Between now and November 5th will be - to say the least - busy. Here’s what’s in store for us this week:
· Many of the answers to your questions surrounding SB191 can be found here. There has been one question about “How prepared do I need to be for my Professional Performance Plan (PPP) conference?” that is not currently on the FAQ document. The short answer to that question is that you need to have reviewed your self-assessment and at least have some notes and ideas to begin developing your PPP with your evaluator.
· To find out more about MVEA’s recommended candidates for our school board, please click here.
· Tonight at 6:00 p.m. is the first of several candidate forums. It is being held in the CMU Ballroom on the corner of 12th and Elm. Get there early to get a good seat. Remember, democracy is a participatory sport! Bring your family and show them what it is to be an engaged citizen. Tomorrow’s news will largely be dictated by who cares enough to be in the audience tonight. On a side note, Mr. Manning has agreed, on behalf of the Broncos, to save all of the excitement for after the forum. Seriously, though, this will be done by 7:30 p.m. There will be plenty of football left.
· There’s a thought-provoking Letter to the Editor that you can read here regarding our obligation/responsibility/privilege to provide ELL services. It is the second entry under fellow member Jim Van Pelt’s blog entitled “Why the Internet was Invented”, a very worthy read, as well. The cartoon Jim found to include in the blog is HILARIOUS! Jim was asked to begin blogging on our site because, in his own words, he is “relentlessly pro-teacher and pro-education”. How refreshing. Check in regularly to read his ( and other members’) work.
· Rocky Mountain PBS is screening "The Graduates" which looks at the pressing issues in education today are explored through the eyes of a diverse array of Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States in this eye-opening documentary on the challenges facing both the students and their families. It will be shown on Wednesday, October 16th in the Mesa County Library Community Room. For more information, click here.
· If you have a student teacher, let them know that for a one-time $23 fee they can have legal protection (and all the other benefits of the Association) during the entire time of their student teaching AND that amount will be refunded them when they join as a employed teacher the following year. It’s a no-brainer. They sign up on the same form that all other members do, just attach a note they are a student member with their check for $23 (obviously, they won’t have a payroll deduction) and send it in to our office. We will do the rest!
· Reminder: while candidates must come from the Area they represent, every voter will be voting for ALL MEMBERS of the school board.
· If you haven’t signed for volunteer training yet, please do so here. Remember, it takes less than an hour, you will get to personally meet the candidates, and dinner is provided for you and your family. Plus, you will have all the tools needed to help with this election! Ballots drop in 22 days…
No, not just for cat videos.
Interesting and odd items for teachers fill the Internet, and the miracle of a fast connection and digital display technology means that we can either entertain ourselves or share with our students. The best stuff, though, is hardly ever the straightforwardly educational. It's the emotional or funny that catches my attention.
For example, I don't understand half of this video, but I'll bet our physics and math students will find "Bohemian Gravity" whimsical and memorable (and pretty darned clever--clearly not all the grad students in the world have enough to do).
In the same manner, chemistry students might find Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" pleasantly diverting.
English teachers can share the powerful poem from Taylor Mali, "Tony Steinberg, Brave 7th Grade Warrior." And for themselves, when the world seems excessively bureaucratic, his "I'll Fight You for the Library" reminds them that other teachers struggle too.
Sometimes we just need something funny to start the day, like the Trunk Monkey videos.
And, finally, if the day is dark and my teaching soul needs provocation, fifty seconds with the Despicable Me minions and the "Banana Song" will start me on the path to recovery.
~ Jim Van Pelt