’t Aim—Just Shoot

When you teach in New York you’re required to follow a lesson plan. First, you are to state your aim. Then you are to motivate the class because, as everyone knows, these kids don’t want to learn anything.

—Frank Mc Court

There are certain underlying assumptions in everything we do here in fun city. Frank finds humor in the “motivation,” but I’d move yet another step back and examine the “aim.” When I went to school in Nassau County, there was no such concept.

My theory is that some Board of Education wonk decided one day that if teachers had explicit “aims,” they would magically become competent enough to know what they were doing. There are some small flaws in that theory.

Competent teachers know what they’re doing whether or not they actually post an “aim” on the board.

More to the point, no matter how well-stated the “aim” may be, bad teachers simply cannot communicate much of value to their students.

I post an aim daily, to appease whatever muckety-mucks might be roaming the halls in search of offenders. But I’m 100% sure it has no effect whatsoever on me or my students.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Frank McCourt has written a new book, entitled Teacher Man. If that itself isn’t good enough news, it can be had at your nearest Costco for a mere $14.19, or even less at your local public library. McCourt writes:

In America, doctors, lawyers, generals, actors, televison people and politicians are admired and rewarded. Not teachers. Teaching is the downstairs maid of professions. Teachers are told to use the service door or go around the back. They are congratulated on having ATTO (All That Time Off). They are spoken of patronizingly and patted, retroactively, on their silvery locks. Oh, yes, I had an English teacher, Miss Smith, who really inspired me. I’ll never forget dear old Miss Smith...

Why did it take 66 years for McCourt to write Angela’s Ashes?

I was teaching, that’s what took me so long. Not in college or university, where you have all the time in the world for writing and other diversions, but in four different New York City public high schools…When you teach five high school classes a day, five days a week, you’re not inclined to go and to clear your head and fashion deathless prose. After a day of five classes your head is filled with the clamor of the classroom.

Imagine how we’ll all be after a day of six classes. Clearly Randi does not read Frank.

It’s a pity.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This Year's Model

For over 20 years, I’ve been attending faculty meetings. Several times a year, a weary administrator stands in front of a room, and tells us just how things are going to be:

“From now on, there will be no more standing in front of the room.”

“This year, all student work must be placed in portfolios.”

“The aim must be phrased as a question.”

“The aim must be phrased as a statement.”

“Portfolios are out.”

“There must be bell-to-bell instruction.”

“Instruction must last for no more than 10 minutes.”

All the approaches sound grand when you hear them. Each one is calculated to solve all the ills in education, and finally clear up those lingering doubts about whether or not your teaching techniques are valid. Why, then, do they so frequently contradict one another?

Well, there’s probably validity in most techniques, contradictory or no. The problem is, they’re invariably presented as not only good, but irreplaceable and exclusive as well. Discussion is now useless, because we must work in groups, all the time, every day without exception. Nothing else can possibly work. Ever.

After hearing this enough times, a reasonable mind cannot help but grow skeptical.

Aren’t they simply going to replace this revolutionary technique with something new next year? Won’t they then tell you every minute you’ve spent applying last year’s technique was a complete and utter waste of time? Why should you bother to listen at the next meeting?

Well, it’s not the supervisors’ fault that they’ve been assigned to tell you the newest earth-shattering technique. They’re just doing their jobs. If they’re reasonable (and some are), they won’t insist you use this year’s technique to the exclusion of all others. That, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

Here’s what’s important—these techniques may or may not work for you. One thing the theorists invariably fail to take into account is that teachers, actually, are not donuts, or widgets, and it’s genuinely possible that different techniques may suit different personalities.

When you really find what works for you, you’ve found your own voice. No trendy technique can compete with that. Unfortunately, what works for you may not work for me. And it may not work for the unfortunate group of teachers compelled to sit at the meeting, either.

Why can’t the geniuses who devise these techniques realize that? And why must every new technique supplant every other that came before it?

It seems to me there’s more than one valid approach to communicating and reaching out to young minds. I know what works for me.

Regrettably, it does not necessarily follow that I know what will work for you.

And that’s just one reason I’m not an administrator.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Slings and Arrows

It’s always instructive to read Edwize. Let’s see, NYU graduate students are denied representation. Outrageous! NYC high school teachers have the largest student load in the area. Outrageous! Tweed’s latest anti-teacher nonsense. Also outrageous!

I'm surprised, though, to see Unity writers decrying the issue of the large number of students covered by high school teachers. It’s absolutely true a New York City high school teacher can have up to 170 students, the largest student load in the area. And they’re absolutely correct that class size is one of the most crucial aspects of quality education.

What Unity writers fail to point out is that under the new contract, Unity negotiators failed to enact any regulations to reduce class size. Not only that, but with the Unity-negotiated addition of an unprecedented sixth class, NYC high school teachers will actually have a higher student load.

