I used to think of my classroom as a safe place for my students and told them as much. So many students these days need to experience a stress-free environment even if only for a few hours every day.
Yesterday, hundreds to thousands of students went to their supposed safe place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen of those students lost their lives there. Still another fourteen experienced physical trauma from gunshot wounds. The emotional scars inflicted on those who survived will remain for years to come.
Today, politicians offered their well rehearsed lines – the lines they have uttered at the hundreds of other school shootings since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Tomorrow we will probably hear elements of blame placed on reasons for why still another school shooting happened.
There has become a pattern of violence and insincere resolution in our country perpetrated by those having easy access to guns that have no earthly reason to be on our public streets and those who allow them to have access to them…
- Tragedy – shootings
- Political condolences
- Blame game
- Gun issue debate
- Debate drags on
- People forget
- Brief respite from shootings
- Another tragedy
There is no one reason on which to place the blame for these senseless crimes but rather a myriad of reasons that need to be discussed in a rational way without political affiliation or money generated concerns to guide ethical decisions. That said, it’s obvious that present administration politicians cannot satisfactorily meet en mass to discuss anything pertinent to the health and well-being of the people of the United States without adding a political bent to it. It should be obvious to all that after hundreds of school shootings since Sandy Hook that nothing will change unless the American voters start speaking up. Speaking up is done in any number of ways but the two most easily accessed is phoning and writing your representatives and senators. Be mindful that just one letter or call won’t suffice. If you want to be part of change in this country you have to be persistent.
To contact your elected officials find them at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
If you’re not convinced your voice will make a difference – consider this quote by Margaret Mead…
… and take a look at the statistics below…
Posted in child safety, classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, guns, guns in classroom, life lessons, making a difference, school shootings, Schools, Students, teacher awareness, teacher responsibilities, teacher safety
Tagged Florida, life lessons, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
To all my dedicated readers,
I thought about letting this blog go since I retired and then I decided to include retired teachers to the mix. New to retired teachers all have something to say and want to know what is happening nationwide in public and private education.There is much to be said about our educational system and much might be changed for the good if more people shared their great ideas, views, and great or maybe not so great experiences. Someone somewhere will be listening. So this is a shout out to all of my teaching and retired teaching extended family for experience and/or research backed posts to add to this blog. To this date my blog has had 7,878 hits and 344 followers and I haven’t posted an entry in two years. It’s time to get back on track. If you’d like to be considered for site publication, you may choose to include your real name or use a pseudonym. There is interest in what you all have to say and bottom line is – children need our help inside and outside the classroom! Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” You can message me with any questions you might have. Hoping to hear from you soon!
Posted in Back to school, education innovation, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, making a difference, retired teachers, school systems, Schools, teacher awareness, Teacher Evaluation, Teacher Income, teachers
Tagged Education, K through 12, Professional development, retired teachers, school systems, Teacher
Thanks for speaking up for the Detroit teachers Seth!! Hmm… Could this be the beginning of looking into more things that school systems nationwide need to be looked into for?
Source: Seth Meyers shreds Detroit’s shady school system: You have to pay your teachers for teaching
Not just in Kent! My goodness! This has been going on forever! When I was in fifth grade I remember a very mean boy punching my teacher in the face. Working as a teacher, the first time a child threw furniture in my classroom was in 1997. No one knows what teachers’ work involves and until politicians and others step inside the classroom and spend time with teachers no one ever will. Then again, those spending time in classrooms might not even admit to what they see. We might call this “feigned ignorance” or “an easier way to blame teachers for all of the ills in society and education”. It’s time to wake up and admit that all of us have a great deal of work to do! Parents, guardians, teachers, politicians, and others. Not only are society and our political system collapsing – education is too! So – is teaching all bad? Heavens no! I wouldn’t trade a moment of my experiences – good or bad – for anything! Every experience in life is a lesson learned. I am not blaming! I realize that all any of us know is what we’ve been taught to a given point in our lives. It takes an effort to change experience for all. While we can’t change the past, we can do something about the present and future. It takes courage to speak up and out. Will you?
Posted in child safety, classroom safety, education innovation, Everything old is new again..., Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Schools, teacher responsibilities, teacher safety, why teachers leave
Tagged classroom safety, classroom violence, speak up, student safety, teacher safety
Second on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is safety. Children thrive on structure, stability, and freedom from fear. Knowing what comes next in their daily routine makes them feel safe and secure.
- Set clear boundaries and learn how to say “no”.
- Maintain a calm, cozy home.
