Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I have always, since the first time I stepped into my own classroom, loved my job. I have always looked forward to going to work. I have loved my time with my students. I have appreciated people's comments about my having answered a noble calling. I have accepted, with gratitude, discounts given to me because I am a teacher. It has truly been a great profession.

Until now.

Teachers are under attack from all sides. The issues are aplenty. Tenure, pay structure, unions, accountability, test scores, the length of the school year, curriculum, virtually every facet of public education is being deconstructed by people who have not the first clue how public education actually works.

Today, I'll talk about tenure.

On Oprah Winfrey's recent show with Davis Guggenheim, director of "Waiting for Superman," the hostess uttered these words: "After two years you have a job for life and you can't be fired! Who does that?"

Uh, no, Oprah. That's not what tenure is. But it's not surprising that you think that. I've read it in dozens of places recently, including from your "Warrior Woman," Michelle Rhee. What tenure does is that it guarantees due process rights to teachers so that they can't be fired without cause. Here's a source you might actually want to read.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Year of Hell

It has been more like the 18 months of hell, but who's counting?

When my dad died on Father's Day in 2009, a long cascade of trouble began and we can't quite seem to find our way through it. It seems like everywhere we turn, some new disaster awaits. We've had tax problems, car problems, health problems, work problems, you name it.

As I looked at my blogger account today, I see that I haven't posted since August 9. I'm not surprised. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I don't want to use my blog to complain about the garbage that keeps happening to us. Blogs are meant for others to read and be entertained, and little about our last 18 months has been entertaining.

We are taking our small pleasures where we can find them, mostly through our daughter Sera, but the rest of life's joys seem few and far between right now.