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General

Voices from the BAM Radio Community sharing their thoughts, insights and teaching strategies.

Posted by on in General
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Tomorrow, America gets a new president. Some view it as the apocalypse. Others see Donald Trump as the savior.
 
Surely, things will change. Things always change. But who we are does not have to.
 
Politicians would have us believe our future is in their hands. But this is wrong.

No one's getting the American Dream, a car, or even a pony when Trump takes office. We'll still have to think, hustle, and put skills to use to get these things if we want them. No one is getting saved.

And it's all good because...

We learn so that we can think.

We believe in people and in ourselves so we can persevere. 

We work together so we can gain skills.

...
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Posted by on in General

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I am a teacher. For over three decades, I have taught in the public school system. Most of the teachers and administrators with whom I have worked have been focused on what is good, what is right, what is important for the students in their charge. The number one priority for all has always been the well-being – present and future – of the children who grace their classrooms.

Our system is not broken. We are not broken. Like any organization, there are areas that require attention, that demand improvement. But our system does not need to be demolished and buried. The work that we do must not be vilified.

I have two college degrees in education. I know educational theory and practice. I live it every day. I have seen programs come and go and come back again in a shinier package. I have watched as experts with little or no experience in this field craft legislation and directives that are meant to guide my instruction. I have watched as their solutions to correct the ills of this system crash and burn. Then, with my colleagues, I have endured the wrath of scorn for the failures produced.

Yet we stand strong and show up again and again, day after day to greet the children in our classrooms. We are not broken.

...
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Posted by on in General

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Most of my current students were born in 2006, thirty-eight years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. Their knowledge of the Civil Rights leader was broadened this week as they moved through their reading, writing and social studies classes.

I am the oldest member of my grade level team. I was about the age my kids are now when King was shot, so I was able to give them a unique perspective of that era of our country's history. I recalled for them my listening to Walter Cronkite announcing the assassination on the evening of April 4, 1968. The kids looked at me in awe, and many asked, "You were alive then?"

How fast time has passed. How old I suddenly feel.

I shared footage of Dr. King and his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. But I also shared footage of his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech as well. My kids were not familiar with this speech, his final public words, spoken the evening before his death.

...
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Posted by on in General

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Assumptions

He came flying off of the bus in a scene that looked like it belonged in an action movie. Jumping and hitting at the same time, his mission was to hurt another child. There was no excuse for this type of anger and violence. I immediately took him to my office, all the while giving him the business about what I had just seen.

What were you doing?

What made you think it was okay to do that?

...
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Posted by on in General

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With hope in my heart and passion in my soul I am reposting last year's MLK inspired missive. This year, more important than ever, may we recognize Dr. King's aspirations and belief in the future success stories for all America's children. 

Tonight my heart is filled with joy. As we welcome the successes of the New Year, I have faith in the future of our public schools. This is the perfect time to celebrate!

Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, January 15th is here. This date marks my 46th year as a teacher. It doesn't get better than that. And here I am, still teaching, now in a preschool, hopefully making a difference.

I was born on Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Perhaps that is why I have always had such a strong social conscience. I've been teaching reading nearly my whole life. When I was six, I was dragging neighborhood kids into my 'schoolroom'. Being a Principal was logical and a highlight of my career.

...
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