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General

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

Posted by on in General

Hopefully touching your hearts on Teacher Appreciation Week 2019! 

Just a lot of teaching stuff! I give up. SOS. Worst organizer, ever, and I'm moving again. Oh boy.

Dearie me, I am a late bloomer as usual. I said feh until now about the crazy deal about organizing and tidying up. Morgan told me about Marie Kondo. She and her mama have been watching "YouTube" videos and all of a sudden, Barbie Town is shut down, stuffies and bags of baby toys donated to preschool, that sort of thing. But when Rebecca told me Morgan was organizing her drawers and folding everything, I really was pretty darn impressed. 

I kept hearing snippets about it, but I was too busy hunting through stacks of teaching stuff in several remaining closets. Long gone are class sets of jump ropes, xylophones etc. Remaining? Favorite children's classics, reading manipulatives, treasure box junk, art materials, you know what I mean.

Added to that, teaching antiques besides me, including bells, slates, ink wells, readers and a couple things I never saw before or since, like a first Big Book. Standing manipulative chalk board, and my McGuffey's, dreamy.

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Posted by on in General

Today, the first day after the state writing test, was a day of decompressing, reflecting, and celebrating.  I began each class with my assessment of how I thought the day had gone.

“I’m not allowed to read your work,” I explained.  “None of us are.  But all of your teachers spent the entire day circulating through our classrooms and making sure that all of you were on task.  Let me tell you, our feet are tired.”

I paused for a moment and then continued, “I was so impressed that you listened to me and that you all filled those giant four-squares to the max!  Hallelujah!  We all were impressed.  Truthfully, none of us have ever seen kids spend so much time planning, writing, and revising a rough draft!  There is simply no way your scores can be low!  I am so proud of you!”

Marni raised her hand.  “Mr. Ramsey, you turned some really awful writers into great writers!”

“Thank you,” I replied.  “But you all were already good writers.  That little seed of creativity was buried inside of you.  It just needed a little attention and time.”

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Posted by on in General

 26 standardized full

The first day of this year's state testing is tomorrow. I know I shouldn't be nervous, especially after being a teacher all these years, but I am. Our first test is writing and, of course, the weight of the first assessment is on my shoulders since I am the writing teacher. 

I've worked hard to teach my seventh graders, and I know they have worked hard also (well, most of them). I love reading their work and really can see a big difference from when they were with me in fifth grade. Two years with me - I hope I've done them justice.

Today was my last day to practice with them, and I tried to review every possible thing I could. I reviewed the state writing rubric (for the 100th time), and I reminded the kids that I've been using it all year long to grade their work. I talked about playing the game right and how to get the most points possible. 

Sal sighed and said, "Mr. Ramsey, I'm really nervous. I'll try to do my best."

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Posted by on in General

Thank-You-Teachers-But.jpg

I have been out of the classroom – let me start over – I have not been a classroom teacher for over ten years. Technically speaking, as an elementary school assistant principal, I am in and out of classrooms every day. But … there is a huge difference between being in a classroom and running a classroom. Trust me, the increasing degree of difficulty of the latter is not lost on this veteran administrator.

This is why I want to take this time to thank you. And while I couldn’t possibly list all the reasons that I am grateful for what you do, I would like to highlight three that continuously amaze me.

1. We all need to see the doctor, dentist, or chiropractor from time to time—either when we are not feeling well or for wellness check ups for ourselves and our family members. I know that getting and making appointments can be difficult. Some waiting lists are months long. I am also aware of fact that health professionals see patients in the middle of the day.

Yet, you still make dentist appointments at 7 AM so you can get to school before your students arrive. You still take the latest prenatal check ups your doctor has available because your students have a test the next day and there is no way a sub could get them ready to add fractions with unlike denominators. And you still schedule appointments on your days off instead of on days in which school is in session because you want to be there for your students and your colleagues.

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Posted by on in General

Cheaters. Varsity Blues, greed, mega drama of poor choices and lost voices. 

It makes me sick reading about parents who gamed college admissions. Not like we didn't already know about some stuff, but this took it way over the top. I'm sure you agree. In fact, by now probably we are all saturated with the obnoxious stories, only details remaining. Or maybe not, I'm not sure anymore.

I still can't believe when I read the Moms in question are freaked out by the reasonable response to their poor behavior. I still can't believe the Moms in question are making excuses. I still can't believe they all did it, anyway. Good grief, Bad Parenting 101. Are you kidding me? 

Is cheating so common to rich and not so rich, maybe less monied too, that we take it for granted? is this becoming the rule, not the exception? Are we to believe we are now a nation of cheaters? And it's ok? Why bother applying for college anyway. Just pay someone else to write the application and essays, for sure, fake any videos probably, testing, no problem, why bother to study with tutors, just pay off the proctors. Or better yet have a 'body double' sit in and take the test. Easy A. Awful.

 I'm all about forgiveness, but on my freak out scale, this scandal ranks off the chart. Claiming disabilities, faking athletic status, cheating on exams by inflating scores, changing answers, etc. A lot of cheaters in this food chain. Follow the money trail, or maybe not yet, too many characters in this bad movie.

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