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How many mudcatters are teachers?

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bbc 11 Jun 06 - 06:13 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 11 Jun 06 - 10:50 AM
bbc 10 Jun 06 - 10:46 AM
Wilfried Schaum 10 Jun 06 - 07:37 AM
Lizzie Cornish 10 Jun 06 - 06:58 AM
Folkiedave 10 Jun 06 - 03:23 AM
Tannywheeler 09 Jun 06 - 09:15 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 09 Jun 06 - 08:01 PM
Scoville 09 Jun 06 - 01:12 PM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Jun 06 - 11:13 AM
M.Ted 08 Jun 06 - 05:31 PM
Richard Bridge 07 Jun 06 - 06:17 PM
vectis 07 Jun 06 - 02:35 PM
Ruston Hornsby 07 Jun 06 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 07 Jun 06 - 03:11 AM
Wilfried Schaum 07 Jun 06 - 02:56 AM
dulcimer42 06 Jun 06 - 11:09 PM
bbc 06 Jun 06 - 07:15 PM
Scoville 06 Jun 06 - 11:31 AM
ksloan 06 Jun 06 - 11:27 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Jun 06 - 11:24 AM
black walnut 06 Jun 06 - 11:18 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 06 Jun 06 - 10:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jun 06 - 10:21 AM
Fibula Mattock 06 Jun 06 - 09:13 AM
Lizzie Cornish 06 Jun 06 - 08:25 AM
Sooz 06 Jun 06 - 08:13 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Jun 06 - 07:52 AM
Mrs.Duck 06 Jun 06 - 07:27 AM
Mooh 06 Jun 06 - 07:18 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Jun 06 - 04:46 AM
Ruston Hornsby 06 Jun 06 - 04:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jun 06 - 04:26 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Jun 06 - 04:23 AM
Cats at Work 06 Jun 06 - 04:20 AM
thespionage 06 Jun 06 - 01:19 AM
Pauline L 06 Jun 06 - 01:10 AM
bbc 05 Jun 06 - 07:23 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 06 - 07:07 PM
wdyat12 16 May 01 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Rag 16 May 01 - 08:13 AM
Firecat 16 May 01 - 04:11 AM
wysiwyg 16 May 01 - 01:28 AM
Susan from California 16 May 01 - 01:02 AM
wysiwyg 16 May 01 - 12:39 AM
Mark Cohen 15 May 01 - 08:52 PM
wysiwyg 15 May 01 - 08:40 PM
Dunkle 15 May 01 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Lucius 14 May 01 - 10:39 PM
vectis 14 May 01 - 06:39 PM
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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: bbc
Date: 11 Jun 06 - 06:13 PM

I have that cd, Jim. Yup, "Brandon Moved Away" is a special song. I've had students like that. Thanks for bringing it up.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 11 Jun 06 - 10:50 AM

The people in the above argument need to go to www.judydomenybowen.com and get a copy of her two albums for teachers---especially "Teacher Therapy" (the first one). Then play the last song. After that play the rest of the album. If one pokes a bit of fun at his or her profession, it doesn't mean that they are dissatisfied with or critical of that profession. The last song on the album is a true story and encapsulates the feelings of a truely dedicated teacher.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: bbc
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 10:46 AM

I can see the truth in all of the above posts. Teaching tends to be a misunderstood & under-appreciated profession, at least in the U.S. In the public schools, we are required to teach all the children who live in our area, regardless of their behavior, their ability to speak English, etc. Many times, as I'm trying to get attention from my higher needs students, I sigh on behalf of those who are quietly waiting for the opportunity to learn. Most educators would love to be able to work one-on-one w/ our students, to best meet individual needs & learning styles. Unfortunately, that is seldom possible. We deal with hectic schedules, administrators who may throw us to the wolves rather than check to see if parental criticism is justified, budget constraints that frequently make it easier to just spend our own money on our students, state standards & tests that often seem out-of-step with reality in the classroom. Every time I hear someone say that teachers work 6-hour days, 10 months a year, I laugh. I am at school, most days, approximately an hour before contract time & 1-2 hours after contract time. Most of my contract hours are spent in direct instruction; that's the only way I can keep up with my work. Various kinds of training to improve my teaching skills come out of my evening hours. At home, I do my lesson planning, grade papers, do most of the ordering for the next year, etc. During the summer, I make plans for the next year's program.

