Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Will you yodel for me and help my students in the process?

Yahoo recently developed a "Yodel Studio" and for a short time is giving any one who records a short yodel (like 3 seconds) a $10 gift certificate to spend on!

It's absolutely free to you, and my students would really benefit.

Here's what you do:

1. Go to Yahoo's yodel studio:

2. Record your yodel, immediately after you record and submit your yodel a gift card number will pop up on the screen.

3. Go to and make a $10 donation, put in the gift card number and boom! My students will have $10 more going towards their AP tests.

Anyone can do it from anywhere in the world, so please get yodeling and tell a friend!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This evening I'm going to be part of a panel of teachers interviewed by Florence Bernard from Blog Talk Radio, the topic is Challenges Teachers face. You can listen to the show here. It will be live at 6:30 pm this evening, but will be available after that for anyone to listen to. Yay!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Now that you know everything there is to know about teaching...

quit your teaching career. Become a "writer". Tell other teachers how to teach. When all is said and done think "Wow, that was an eventful 3 years".

I am a little tired of hearing about teachers who teach for a short period of time (We're talking 2 or 3 years), quit their jobs, then write a book about how great they were. These books are then used as "textbooks" for Graduate programs in education. Maybe this is more a reflection of grad schools for their poor choice of required readings, than the teacher in question.

Regardless, I am all about a teacher book, a teacher blog, a teacher website. I am also ready, willing, and able to collaborate like the best of them. However, I have NO interest in hearing what you have to say once you're an outsider. I just don't feel that someone who taught for two years has any business schooling me on my career.

Yes, you read correctly.

I said career, not temp position.

Don't get me wrong, I love to hear from experienced retired teachers, that's fantastic and always welcome. I also enjoy conversations with new teachers as they have lots of fresh and exciting ideas and tons of enthusiasm. I've also learned plenty during what I'd like to call "what not to do" conversations with the not-so-hot hot-shot teachers at my school. I'm just a little frustrated that "the experts in the field" have decided to use their self-diagnosed "talent" and "skill" to teach adults how to teach rather than children.

Two books on the required list for my grad program were written by teachers described above. One is The Freedom Writers Diary the well-known book that is now a major motion picture, and the other Educating Esme.

Both of the ladies who wrote the books linked above taught for 2-3 years. I read both of these books, and enjoyed them! Don't get me wrong, I love me a teacher or student narrative. It was just soooo disappointing to reach the end, eager to find out the good they are doing in public schools, only to find out that they left the classroom years ago, shortly after entering it.

Maybe a teacher who doesn't quite make it in the classroom is a more entertaining read than one who is still there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A donation to my giving page!!

A big Thank You to HP from Palo Alto, CA! HP made a donation to my giving page, contributing to a website dedicated to making the lives of teachers and public school children better. has made a huge difference in my classroom and other classrooms at my school. My students have benefited from the resources we have received from the kind people who use the website and donorschoose.

If anyone would like to make a donation like HP did, please click on the right hand side where it says "Social Media Challenge" or just follow this link.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Target Field Trip Grants

I just submitted my application for a Target Field Trip Grant. If you are a teacher or know one, I highly recommend you apply for this grant. The application is quite simple, just explain your idea for the trip and how it would benefit your students and your curriculum. If selected, Target will give you up to $800 to make your field trip dream a reality. Applications are due November 3rd, and they notify winners in mid-January 2010.

Here's the link!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Call for Favorite Books

Since I work and live in New York City, like most, I have a rather lengthy commute. I am on a combination of bus, and two subway lines during my hour long commute. In order to keep myself occupied, I read. Two of my favorite book from the last few years are:

A Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

This was such a good book, yet a little embarrassing to read. I was crying at the end, on the subway! Read it, and then see the movie! Both were great!

The other book that I truly loved is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

This book inspired me to start an indoor vegetable garden and to eat locally. It's a little slow to start, but then it picks up and is an excellent read. She also has some great recipe ideas as well.

How about you? Do you have any book recommendations for someone with a long commute?