Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaching Grief: A Reflection | Young Teachers Collective

Teaching Grief: A Reflection | Young Teachers Collective:

Teaching Grief: A Reflection

By: Jacob Chaffin
**Trigger Warning: Suicide, Death
What follows is a reflection of the toughest week I have experienced in my first year as a teacher. Names have been changed and some events intentionally have details missing in order to respect the families involved.
A few weeks ago I woke up to a text from the principal at my school explaining that the school was experiencing a tragedy and that he needed me to stay the entire day (I’m a teaching fellow, so I only teach 4 hours a day). Next came the email from the district superintendent explaining that Mr.Wheeler, a well respected elementary teacher, had taken his own life.
Denial
I don’t think I have ever opened an email that shocked me as much as that one. In fact, it wasn’t until the 4th read that I began to understand the gravity of the situation. I slowly began to realize that an important figure in our school, someone just down the hall from me, would no longer be there. My next thoughts were of my students and accepting that his son, Jared, was in my language arts class. Dealing with loss was not something that I had experience in, nor did I feel that this was something that my teacher education courses prepared me for. I felt wholly unqualified to console Jared, my students, or other teachers. Nonetheless, I understand that there are some situations no amount of training can prepare you for. This was one of them.
Anger
When I made it to the school I immediately went to a veteran teacher to ask for advice. In a moment of honesty she expressed that she has never experienced a situation like this either, and was equally at a loss. Although it was frustrating that she didn’t have a set of strategies or best practices, it was also comforting to know that we were equals in navigating the grieving process with our students.
The principal and district responded by having the entire school staff meet in an emergency morning meeting. We were updated on the situation and informed that social workers and counselors from throughout the region were being brought into the school. We were also encouraged to do whatever we thought was necessary to help our students and fellow teachers.
Bargaining
The students slowly filled the classrooms around 10:30 am. Some students were aware of what had occurred that morning. You could see it on their faces. Meanwhile others had no clue. We, the 5th grade staff, explained that the principal and social worker would be around shortly to tell the students what had happened. Not only did the principal tell the students the facts, he also began the grieving process. He assured students that their emotions and questions were valid, and told them where they could find/reach out for support within the building.
After the meeting we split back into our separate homerooms. As expected, the students were expressing a wide range of emotions; from open grief, to silent stoicism, to passive indifference, and everywhere between. In order to facilitate a more structured space for students to express themselves and support one another, a fellow teacher and I opened up one classroom to serve just that purpose.
Depression
I didn’t have a plan or an expected outcome, but I knew that I could be doing something better for my students. I understood that taking on such a traumatic experience should not be done in isolation. We arranged the room into a large circle. I began by explaining that this would be a space for all of us to express ourselves, ask questions (whether anyone had answers or not), and share stories about Mr. Wheeler. We reiterated that all emotions were valid. The other teacher Teaching Grief: A Reflection | Young Teachers Collective:

Big Education Ape: Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 4/14/15


Special Nite Cap - Catch Up on Today's Post 4/14/15


Special Nite Cap 

CORPORATE ED REFORM





Diane Ravitch will debate testing & opt out with Chancellor Tisch -To test or not to test All In with Chris Hayes
All In with Chris Hayes on msnbc:To test or not to testOn the first day of Common Core assessments in New York state this year, thousands of students refused to take the exam - 70% in one district - amid a growing opt-out movement among parents. Chris Hayes hosts the great debate over the benefits and...Duration: 9:29
Rewind: In Case You didn't Know - The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Business-Managed Education - Business Campaigns - The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation:Eli and Edythe Broad FoundationThe Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation calls itself "a national venture philanthropy established by entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad (pictured with Edythe) to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts". Eli Broad made his billion
Teachers' union opposes potential Broadie BUSD supt. hire - Burbank Leader
Teachers' union opposes potential BUSD supt. hire - Burbank Leader: Teachers' union opposes potential BUSD supt. hireThe Burbank Teachers Assn. sent an email blast to its membership Monday evening urging public school employees and other community members to voice their opposition to Burbank Unified superintendent candidate Matthew Hill, who currently works in the Los Angeles public school system.
After-school programs could be cut at four Sacramento schools | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
After-school programs could be cut at four Sacramento schools | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee:After-school programs could be cut at four Sacramento schools  The city of Sacramento is considering closing 4th “R” after-school programs at four Sacramento City Unified School district campuses and severing its ties to another after-school program at 18 schools.A City Council discussion on the p
Let’s hear it for failure, bullying, underage drinking–and, of course, PARCC testing | Bob Braun's Ledger
Let’s hear it for failure, bullying, underage drinking–and, of course, PARCC testing | Bob Braun's Ledger: Let’s hear it for failure, bullying, underage drinking–and, of course, PARCC testing Some might believe the relentless testing regime plaguing public schools—but not the most prestigious private schools—will improve learning. Others have endorsed testing as a way of attacking veteran teachers
Hillary Clinton Thinks Common Core “A Good Idea” | deutsch29
Hillary Clinton Thinks Common Core “A Good Idea” | deutsch29: Hillary Clinton Thinks Common Core “A Good Idea” Hillary Clinton was in Iowa today, campaigning.According to The Guardian’s live blog coverage by Tom McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is sympathetic towards “the plight of Common Core.” McCarthy reports::Clinton bemoaned the plight of Common Core educational standards, a good idea she said had b
AFT President Randi Weingarten was on Tavis Smiley yesterday! They discussed two dominant philosophies in education - American Federation of Teachers
AFT - American Federation of Teachers:  AFT - American Federation of TeachersAFT President Randi Weingarten was on Tavis Smiley yesterday! They discussed two dominant philosophies in education.Posted by AFT - American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday, April 14, 2015AFT President Randi Weingarten was on Tavis Smiley yesterday! They discussed two dominant philosophies in education.
Confidential Report: EduProfiteers See a Big Market in Education | Diane Ravitch's blog
Confidential Report: EduProfiteers See a Big Market in Education | Diane Ravitch's blog: Confidential Report: EduProfiteers See a Big Market in Education  This arrived in my email box today. The author, who owns a literacy company, asked to remain anonymous. He is describing an entrepreneurs’ conclave at Arizona State University, cosponsored byGSV Capital, whose leader, Michael Moe, has been bulli
Want to Make a Buck? Invest in Charter Schools by T.N. Box Chair of Teacher in the Box
1. Come up with a cool "Education" name:2. Partner with your local Astro Turf Corporate Education Reform non profit (sic)Beware of AstroTurf Ed Reformers Just Like Michelle Rhee's Students first only BETTERAstroturf lobbying refers to political organizations or campaigns that appear to be made up of grassroots activists but are actually organized and run by corporate interests seeking to
Pro PARCC post in Gist memo is propaganda piece
Pro PARCC post in Gist memo is propaganda piece: Pro PARCC post in Gist memo is propaganda piece In her recent field memo of April 3, 2015Commissioner Gist took the unusual step of quoting an entire blog post.“I’m a mom,” it begins. “And the happiness of my children, now and in the future as they go on to start careers and families of their own, is on my mind all the time.”The post was written by
THE STATE OF AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION: DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN - Badass Teachers Association
Badass Teachers Association: THE STATE OF AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION: DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAINBy Andrés Rodríguez Jr., father of BAT and DREAM admin Aixa Rodriguez How the current apostates of education reform distort the meaning of “public” in public education is breathtaking. More astonishing is the perversion of time-tested and proven elements of good public education with its concomitant, predict
Anti-Union Group StudentsFirst Launched Astroturf Campaign to Undermine Teachers | Alternet
Anti-Union Group StudentsFirst Launched Astroturf Campaign to Undermine Teachers | Alternet: Anti-Union Group StudentsFirst Launched Astroturf Campaign to Undermine TeachersMichelle Rhee's group is sneakily trying to rebrand itself to advance its anti-union agenda.StudentsFirst, the organization founded by Michelle Rhee to battle teachers unions over education policy, has seen better days – having
¡Si Se Puede Take the Test! | EduShyster
¡Si Se Puede Take the Test! | EduShyster: ¡Si Se Puede Take the Test! Test takers who are still learning English get a special treat this time of year...Pssst: did you know that there is a connection between how well one speaks English and how well one performs on a test conducted in English? If your answer was *no,* *I don’t understand the question,* or *charter schools,* an exciting leadership o
Thousands Likely To Sit Out New York English, Math Tests
Thousands Likely To Sit Out New York English, Math Tests: Thousands Likely To Sit Out New York English, Math Tests BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Parent leaders of the movement to boycott New York's standardized tests say opting children out could do more for their education than the tests themselves.As English assessments are given Tuesday through Thursday to more than 1 million third- through eighth-grad
The Assault on Public Education Continues in North Carolina - The K-12 Contrarian - Education Week