All of that being said, we each, to some degree, choose our careers. I chose to be a teacher. Having made that choice, it is my goal to do my job to the best of my ability. I see those students--the ones who are easy to teach & the ones who aren't, the ones who are eager & the ones who couldn't care less, the ones who like me & my program & the ones who don't, the ones I like & the very few who I can't seem to--as the future of our world & they deserve my best. I chose them, just as I chose to be a parent; they didn't choose me. Each job has its value, but not all directly influence the future of the world for good or ill as teaching does. If we do this job just as a way to meet expenses, we do the world a disservice.

Respectfully,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 07:37 AM

Lizzie - you don't seem to have read my post properly. Neverwhere I told that I have taught children; I taught adults at university. at the fire department and in the army. Doesn't that make a great difference?


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 06:58 AM

>>>From: M.Ted - PM Date: 08 Jun 06 - 05:31 PM

I taught for a number of years, and know quite a number of teachers, Lizzie--they tend to be happy to see parents like you leave the system--the reasons for it are evident in your post--You think that they are lazy, uncaring, and uninterested in their kids. You also think that the answers to all the problems in education are simple, and the that the reason that they haven't been solved is that the teachers are all too stupid and too stubborn to do what is so obvious to you.--You also think that it is the teachers responsibility to solve every problem related to the education of your children, and at the same time, that teachers have no right or business telling your children what they can and cannot do. I can assure you that they are happy to be rid of you--At the same time though, they are sorry to lose your children, because they really do care about them, and they are disturbed by the very real possibility that, rather than giving them an education, you are simply indoctrinating them with all of your prejudices--<<<

Far from being the parents from hell, my husband and I were nothing but supportive of good teachers. Even with the bad ones we, wrongly with hindsight, kept quiet. My children were apparently always 'a pleasure to teach.'

I'd suggest you take the time to read my post again. Most of what you have quoted is not what I said at all. It is what YOU have said. And far from being 'indoctrinated' by us, our children are now more free than they have ever been, to learn whatever they so choose. They both read masses of books, taking in, along the way, hundreds of ideas, opinions and outlooks from all sorts of people. They will talk easily and intelligently to anyone, of any age, any background, any colour. They put no labels upon any person.

And as far teachers being sorry to lose my children whom they 'cared' for so much...No, that is totally and utterly wrong! My daughter was falling apart in front of their eyes, yet all they could do was put even more pressure on her, to achieve, to belong to after-school clubs, to take test after test...but NEVER once was she asked if she was OK, never was she *asked* anything at all. But she was dictated to, over and over.

And as for these *pathetic* words:

>>>From: Wilfried Schaum - PM Date: 09 Jun 06 - 11:13 AM

Well roared, lion - that is one of the causes why I always preferred to teach adults (my mother wanted to see me as a college techer - beware!). No bloody parents to obstruct your efforts, and the adults are responsible for their work themselves. I always started with high demands; when the stupid, the idle, and the lazy had left the lessons, I lowered them, and it was real fun to work with the enquiring and assiduous. For them I cared a lot, and I got many thanks.<<<

...all I can say is Thank God, that this person chose never to teach children. How many children would have had their lives blighted by that horrendous outlook? How DARE he assume that any child is 'stupid' and therefore not worth teaching? (!!!) How dare he fail to see that the 'lazy' or 'idle' child has merely switched off through utter boredom or because they are unable to cope with learning in a way which is totally alien to them, about a subject in which they may have no interest whatsoever, taught to them by someone who may also have no interest in *them* whatsoever? (!!!)

How *DARE* he assume that he is more intelligent than others, purely because he calls himself a teacher! Well....I'll tell you what a true teacher is. It is someone who cares deeply about children, not just about getting them through exams and thus giving their school a 'glowing' end of year report, but about the WHOLE child! It is about that one person who can see that the 'stupid' child is anything but that. It is about that one person who knows how to reach out, how to make anything interesting, how to feel what the child is feeling, to empathise with them, get inside their heads and try to free them. It is about a person who does not criticise, unless it is totally constructive and who encourages at every turn. It is about someone who desperately wants all of their children to reach the best of their ability.

But..can ONE teacher do that for 30 or so children at once? Of course not. It is unfair on the teacher and the child. The National Curriculum will not let good teachers teach as they want to. No longer can they digress from one particular subject and follow down many side roads, to come to the same destination, along the way perhaps lighting up many other things for a child too.

I have met a *few* wonderful, natural teachers in my life. They say you always remember the good ones. How I wish that I had met many, many more.