How dare they complain about our student loads? When presented with an opportunity to remedy the situation, they actually managed to worsen it.

After numerous comments that paid Unity non-teachers were dominating the dialogue, Edwize presented a “voice from the trenches.” This voice, however, turned out to be Unity CC Redhog, a regular pro-Unity commenter, writing under another name to in order to pretend he was a typical teacher with no particular agenda.

Redhog, incidentally, revealed to me via email that he plans to retire within the year. He’ll be sunning himself in Florida, perhaps, but certainly enjoying 15% higher retirement pay, with a COLA, a guaranteed raise working teachers don’t get, while we dodge flying tuna sandwiches during cafeteria duty.

And how do Unity writers get on their high horses and demand rights for others when, right in their own house, high school teachers have been denied their choice of VPs since 1994? In a blatantly anti-democratic act, Unity amended the constitution so that we would be forever drowned out by the votes of largely pro-Unity elementary teachers.

It's as though President Bush decreed one day that, for fairness' sake, Alaska, Kansas, and Texas could help New York choose its governor.

Some Unity writers like to invoke the "tradition of union democracy" to justify their tirades against Unity opponents. Nonetheless, they're perfectly comfortable writing for the front page of Edwize, which we support with our dues. They have no apparent problem with the fact that 40% of working, voting union teachers who opposed the contract are offered no representation on that page.

Unity freely distributes pro-contract literature in every school mailbox in New York City. Opponents of the contract are flatly denied the opportunity to do the same.

Such “traditions of union democracy,” as practiced by Unity, led to the fall of another prominent union: the Soviet Union.

It’s time now to take Unity down with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Local Yokels

Diane Ravitch, one of the brightest lights in American education, suggests in this week's NY Times we need a national standard for testing. While Mayor Mike got re-elected, in part, on boasts about 4th grade achievement, Ms. Ravitch questions the validity of state tests.

We all know test scores can be interpreted and manipulated, candidate pools can be cherry-picked, and tests can be designed to produce virtually whatever results we desire. Ravitch suggests that, under an impartial national standard, we’re leaving quite a few kids behind, pointedly including Mayor Bloomberg’s NY contingent, whose scores, apparently, were exaggerated threefold for the city that couldn’t wait to re-elect him.

She’s right. It’s ridiculous that people in New York need to read better than people in Utah. I don’t care how many wives you have. They still need to read those pre-nups.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Those Who Can't Teach Gym, Become Chancellor

Mr. Lawrence’s blog is very funny. You ought to check it out. He just wrote about substituting as an elementary gym teacher. Here’s what he likes about it:

It's one of those times of the day in which they are encouraged to run around, screaming, and I can let them. Now, if they moved me from Phys. Ed. to a classroom - like they've done in the past - I'd be the one running around and screaming...

When I read that, I’d just gotten back from explaining to my college ESL class the meaning of "Those who can't do, teach," and followed it with the oft-heard rejoinder "Those who can't teach, teach gym."

I shared with them my secret fantasy of becoming a gym teacher, tossing out the basketballs, saying "Choose up sides and play," and sitting down to a cigarette and a big sandwich , always keeping a careful eye on the watch for the time when I could say, "OK, get back and change."

If only I had thought of it sooner. I suppose I could go get another Master’s, but it’s probably too late to take up smoking, so why bother?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

An Anonymous Comment

I keep thinking about this comment someone left a few days back. It's very clever, and I'm reposting it below:

Here in NYC, a cosmopolitan, sophisticated world class city with numerous museums, theatre, libraries and institutions of higher learning -- here and only here can we have a book smart, university educated membership voting against their own interests.

The taxi driver, the air conditioner repair man, the shoe shine and hot dog vendor all understand the concepts of labor union, working class and give backs. They understand that more time and less rights do not equal more money. They may not understand all the vocabulary in the Wall St. Journal but they understand the word NO and will use it if they need to. No, as in 'no to this contract' as in 'not in my best interests'. The membership ratified the contract because they are not used to using the word NO and they forgot how to say it.

"No, you cannot go to the bathroom. No, you cannot hand in late homework. No, we do not want this contract."

Be Careful on the LIE

Apparently, cops are serious about those HOV lanes. A San Rafael driver was fined for having a legless dummy in the passenger seat. Perhaps the cop found the dummy suspicious because it was wearing a Miami Dolphins jacket.

You could outfit your dummy in a Yankee jacket, I suppose. But what if the cop happens to be a Met fan?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Freddy's New Ad

It's a new kind of love story. Though I'd have rather seen him kiss the horse.

You ought to get kissed, for 7 million bucks, I guess.

