What happens when a group of teachers starts talking at a party? Do we talk about current events or television or our new pedicures? Maybe at first...but inevitably, the conversation turns to the job that eats us alive ten months of the year. Teachers love to talk about teaching. We commiserate and compare notes. We give each other book suggestions and analyze the mysteries of student behavior. We also tend to drive every non-educator around us screaming from the room.
I've created this community to be a teacher oasis: a place for educators to discuss issues, strategies, and content relevant to life in their classes. You can ask questions or look for suggestions, and I encourage you to do so. One of the best things about this career is that we are never alone. Someone out there has had the same problem or designed the same unit, and all of our classrooms benefit when we freely share ideas and information.
At times, this forum may also be a place to vent about situations you're facing at work: administration, students, parents, etc. If you choose do so, please remember that this is a public forum with no assurance of privacy--you should always use pseudonyms for your school, your colleagues and bosses, and especially your students and their families. It is my hope that venting does not become the focus of this community unless you are actively seeking solutions to the problem you are facing. We are certainly here to support each other, but we are primarily here as a group of professionals pooling our experience and knowledge to improve our practices. I encourage a comfortable and informal tone to this community, but please do keep your posts and comments professional and collegial at all times.
Some people may join because they are considering entering the profession or because education fascinates them, and we welcome you as well.
My name is Kristin, and I'm the creator of this community. For the last ten years, I've taught all levels of regular English and many English electives in grades 9-12 (ages 14-18 mainly, for non-US teachers). I have an incredible passion for teaching and come from a long line of teachers: both of my parents were in teaching for 37 years before they retired, and my grandparents taught for years as well. My great-grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural New England. My father claims that this is a sign of a troubling genetic flaw, this tendency to be drawn to dealing with all the stresses of teaching. I think he's joking. Mostly. We all sometimes wonder why exactly we do this.
I have also been through the National Board Certification process and became an NBCT (English/Language Arts for Adolescents and Young Adults) in 2002, so I'll happily share my experiences with it, especially if you are considering becoming one yourself.
As of August of 2005, I started a new year at a new school in a new state! After great eight years of public school in Connecticut, I accepted a position at a private high school in California. I'm now transitioning into another new school in Los Angeles that I'm extremely excited about. It's an all-girls private school with a great reputation, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
So...all that said, welcome to the teacher oasis! Sit back, sip a Mai Tai, and let's talk shop.