Oh...and 'Wilfried' before you decide to label a child 'STUPID' again, I'd suggest you read John Gatto's 'Dumbing Us Down', Ronald D. Davis 'The Gift Of Dyslexia' and take a look at the links below. (I'm afraid that I cannot activate them today, as the 'blue clicky' link isn't working, but hopefully you will take the trouble to visit these sites.)

They are about Helen Keller. A young child whom everyone had given up on, no doubt you'd have labelled her 'stupid' 'lazy' 'idle' and many more things besides, and have been glad to have been rid of her. However, good fortune...or perhaps something far greater, joined her in life with Anne Sullivan, a truly wondrous natural teacher, who, because of the way she had been treated, and the things that had happened to her in life, was determined that Helen would not spend her life 'locked away' inside her own black hole.

And..with the right teacher, utter MAGIC took place, a BRILLIANT mind was unleashed upon an unsuspecting and disbelieving world. Watch the videos of Helen 'talking' to Annie and you may even be moved to tears!

http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Helen_Keller

http://www.afb.org/braillebug/hkgallery.asp?tpid=3

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart." Helen Keller

"An education without a heart is no education at all" Aristotle

"Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire" W.B. Yeats

There are many more words to inspire here:

http://drwilliampmartin.tripod.com/bigedlist.htm

And this is the Freedom In Education site, run by three Home Educated young people, now beyong school age. Intelligent, witty, industrious, kind, interesting...I could go on, but reading it will enlighten you far more:

http://www.freedom-in-education.co.uk/

Thanks to Barbara, by the way, for her kind post above. It was much appreciated Barbara. And finally, coming from a dyslexic family, my father, brother and now my son, I will leave you with these words:

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn - Alvin Toffler

Lizzie :0) (A BLOODY parent!)


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 03:23 AM

They are not in the real world of business that's for sure. Insular is the word.

Like many who work (or in my case worked) in Further Education I was in the so-called real world of business for many years and I also worked in industry whilst working as a teacher. Many do.

The so-called real world would grind to a halt if it had to put up with one-tenth of the crap that the average teacher puts up with from unruly students whose parents, often from the "real world" of business couldn´t be bothered to bring up their children properly. It would grind to a halt if it had the bureaucracy from those who think they know better. It would grind to a halt if it was constantly starved of resources, like teachers are and had to fight for every penny and scrap of photocopying paper. And if the average business person worked the concentrated hours of a primary school teacher then they would soon pack it in or be demanding bigger salaries.

Next time you pass a golf course at mid-week look at the cars outside and ask "teachers" or "the real world of business". Next time you pass a posh restaurant that is full at lunchtime ask yourself "teachers" or the "real world of business". How many teachers have expense accounts, company cars, golf club memberships paid for by the firm?

Teaching IS the real world.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 09 Jun 06 - 09:15 PM

All of them. They've all taught me lots of stuff.
I got the right answer. What do I win?          Tw


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 09 Jun 06 - 08:01 PM

I love, love, love my students- they are such bright, diverse, shining individuals. I am also a single mom of 2, one with Asperger Syndrome, and they both have gone through the system with few scars and their self-esteem intact. I know I'm lucky- blessed- to be in an exemplary school system that really does care about its children, but I also have taken the time as a parent to advocate for my kids and their particular needs. It takes a village, Lizzie- not just the teachers, many of whom are struggling parents, homeowners, folks like you and me.
Trying to organize all the teachers to subvert the system is a lot like herding cats. They are mostly doing their best, just doing their job, faced with the kids and the ridiculous national test requirements and the huge load of paperwork and the outrageous actions by idiot state officials- don't get me started on THAT front- and the idea that we could all just shout loudly with a united voice is a good thought, but one that takes more than words.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Scoville
Date: 09 Jun 06 - 01:12 PM

Until I got to high school, almost everything I learned, I learned from my parents, not because my teachers didn't care or were incompetent (some were, some weren't, same as with any profession) but because they had too many kids in their classes and had their hands full trying to keep order.