The Assault on Public Education Continues in North Carolina - The K-12 Contrarian - Education Week: The Assault on Public Education Continues in North Carolina Down in North Carolina, a revolution is afoot. The revolution appears to have begun in 2008, when a little known senator from some northern state managed to get himself on the ballot as the nominee of one of the two major parties (the one t
Teachers Have Had Enough! | M. Shannon Hernandez
Teachers Have Had Enough! | M. Shannon Hernandez: Teachers Have Had Enough!BATs Demand Change of DirectionBadass Teacher (BAT) AssociationWELCOME TO THE BAT CAVEBadass Teacher Association Web Site I've been watching my social media feeds. Teachers are banding together like never before on Twitter and Facebook and using their voices to speak the truth about what is happening in our public schools.
‘Congratulations to me. I have been offered a position as a professional scorer by Pearson.’ - The Washington Post
‘Congratulations to me. I have been offered a position as a professional scorer by Pearson.’ - The Washington Post: ‘Congratulations to me. I have been offered a position as a professional scorer by Pearson.’ Jennifer White is a parent and former elementary school teacher who taught Grades 1-4 over the course of 15 years. She lives in Basking Ridge, N.J., and has four children — ages 8, 10, 12 and
Common Core consequences: “What currently passes for reform’ has caused considerable collateral damage to schools and teachers” - Salon.com
Common Core consequences: “What currently passes for reform’ has caused considerable collateral damage to schools and teachers” - Salon.com: Common Core consequences: “What currently passes for reform’ has caused considerable collateral damage to schools and teachers”California flipped education-reform script, knowing sanctions/test-driven accountability helps no one. Here's how Politicians from a
Charter Schools Failing on Their Promises | Al Jazeera America
Charter Schools Failing on Their Promises | Al Jazeera America: Time for a moratorium on charter schoolsCharters have failed to deliver, and their expansion should be put on hold Charter schools are everywhere. Not long ago, these publicly funded but privately run institutions were a relative rarity. Those that existed served mostly as experimental academies whose successful lessons could be appli
Large numbers of students refuse standardized tests | wivb.com
Large numbers of students refuse standardized tests | wivb.com: Large numbers of students refuse standardized testsBUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Indications are that more students in western New York are refusing to take New York State’s standardized tests for English.Testing begins Tuesday for grades three through eight.In West Seneca 56 percent of students have said they will opt-out of the state exams
The Future Of California's Education System Debated | Neon Tommy
The Future Of California's Education System Debated | Neon Tommy: The Future Of California's Education System Debated Vergara v. California found that unequal education is not just wrong; it’s unconstitutional. The case involves nine student plaintiffs who sued the state claiming that certain statutes regarding teacher retention rates violate the California Constitution and thus deny students of e
Is Neighborhood-Based Education Liberal? -- NYMag
Is Neighborhood-Based Education Liberal? -- NYMag: Is Neighborhood-Based Education Liberal? Hillary Clinton's official campaign announcement video is a charming pastiche of ordinary people describing changes in their lives. One woman featured in it says, “My daughter is starting kindergarten next year, and so we’re moving, just so she can belong to a better school.”This is a completely ordinary ac
Atlanta Public Schools educators sentenced - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports
Atlanta Public Schools educators sentenced - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports: Atlanta Public Schools educators sentenced ATLANTA (CBS46) -Ten Atlanta teachers and administrators who changed answers on students' standardized tests were sentenced Tuesday.Earlier this month, 11 of 12 educators were found guilty of racketeering, in addition to charges ranging from theft by
Test Mania: Preparing Students for Life Under Modern Capitalism | The Indypendent
Test Mania: Preparing Students for Life Under Modern Capitalism | The Indypendent: Test Mania: Preparing Students for Life Under Modern Capitalism BYBERTELL OLLMANAPRIL 9, 2015ISSUE #205The psychologist Bill Livant has remarked, “When a liberal sees a beggar, he says the system isn’t working. When a Marxist does, he says it is.” The same insight could be applied today to the entire area of educati
Susan Bonilla for Senate 2015
Susan Bonilla for Senate 2015: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla is a former high school teacher, mayor and county supervisor, who has worked to strengthen neighborhood schools, protect public safety services, and support job growth and working families across the state.Prior to her election to the State Assembly in 2010, Bonilla served as a Contra Costa County Supervisor and as the Mayor of Concord – t
Charters are Cash Cows | Yinzercation
Charters are Cash Cows | Yinzercation: Charters are Cash Cows  Charter schools are cash cows feeding at the public trough. Oh, there are a few good ones here and there, to be sure. But if there was ever any doubt that charter schools have become Big Business, take a look at the list of the largest campaign contributors in Pennsylvania. Three of the top ten on a new “Power Players” report are throw

YESTERDAY

The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29
The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29: The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final PostOn April 7, 2015, the Senate education committee announced the following as part of a press release:WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7 – Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced a bipartisan agr
Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap - California State University, Sacramento, Pakou Her
Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap - Higher Education: Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap SAN FRANCISCO — Before enrolling at California State University, Sacramento, Pakou Her didn’t contemplate careers beyond what her family suggested. Furthermore, Her didn’t think of herself as Asian American, only Hmong American.But all that changed in college, where she beg
Big Education Ape: Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 4/13/15
Special Nite Cap - Catch Up on Today's Post 4/13/15Special Nite Cap CORPORATE ED REFORMA Nation's Shame: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in PovertyA Nation's Shame: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in Poverty: A Nation's Shame: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in Poverty(Photo: Ian Carroll)America's wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $3





2015 National Conference – Chicago

The Countdown to Chicago Has Begun!

The Network For Public Education | 2015 National Conference – Chicago 




LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education