Current Affairs

Teacher Healthcare Matters – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

    So, I am sick. I am really sick.  Last year I came down with Valley Fever. Let’s just say if I was on the Oregon trail; I probably wouldn’t have made it past Kansas.  My illness knocked me out for nearly two weeks because of its severity. Even today, one year later, I am still not functioning at 100%. It has forced me to burn a lot of sick days going to get X-rays and CAT scans and…

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Change Is Needed… – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

I’ve spent the past several years considering how to best advocate for our educators, educator needs, and completing advocacy work from a local level to a wider state or national level.  Everyone’s advocacy work looks slightly different then the next and the issues you get involved with can change based on the climate of your workplace to the community you teach in. Some issues you might find yourself advocating for and just a few years ago you would have been…

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Planning Blind: The Limitations of Test Scores – Education Article

Warning: Grumpy face. You’ve run the race, and you need to start strategizing how you will train for the next one. But you won’t know the results of the race for months. Innovation can be exhilarating… as well as exhausting, and challenging given our current levels of funding (and therefore staffing, training and other resources). I think I have already written about that to some degree this year. Innovation with the added pressure of being an “F” school in the…

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The Limits of Labels – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

“When it says Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s on the label, label, label, nothing’s better, better, better, on the table, table, table.” So went the 1970’s jingle promoting Libby’s canned goods. It’s catchy. Try getting it out of your head. But what if Libby is a student in one of my classes and I want to build a strong professional relationship with her? How much weight should I give to the labels she carries? They’ll include, but not be limited to, labels…

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AZ – SB 1051 – The High-Quality Teacher Pilot Program – Education Article

SB1038 came about because Arizona schools were no longer offering physics. As teachers left, schools chose to eliminate programs as there was no one to teach this subject. We eventually got down to 159 certified and active physics teachers teaching in Arizona schools, both public and private. A new bill hitting the capitol this month, SB 1051 will seek to extend SB 1038.  It will give us the ability to collect more data on longevity and teacher retention and help…

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Trust, but Verify – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

I am alternately hopeful, terrified, and jubilant.  I check Twitter obsessively.  My anxiety is easily triggered.  It must be time for the Arizona legislative session.  Even in a state known for wacky and colorful political antics, it promises to be a doozy.  We’ve already seen blatant attacks on our profession as punishment for taking a stand for our students last year. On the other hand, we’re seeing school funding bills coming from unexpected sources.  I’ve heard policymakers using words I…

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Too Much Rigor? – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

Rigor: A popular buzz word in education today, this word is packed with meaning. It pops up in staff meetings, school mission statements, and parent conversations about school choice. Everyone seems to think that “rigor” is what kids need. But what does this word even mean? Let’s start with the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition: Rigor (a) Harsh inflexibility in temper, opinion, or judgment; (b) the quality of being unyielding and inflexible; (c) severity of life A tremor caused by a chill…

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Dealing with Student Death – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

It is something that is becoming all too common in schools across Arizona, the need for schools to support students and staff as they grieve for classmates, friends, and students that pass.  In my first ten years of teaching, this was something I had to deal with only a couple times. In my last few years of teaching, student deaths attributed to accidents, suicide, and even homicide have become much more common.  And how does a school help pick up…

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