I think most people go into teaching wanting to make a positive impact and then get bogged down in the lack of funding, politics, overcrowded classrooms, and tug-of-war between school staff and parents. The only reason I'd ask, "Why do you want to teach?" is if I meant, "Why would you want to deal with that?". I sure don't.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Jun 06 - 11:13 AM

Well roared, lion - that is one of the causes why I always preferred to teach adults (my mother wanted to see me as a college techer - beware!). No bloody parents to obstruct your efforts, and the adults are responsible for their work themselves.
I always started with high demands; when the stupid, the idle, and the lazy had left the lessons, I lowered them, and it was real fun to work with the enquiring and assiduous. For them I cared a lot, and I got many thanks.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jun 06 - 05:31 PM

I taught for a number of years, and know quite a number of teachers, Lizzie--they tend to be happy to see parents like you leave the system--the reasons for it are evident in your post--

You think that they are lazy, uncaring, and uninterested in their kids. You also think that the answers to all the problems in education are simple, and the that the reason that they haven't been solved is that the teachers are all too stupid and too stubborn to do what is so obvious to you.

You also think that it is the teachers responsibility to solve every problem related to the education of your children, and at the same time, that teachers have no right or business telling your children what they can and cannot do. I can assure you that they are happy to be rid of you--

At the same time though, they are sorry to lose your children, because they really do care about them, and they are disturbed by the very real possibility that, rather than giving them an education, you are simply indoctrinating them with all of your prejudices--


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jun 06 - 06:17 PM

Well said Fibula. I teach law at Christchurch and South Bank (as well as having a practice). Largely AUT quislings (there were some NATFHE Uncle Toms and Topsys) have now driven UCU to roll over and play spaniel to the vice chancellors. A fine reward for the mainly solid NATFHE members. Empty the bottle, and turn it into a Molotov cocktail.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: vectis
Date: 07 Jun 06 - 02:35 PM

I am one of the few lucky ones that have escaped into 6th form and it has re invigorated me. A lot of folkies seem to be teachers in England, one of the reasons the summer holidays have three successful week-long festivals I reckon.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Ruston Hornsby
Date: 07 Jun 06 - 03:40 AM

I used to go to a folk club in the fishing port that I once worked in, and it was full of school teachers singing songs about the fishing. Down the road was another pub full of old fisherman - usually singing Country and Western. I always wondered if there was a bar somewhere in the Mid-West United States full of cowboys and truck drivers singing songs about being school teachers in the UK.......


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 07 Jun 06 - 03:11 AM

I'm a retired primary school teacher, and, when I first started going to folkclubs - in the 60s - they seemed to be mainly inhabited by teachers and social workers. In the last school I taught, there was a fellow teacher who was a fabulous tin whistle player, and she taught tin whistle to a group of children at lunchtimes; but strangely, she hated folk clubs and refused to go anywhere near them!


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 07 Jun 06 - 02:56 AM

I am a librarian, but when in our department (unicersity) additional teachers were needed I helped out for 15 years teaching Oriental propaedeutics and writing Arabic.
I also taught occasionally American soldiers how to handle German weapons (oh those sunny days on the range!) and firefighters in physics and mathematics they needed for theit work.
Now I am teaching drummers how to read notes and how to play them. In one marching band they all are adult, in another they are 10 to 12 years old. Teaching can be real fun.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: dulcimer42
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 11:09 PM

I'm a retired Kindergarten teacher. And "my kids" learned their share of folk music.... and loved it. Parents were amazed at how many verses of those songs their 5 year old kids could sing. They could sing Rattlin' Bog and keep track of those verses better than I !!!   Then I taught Kindermusik to preschoolers for a couple of years.... and the Kindermusik Program is based on traditional music from around the world.   Now I'm totally retired and belong to our local folk music society and spend my time teaching hammered dulcimer, playing that and Celtic harp and other assorted instruments. I just teach my grandkids now.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: bbc
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 07:15 PM

Reply to Lizzie from 6-6-06 at 8:25 am

Hi, Lizzie,

Your question is a valid one &, obviously, from the heart. I am a teacher & I have raised 2 sons, so I can see both sides. I am a school librarian at a small, rural grade 3-5 elementary school in New York state. I have students w/ ADD, Asperger's, & many other conditions. Sometimes they do make it tough to teach the group they're in, but I love just about all of them. I think the 1st answer to your question, unfortunately, is that people need jobs to support their lives &, for some, teaching is just that--a job. I had an undergrad degree in British Lit & my master's in Library Science when I found myself, unexpectedly, needing to support myself, as well as my 2 & 5 year old sons. It seemed that working as a school librarian would maximize my salary, my benefits, & my time w/ my kids. I also happened to be qualified for the job. I had been, happily, a full-time homemaker for the previous 9 years. So, for me, it started as a job. I have now been an educator for 12 years--8 at my current location. Through these years, somehow, I have been transformed into a teacher. My job has become a vocation for me. I love my students & have the vision that I can help them to become happy, successful adults. I am aware that the things I do, for good or ill, will have an effect on them & it is my daily desire that it be a good effect! I think & plan how to teach them well; I go for various training sessions outside of school hours, to better understand & meet the needs of my students. Yes, there *are* uncaring, undertrained teachers & that's awful, when the "product" is the future of our world. We each do our part. I hope my small part is positive. Best to you in teaching your children. I have a close friend who very successfully home-schooled all 6 of her children--at least one through high school. He's done great in college, too. I respect your love & dedication to your kids.

