I’ve been a very good girl this year. I have held my tongue on many occasions, especially at meetings, because I know it's not nice to say "This is bullshit" in front of one's colleagues. I don’t roll my eyes any more when people talk about accountable talk and “thinking outside the box” and all those other obnoxious edu-speak words that I've grown to abhor. I’ve even made some honest efforts to use the workshop model. (Well, I did in January, for about three days. That counts, right?)
Most importantly, I’m not even asking for anything for myself; it’s the ultimate unselfish act! However, I want the following special people to have some things.
For my colleagues: a working copy machine with lots and lots of toner. Class sets of books. A curriculum. Respect.
For Papa Joel: a copy of Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, which might give you a little more understanding of what some of our kids are really up against, and why our current approaches aren’t working as well as you’d like the public to believe.
For The Mayor: What do you get the man who has everything? Oh, I know. A clue.
For Randi: I don’t know what I want you to have, but I know what I don’t want you to have: more chances to sell us out.
For Jim Liebman: Running shoes. Watch out for shin splints.
For my students: Smaller classes. Admission to the high schools of your choice. Fair assessments that serve an educational purpose. More than one gym period a week. More chances to study things like art, music and technology (of course, this would mean that you would no longer be able to have three periods of ELA and two periods of math a day; I hope you don’t mind.)
For my fellow teacher-bloggers and teachers everywhere: A restful, happy and safe holiday season.
p.s I changed my mind. I want a week at an all-inclusive resort with Mister and Beany.