- Keep activities outside of school spaced and simple.
- Be sure your child is supervised and not left alone.
- Check that purchased products for your child meet national safety standards.
- Children love to explore. Check your home often to eliminate items that could be potentially hazardous.
For more information on preventive measures, check the World Report for Child Injury Prevention at…
Posted in child safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Maslow, nurture children, parent involvement, parenting
Tagged child safety, Maslow, parenting, safety prevention
According to Maslow, a child’s first need is physiological. Children need food, water, clean air, and a safe, warm place to sleep. How can parents and teachers meet these needs?
- Make time to meet these needs in a “family” way – no matter how big or small your family may be.
- Set the breakfast table together the night before.
- Ask your child to help you plan a healthy menu while teaching him or her about nutrition.
- Pack a healthy lunch instead of buying one. Include an “I love you” note for your child to read when the lunchbox is opened.
- Find time for a home cooked evening meal and eat together around the table to discuss everyone’s day.
- Keep the air in your home clean. Avoid exposing your child to cigarette smoke, excessive dust, and toxic fumes.
- Provide a clean, restful slumber environment void of technological distractions.
- Teach your child to be responsible for his or her own physiological needs over time.
- Allow time for snack breaks each day. Children can’t learn when hungry. Ask parents to donate healthy snacks.
- Allow children to drink water as needed. If no classroom fountain is available, let children bring a water bottle from home.
- Create a warm and inviting classroom environment.
- Provide students the opportunity to design and keep up the classroom environment.
- Classrooms are dusty places. Try a Friday cleaning day and include students in the process. This makes for a great way for all to begin new Monday morning. If needed, bring in an air purifier. Be sure to clean the filter as required.
All of these suggestions are easy to carry out and need very little time. If you have other suggestions, feel free to comment and add to the list. Thanks!
Posted in Classroom Management, classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, life lessons, Maslow, Motivation, nurture children, parent involvement, teachers, Uncategorized
Tagged Classroom, K through 12, Maslow, Methods and Theories, physiological needs
In 1954 psychologist Abraham Maslow developed his theory of Hierarchy of Needs. His hierarchy is based on the assumption that human beings have basic needs. These needs expound upon each other over time until self-actualization occurs. We’ve come a long way since this theory was developed. Though time and circumstance see our world a different place, the basic tenants of human nature and needs stay the same. Needs being met allude to learning taking place and meaningful life. Since learning and views on life begin in the home and continue in school, what better gift can parents and teachers give children than to truly understand and strive to meet their basic needs? Maslow said humans have physiological, safety, belongingness and love, esteem, and self-actualization needs. These needs begin with infancy and continue through adulthood. Childhood then, is a critical time for all.
What about current childhood experiences? When Maslow stated his theory, most families had two parent households with one parent working and one at home. The steady rise of one-parent families and extended working hours has placed a strain on the amount of time available to meet the needs of children. Add to this increasing demands society places on all to achieve and it’s easy to see how the most important things in life may fall by the wayside.
That said, this will be the first in a series of posts based on Maslow’s Hierarchy, which is just as valid today as when first theorized. I hope you will add ideas and real world examples as levels are published. Children are our future and the most important adult task we have is to make sure children are nurtured substantively to encourage life-long learning that leads to meaningful lives worth living. Until tomorrow…
Posted in Classroom Management, classroom safety, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Maslow, Motivation, nurture children, parent involvement, reasons to teach, Students
Tagged Hierarchy of Needs, intrinsic motivation, K through 12, Maslow, parenting
Looking for a jumpstart with STEM integrated instruction? Think about involving parents and the community in classroom activities.
Surveying parent talents and skills is a great place to start. You can actually find a place for all parents regardless of past work experience. Be creative! Enlisting parents as STEM helpers includes community workers naturally. So – how to enlist these helpers? A note explaining STEM and the need for parent involvement in STEM instruction will help. List some talents that could help students and STEM learning in the classroom. Some might be:
- Lawn maintenance
- Hospital worker
- Office worker, etc.
Parents may feel that their abilities won’t help in the classroom but a brief description of how they can serve is a real motivator to get all involved. Don’t forget Career Day in November! This might just be the perfect day to STEM recruit!!
Posted in Classroom Management, education creativity, education innovation, Employment, engineering, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, Lesson Planning, mathematics, Motivation, parent involvement, science, STEM, teaching and STEM, technology
Tagged career day, Classroom, engineering, K through 12, mathematics, parent involvement, science, STEM, Teaching Resources, technology