best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Scoville
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 11:31 AM

I've taught First Day [Sunday] school and music lessons. I think I'm probably too much of a disciplinarian for kindergarteners but they don't seem to be afraid of me yet so I guess I haven't scarred them too badly. I do better teaching Appalachian dulcimer to adults, who don't need to be told not eat chalk.

My BA is in history so it looks like I should have gone into teaching but I'm an absolutely lousy "people" person. I'm currently in library school but planning to study archiving instead of going into school or reference librarianship (too much like teaching!).

I respect those of you who can do it, but I can't. I'd frankly rather chew off my own leg. The district where I live is very restrictive about what is taught and how it is taught, and anything I like well enough to want to teach would be spoiled by the beaurecracy. Awful.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: ksloan
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 11:27 AM

100


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 11:24 AM

99. Yes!!


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: black walnut
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 11:18 AM

I've taught high school, early childhood music classes and private piano and flute lessons...does any of that count?

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 10:58 AM

I spent 32 years as an elementary teacher and at the same school. I taught in a modest sized town of about 40,000 people and in a school whose enrolement was about 500 kids. I taught 5th and 6th grades---that means 10-13 year olds. I enjoyed the teaching and the kids, but not the paper work and the other "stuff" we were required to do. I'd do it again, though.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 10:21 AM

Ask Arthur Scargill how easy it is to unite and frustrate the aims of a government with a headful of ideas on a subject it knows nothing about.

Most teachers are good eggs. You get the odd wild card, but by and large a basket of good eggs.

The trouble is that people expect the solutions of complicated problems to be simple. And the more simplistic the answer, the more popular the politician or songwriter.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 09:13 AM

I'm a lecturer. It's like being a teacher but without the holidays and with less pay (cue shouts of outrage from teachers!!). Actually, I couldn't be a teacher - I would rather teach older (post-school age) people, and I love my research, but don't even START me on the current lecturer pay dispute because I am rabidly pro-union and fully support the current action short of a strike in the UK.

Okay, I've started. I have no set hours of work, yet I work about 45-50 hours a week. We are allocated 23 days holiday a year (we don't automatically get time off out of term-time - that's a common misconception), yet I rarely take them. When we're not teaching we're carrying out administration, pastoral duties, and trying to get as much research done as possible in order to generate funding and justify our jobs. The students seem to get more demanding every year, especially now that they pay tuition fees (I've had some tell me that they have paid for their degree therefore we shouldn't be boycotting assessment - if only they knew how little the amount they pay contributes to the cost, and if only they realised that their fees do not entitle them to a qualification, but to an education).

Our Vice Chancellor earns 196,000 GBP per year plus a house and car. He had a 31.5% pay rise over the last 3 years. In contrast, academics have taken a 40% pay cut relative to their equivalent professions over the past 20 years, while workloads have increased.

I'm suprised anyone is left to lecture, to teach and to nurse. I do it because I love my job, but there is now a serious amount of badwill in the Higher Education sector and the fallout will be lengthy. There are last-ditch pay negotiations today, so keep your fingers crossed.

(Rant ends...)


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 08:25 AM

I'm probably going to make myself deeply unpopular on this thread, I don't want to, but I have a very different point of view I'm afraid.

So, the *desperately* important question, to me at least, is WHY are you teachers in the first place?

Is it because the holidays give you much time off for folk music/festivals? Is it because you want to assert your will over others....no matter what the cost of that may be to the child/young person in front of you? Is it because it seemed an easy option, after leaving school? You just stay in the same environment, but get paid for it. Is it because you think that gaining examinations is the most important thing in life, above *all* else?

OR....are you a teacher because you love children deeply and want to care for them, to enrich their lives as much as you can? Is it that you know that in being able to pass on your knowledge in a kind and understanding manner, you will widen their horizons, and bestow on them the gift of kindness and empathy, in order that they, in their turn, will go on to enlighten and enrich the lives of others?

