Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Another Blogging Voice Goes Silent

Scanning the Chalkbeat Twiter feed lead me to this sad piece of news. The victim who was killed in a homeless shelter two weeks ago had been an award winning New York City DoE Librarian and an Edu-blogger. That's super sad.

Chalkbeat found a few notable excerpts from his blog, Education on the Plate, that I'm just going to drop below this post.

I'm not sure what leads teachers to teach. And heck if I know what leads some to blog. I've been doing it on and off for a few years and my job, and life are hard enough without having to deal with doenuts. Despite this, every Edu blog I've ever read has left me with an insight into teaching and being  a teacher that I didn't previously have.

I wished I had read this guy's work back in 2013. I think the search for my own voice as classroom teacher may have ended a lot quicker. The full Chalkbeat post is here.

Here are a few excerpts from some of [Deven] Black’s notable writing:
Telling his principal that he was underutilized
“I reminded him that I did a lot of different things before becoming a teacher and I carry a diverse set of skills he could take advantage of and gave him suggestions on how I might be more useful to him and the school.
I could write grants … I could plan and do PD … I could create, or facilitate students creating a webpage for the school … I could produce an online school magazine. I could, I could, I could.
On his first year as a school librarian
“I reorganized all the books in the library, twice. I began automating the library, a process of putting barcodes on all the books and scanning them into our now online catalog … Five unpaid Saturdays were spent in 7-hour long training sessions to learn more about my job, I won a small technology grant.
I’ve got a lot more work to do. I need to improve my teaching, redecorate the library and try to find the money for a renovation … I also need to purchase books, magazines and databases with the twin foci of providing quality recreational reading options and better aligning the collection to our curriculum.”
On a proposal to add four weeks to the school year
“I often tell my students that if the approach they’re taking to solve a problem isn’t working they should try something else; that doing more of what isn’t working in the first place and expecting a different result is a form of insanity.”
On teacher evaluations based on test scores
“We should have done what we claim to do best: teach … We could have taught the lesson about how one test on one day does not necessarily – okay, doesn’t at all – show what any one student or any large group of students know, don’t know and are or are notcapable of doing.”

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