Simplicity Itself

Quality education is elusive.  But the reasons for it are not.  In New York City, we dump 34 kids in a class and hire virtually anyone available to teach them.   The Chancellor and the tabloids whine endlessly about awful teachers. Remarkably, there are many good, even great teachers working here.

The bad ones, though, almost defy description.  None would be hired in suburban schools.  Many would not be hired in fast food joints.

But awful teachers are necessary, to give the tabloids fodder.  The chancellor needs scapegoats to cover his overall lack of improvement, and make no mistake—“reform” is not necessarily improvement.  Religiously maintaining the state’s lowest standard for teachers has not brought about improvement.  Having the highest class size in the area has not helped much either.

The mayor and the governor volley the CFE case back and forth, neither willing to make the necessary financial commitment to good teachers or small classes.  Unlike mammoth sport stadiums, they’re too expensive.  They’re not worth it, apparently.  

How could we really improve the school system?

A right-wing school teacher acquaintance of mine has a great idea about this.  Ordinarily, we argue endlessly about everything.  But on schools, oddly enough, we’re almost in perfect harmony.

Require those who administer public schools to patronize them.  How are mayors, or chancellors, going to put their hearts and souls into systems they don’t even take part in?

My kid goes to a public school.  Make their kids go to public schools too, and you’ll see how fast things turn around.  

Do you think Sir Rudy would have suggested compelling welfare recipients to work in public schools if his kids were in attendance?  While he may see chronically out of work individuals as adequate role models for your kids, or mine, do you think he sees them as role models for his kids?

I doubt it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Get Your Apron Ready

You're headed for lunchroom duty.

UFT Contract passes--63%-37%.

Teachers Yes 39728 No 25962

School Secretaries Yes 2455 No 618

Paras Yes 1325 No 538

Total Yes 54473 No 32144

Total Votes Scanned 86847

Figures from ICE-UFT Blog

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Make Them An Offer They Can't Refuse

It suddenly hit me today--we're going about this all wrong.

Why are we debating about contracts, or whether we need an iconoclastic leader, or good old, reliable Unity? They won't get us what we want.

For many years, we'd heard and read about the custodians' union, and how corrupt it was, and how overpaid they were. They were buying jeeps for their personal use on the city's dime. They were working on their yachts in Long Island when they were supposed to be mopping a floor. They were painting not one inch above 7 feet, because union regs forbade it.

And you'd read about their union heads getting rubbed out on the street over who knows what. Was it true? What's the difference?

Naturally, I abhor violence. But why can't we have a mobbed-up union boss? And please don't lecture me about discrimination, because mobs now come from all over. I've got nothing against Asian, Russian, or South American mobs in our corner. Race is not an issue, and it's utterly beside the point. One mobster is as good as another, say I.

Why bother with PERB? Who needs a bunch of lawyers sitting with calculators figuring how many half minutes we need to add to our days?

We need someone getting us jobs that people really want to have. Do you remember the Sopranos episodes with the dozen guys sitting on lawn chairs at the construction site? Why should Tweed get all the no-show jobs?

"Nice little City Hall you've got here. It would be a shame if anything were to happen to it." Mayor Bloomberg is a businessman, and if that isn't a call to negotiate, I don't know what is. It beats the hell out of waiting till election time, showing him an unsavory ad we paid to produce, and threatening to drain even more millions from our coffers showing it around town.

Screw the cutesy television commercials that say how hard we work and how unappreciated we are. They cost us bazillions in dues, and just make the Daily News that much more vicious when decrying the perfidy of teachers.

While I certainly would never teach my students to leave a decapitated horse's head on the pillow of an uncooperative employer, why shouldn't we send some hearty soul to Mayor Mike's upstate horse farm to let him know we mean business? Even a very highly-paid individual would cost a fraction of what we pay for an ineffectual TV campaign.

I ask you--is it too much to ask the forces of corruption to align themselves with us for a change?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Dumb Class

Imagine yourself, the first day at a new school.

“We’re giving you the dumb class, Ms. D.”

“The dumb class? What’s that? Why am I teaching it?”

Well, Ms. D., they can’t learn, and you can’t teach, so putting you together is a thing of beauty.”

It’s a long-standing tradition to dump the very worst programs on new teachers, and then fine-tune them to make them even worse. That’s what happened to me when I started. I toyed with an offer of driving a FedEx Truck, which actually paid a little more at the time.

My first job was awful. I started with 4 programs, and then they took one of my classes away and gave me a fifth—I kid you not. It’s a wonder I stayed, because my first semester was pure hell.

I think this—if you’re smart, and you like kids, you’ll probably be a good teacher. Lord knows NYC’s kids need you.

It’s too bad we still drive so many young teachers away, though. I got to really love it after the first 6 months or so.