I ask these questions as the mother of two children who feels concerned that very little about *children* was mentioned in the posts above, apart from how nice it is to no longer be teaching them, or how debilitating your job is or what right pains in the arses they seem to be!

But....don't you ever stop to think how school affects the very human beings that you have supposedly come to teach and care for? Does it never occur to you that many of them can never leave school, until they are 'permitted' by society? Many of them do not have the freedom to up and walk out, to find a new life, a new way, a new beginning.

Well, my children left. My son at 7 years old, my daughter at 15 years old. Weighed down with the terrible stress which is now put upon them to pass exams, (my daughter in particular, being older) "You MUST achieve..at all costs!" drummed into them by teachers who are under equal stress to achieve....bullied relentlessly by their unhappy and often disturbed peers, who are rebelling in the only way they know how....they caved in...and I got flamingly angry and realised there WAS another way! And we found Home Education.

Yet teachers have the power to stop ALL of this, by uniting together to change these crazy rules and regulations that are weighing you down and in some cases KILLING our children. My daughter already has two friends who have committed suicide. She was just 17 when the first one died. 18 when the second one took his life. I know MANY children and young people who are having loads of problems at school, yet no-one will listen to them. They are often the sensitive, quiet children, who are so often ignored by teachers and bullied rotten by their peers.

Then there are the children who have dyslexia, the hyperactive ones, the Asperger's Syndrome children, the autistic children.....These are some of the children who drive teachers up the wall, as they won't behave 'as they should'. They wriggle, they daydream, they chatter, they misbehave, Lordy...they are SUCH a nuisance!! But of course..no-one thinks what is going on in the child's mind. No-one thinks that it is unnatural for a child to sit behind a desk for hours at a time...(Would you ask your child to do that at week-ends?)...unnatural for them to be forced to learn something in which they have no interest. No-one thinks that ALL children are different, that their brains function in very many different ways. The poet may never be the mathmetician, the artist may never be the scientist, the mechanic/builder/decorator may never be the historian and vice versa. We are all designed to work in a different manner, yet School is now trying it's damndest to make us work in the same way, at the same time, on the same day, in the same week of the year.

Total madness!

ALL children can learn, and go on to live as rich a life as possible..but ONLY if they are given the support, encouragement and love they so need. Every single child in front of you, who is placed into YOUR care has a special skill. It may not be the skill that you want or desire...but it is THEIR skill and it is your job to work out what that is, then to encourage and feed it. But 'the system' won't let you do that...so CHANGE the system.

Children are turning away from learning BECAUSE of 'EDUCATION, EDUCATION,EDUCATION'....this madness called The National Curriculum, which forbids good teachers from being able to teach THEIR way, in a way they can adapt to the children in front of them. And the bad teachers? Well, the National Curriculum makes it easy for them, no need to think, just hand out worksheets in the class room for the children to learn their Week 3/15/26 lessons on....then fill in the forms required by Politicians, who wouldn't be able to understand, or care, about a child's needs in a month of Sundays!

And if I sound angry....I am!! Because the solution is so simple! And the solution lies with you teachers, (in my opinion.) YOU have the strength, as a profession, to change it all around.

My children now LOVE to learn. And the reason they have such a deep love, is because they now learn what they want, when they want, how they want. They're now happy, confident, interesting young people. My daughter has completely turned her back on exams, doesn't want to know. She recognises them for what they are...another way of making money. The exam system is now HUGE! Wall upon wall, of book after book, of how to get your shattered, stressed out, angry, miserable, rebellious child through to the end of the system!

But at what price to the child? When my children were in school, they had switched off completely. In the home-education world, this is known as 'Educide'....the voluntary killing off of the natural love of learning, by the child itself.

So next time you think how stressed out, fed up, overworked, angry and bitter you're becoming....just think about the children too.

And I'll leave you with the wise and empathetic words of Harry Chapin's 'Flowers Are Red' and George Papavgeris's song 'Watermelon Seeds'

Harry's song is the story of a small child going to school for the first time, filled with enthusiasm and happiness..a creative mind eager to have wisdom poured inside, to have lights switched on. The words are self-explanatory, but to hear Harry singing them...well...it brings it all home to you...and every teacher should listen to and understand that song (imo) before they are ever able to call themselves 'teachers'

And George's song...well that tells of how easy it is to raise happy contented children. It doesn't apply solely to the education system, but it's still very important, inasmuch as it reminds us of so many things we've forgotten, so many simple things. Children are just that...children! How we have forgotten that. They are there to be nurtured and loved, as George says. And to be loved and appreciated by all of us...and that imo, includes an education system that is way out of control, and that has come to regard children as nothing more than a dreadful, ghastly nuisance! It is perhaps *one* of the reasons why so many children are very unhappy at present.

