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Tom Hoffman

Will and I are sticking up for you over there. Keep your chin up.


On a completely unprofessional note: if your choice of glasses says anything about you, go figure on this one.Thumbs down to the stuffy white dude.


Oh, you didn't even have to defend yourself. Isn't it enough that you care about what and how you teach? Isn't it enough that you're going to guilt yourself and bust your butt for the next year with little and inadequate compensation? The world is a wide place, and better for you in it.

How was your trip?


ralph who? (my little invisible man joke)

Dave Shearon

To this wonderful blogger and her supporters: good points! (Not necessarily always responsive, but still good points.)

hipteacher, I NEVER said you were bad news. I know it's tough to have someone take on one aspect of something you wrote critically in your very first encounter, and I probably should have refrained. After all, I'm old enough to know better! But, I didn't. So, please accept my apology that I didn't make that clearer. And, anyone who cares to, please feel free to take anything I've written, or even one of my core ideas (teacher-led instructional improvement, for instance), and rip it apart.

Unprepared? Yep, probably -- but as I've said before, that's a systemic problem. Your personal qualities have likely served to mitigate it, and I suspect you are more prepared than you think. I also suspect you'll look back in 15 years and wonder how you did it with so little preparation!

Well, anyway, got to go. Still trying to piece my system back together -- and I need it this weekend for a major effort in my day job.

Hope y'all don't mind if I visit your blogs. I've liked what I've seen so far.

And, Olivia, my wife had the same opinion about the glasses and told me to just trust the folks at the shop when I had to get new ones. I did. She was right. Everyone else seems to like them better, and I certainly do (both for looks and for lightness)! But, on the stuffy part, well, I think it would be wiser for me not to argue with you on that one!


Are you looking for novels, short stories, poetry?
Poetry is a lot easier to find (and read)...

I could send you some ideas.

Will R.

You read. You write. You blog even! You're willing to share your journey. And what you have to say is compelling. I wish my kids had teachers that did the same.

The fact that you're needing to get up to speed on the curriculum says nothing about you OR the quality of your education (unlike what others think.) If this was a perfect world, teachers would know what they're going to teach the minute they start college. Fat chance. Teaching is all about catching up, learning it, revising it. The day you stop feeling like you don't know anything is the day you should run for school board.

And if you should happen to be moving to NJ and need a job, just let me know.


Thanks to everyone's supportive comments.

Keeping a reflective journal wasn't nearly as exciting when I wrote in a notebook instead of keeping a blog.

And, jeez, I really don't want to be one of those new teachers who thinks she knows everything and is going to change the world (not just the school, the WORLD) in one year. I know I've got a lot to learn, and my decision to teach is really just a promise to try as hard as I can.

Please know, I don't want people to keep quiet if they have constructive criticism. One of the beauties of keeping this blog, as I see it, is that other educators can read it and offer their insight if I am off about something.

Just be sweet when you do it.

James Farmer

Well said, keep it going!

Anne Davis


I love your blog! What a good example you are setting for other teachers. Gosh, you are so much further along than I was when I first started teaching. Your blog always gives me a breath of fresh air and the honesty and the search for learning is great. Keep up the good blogging!

I've been teaching for years and I still have lots to learn. That's the fun and the best part of the journey. I learn from you and all the other bloggers who are willing to put their thoughts and ideas out there.

Plus, with Tom and Will on your team - you can't miss! They're the good guys!

Looking forward to continued posts from you!



Couldn't have ever said it better myself. As one of my favorite commenters said to me once... "You make me smile. Thanks!"


An excellent rebuttal, hipteacher -- thoughtful and smart, not unlike the author herself, methinks. Nice to see Dave's apology here, and his follow-up post certainly has a friendlier tone.


Wow, I've been out of the blogloop for a week and return to find the cavalry has mobilized! Well, as all the rest have said, keep it up! You are obviously well educated, willing to learn and work hard, resourceful, thoughtful and reflective. When all is said and done, that trumps experienced teachers who think their time at the job allows them to teach the same old tired curriculum that was "it" 15 years ago but has only succeeded turning students off.

And you've made me think: I've been conducting workshops on the use of blogs in the classroom, focusing on instruction and student use, but now I realize I need to focus just as much energy into showing teachers the value of blogs for professional growth--"thinking out loud" and reflection.

Anyway, you go girl!!!


Anne- Thanks so much. I like your blog too and learn so much from your work. One day I'd love to be involved with one of your classes or something since I'm in your area.

Nancy- Thanks to you too! I used blogs in my classroom when I was student teaching, and I plan using them now that I'm a *real* teacher. But, I love blogs, and that's mostly because of this blog. Education people talk a lot about reflection (it was one of the basic tenets of my master's program) but don't make pre-service teachers practice it enough. Blogs make it instructional and fun. Plus, having everything in one place and the feedback of wonderful educator-types is absolutely invaluable. I think about half of my class of pre-service teachers have started blogs and are still going strong.

Anne Davis


You're in my area! Cool! Where? Email me, let's talk! Maybe I can come visit you!


Your last remark was really pissy. You shouldn't be teaching if you expect the parents of your pupils to prostrate themselves in gratitude over the fact that you "could" make more money in the corporate world. I think you should go out into the corportate world and do just that so you have some appreciation for the challenges you will find there.

The only thing more unappealing than a teacher who bitches and moans about the "ingratitude" of parents is one who threatens to "make more money ..." who in fact has probably never actually worked in the corportate world in the first place.



Thanks for your comment. All I expect from the parents of my students is for them to love their kids and want a good education for them. The post upon which you commented was directed to and resulted from a debate among educators about what texts are best included in the World Literature curriculum.

As far as the corporate world is concerned, I got up, dressed in suits, hose and heels, and worked in that world for a number of years, and I was never more bored in my life. It's true that the paycheck was nice, and I enjoyed buying pretty new shoes whenever I wanted, but I hated the routine and the desk. For me, the challenges and infinite variety of teaching fits my strengths.

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