FLOWERS ARE RED by Harry Chapin

"Spoken)Your son marches to the beat of a different drummer, comma. (Spoken)But don't worry, (Spoken)We'll have him joining the parade by the end of the term

The little boy went first day of school He got some crayons and started to draw He put colors all over the paper For colors was what he saw And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man I'm paintin' flowers he said She said... It's not the time for art young man And anyway flowers are green and red There's a time for everything young man And a way it should be done You've got to show concern for everyone else For you're not the only one

And she said... Flowers are red young man Green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said... There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Well the teacher said.. You're sassy There's ways that things should be And you'll paint flowers the way they are So repeat after me.....

And she said... Flowers are red young man Green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said... There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one

The teacher put him in a corner She said.. It's for your own good.. And you won't come out 'til you get it right And are responding like you should Well finally he got lonely Frightened thoughts filled his head And he went up to the teacher And this is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than the way they always have been seen

Time went by like it always does And they moved to another town And the little boy went to another school And this is what he found The teacher there was smilin' She said...Painting should be fun And there are so many colors in a flower So let's use every one

But that little boy painted flowers In neat rows of green and red And when the teacher asked him why This is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than the way they always have been seen.

But there still must be a way to have our children say . . .

There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one"

George's 'Watermelon Seeds' you can hear on his Myspace page here:

http://www.myspace.com/georgepapavgeris

And here are the lyrics:

'Watermelon Seeds' by George Papavgeris:

"You see them running in the playground You see them splashing in the mud Pulling at mother's skirt at checkouts Or screaming till they freeze your blood. For some a curse, for some a blessing; Some call them names much more unkind. But when I see them all together I've got to tell you they remind Me of watermelon seeds, Just little watermelon seeds, A million million little kids, They're only watermelon seeds.

Their pictures in a billion wallets Or standing on some mantlepiece. Or on the news, or on some posters Pleading for food, asking for peace. They come in every size and colour, Their little lives have just begun. But you can see it in their faces: New hope in each and every one. They're watermelon seeds....

Inside each one there is an angel Seeing the world with trusting eyes And it depends on those around him Whether that angel lives or dies. In every child there is a promise That needs so little to come true. You'll understand if you remember The child that years ago was you. They're watermelon seeds...

So when you're planning for the future In children's eyes you'll find the clue. In all you do you must remember The future is for them, not you. And it's not toys, and it's not money, That helps them till they're fully grown. A little love, a little water And treating each one as your own. They're watermelon seeds..."

Apologies for rambling, but it's a subject I feel passionate about. And I recognise there are many problems in society in general, so please don't think that I'm ONLY blaming schools.

Lizzie


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Sooz
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 08:13 AM

I'm looking forward to beingan ex-teacher


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 07:52 AM

Ps: I forgot to mention that my Uncle teaches Architecture at Uni, he gets FOUR months holiday a year!


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 07:27 AM

Well actually Ted if I still had a job I would be unable to retire until I'm 63 (65 for anyone more than two years younger than me). I never finished work much before 10pm and only stopped working when the Summer holidays started and then only until the week before we went back. Sadly, teaching as with many other jobs is becoming the victim of accountants who simply divide the numbers and come up with a requirement for techers without taking into account childrens needs. As Cobble stated in his very first posting it has become more about paperwork than doing the actual teaching but none of that can be done during the school day! I was made redundant last year following 'down sizing' under Public finance initiative which has left mixed age range classes and yet more paperwork for the remaining staff. in addition when I apply for jobs most of the applicants are newly qualified and therefore considerably cheaper to employ. You would imagine that experience would count but most schools are on such a tight budget that they cannot afford to be choosy!


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 07:18 AM

Since first posting to this thread, 9 May '01, I've built my private music instruction business to full-time, and the only outide work I do now is music related (gigs, repairs, and volunteering). There's not much point in being self-employed if there is no time off, so I give myself August and most public school holidays off, except a couple of statutory Monday holidays. I have also been working alternate Saturdays, but that ends at the end of June, hopefully for ever.

We save and budget for my time off, pay some bills in advance, and live within our means for the most part.

Demand is still high, there's a long waiting list for lessons and a short backlog for repairs.

It is the best job I've ever had, even if not the best paying, though it pays much better than my previous blue collar jobs.

A supportive bride and children, sympathetic accountant, friendly dogs (Rosie The Wonder Dog and Cosmo The Other Dog love to watch folks come and go), adaptable household, all help things work. No commute (I work from home), less wear and tear on my bones, just the revolving door of happy faces (okay, most of the time). I should have started this several years sooner.

What don't I like? The damn GST (goods and services tax), rescheduling lessons, no-shows, and fly-by-night competitors whose dissatisfied students invariably end up on my waiting list.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:46 AM

My father taught accountancy, he retired at 56, doddle! Like you Ruston I know a lot of teachers, and if you put any combination of them together all they yak on about is bloody teaching! They are not in the real world of business that's for sure. Insular is the word.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Ruston Hornsby
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:38 AM

What I want to know is WHY do there seem to be so many teachers on the folk and traditional dance scene? What is it that attracts teachers to folk or vice versa? I'm in a morris team and about a third of them teach, and, as none of them have done anything else - i.e. they've been in the education system since they were 5 - they seem to have varying degrees of difficulty understanding about life outside of their world. This is particularly noticeable when discussing holidays - they think we all have half terms and summer holidays like they do!

Should you think I'm having an unfair pot at teachers, my late father taught and I can remember him sat at home marking work late into the evening and recall what the pressures of the job took out of him. Mind you, he liked Trad Jazz.....


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:26 AM

I used to be a teacher. However I don't think I ever actually managed to teach anybody anything. I hope I didn't damage kids too much.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:23 AM

Three months holiday.
high pay.
finish at 3.30pm every day.
retire at 60.
Easy life!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Cats at Work
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 04:20 AM

I'm Head of Individual Needs in the second largest Community College [or for those of you in the USA, School], in Cornwall. I too arrive at 8am and don't leave until god knows when and take work home, but I tend not to carry it, I e mail it to myself! Sometimes Jon actually gets to say hello to me during the week. I'm also a Union officer and help sort out other teachers problems as well. Only another 7 years to go ......


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: thespionage
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 01:19 AM

I am a future teacher.


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Pauline L
Date: 06 Jun 06 - 01:10 AM

Teaching ain't what it used to be.

From NYT June 4, 06

The Gilded Age of Home Schooling

In what is an elite tweak on home schooling — and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor — growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes.
Lisa Mazzoni, 17, watching her tutor, Rob Cox, play with her dog recently during a break from studying at her home in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, these families are not trying to get more religion into their children's lives, or escape what some consider the tyranny of the government's hand in schools. In fact, many say they have no argument with ordinary education — it just does not fit their lifestyles.
Lisa Mazzoni's family splits its time between Marina del Rey, Calif., and Delray Beach, Fla. Lisa has her algebra and history lessons delivered poolside sometimes or on her condominium's rooftop, where she and her teacher enjoy the sun and have a view of the Pacific Ocean south of Santa Monica.
"For someone who travels a lot or has a parent who travels and wants to keep the family together, it's an excellent choice," said Lisa's mother, Trish Mazzoni, who with her husband owns a speedboat company.
The cost for such teachers generally runs $70 to $110 an hour. And depending on how many hours a teacher works, and how many teachers are involved, the price can equal or surpass tuition in the upper echelon of private schools in New York City or Los Angeles, where $30,000 a year is not unheard of.
Other parents say the model works for children who are sick, for children who are in show business or for those with learning disabilities.
"It's a hidden group of folks, but it's growing enormously," said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College of Columbia University, whose national research includes a focus on home schooling.
The United States Department of Education last did a survey on home schooling in 2003. That survey did not ask about full-time in-home teachers. But it found that from 1999 to 2003, the number of children who were educated at home had soared, increasing by 29 percent, to 1.1 million students nationwide. It also found that, of those, 21 percent used a tutor.
Home schooling is legal in every state, though some regulate it more than others. Home-school teachers do not require certification, and the only common requirement from state to state is that students meet compulsory-attendance rules.
Scholars who study home-schooling trends, business owners who serve home-schooling families and abundant anecdotal evidence also suggest that private teaching arrangements are on the rise. Some families do it for short stints, others for years at a time.
Bob Harraka, president of Professional Tutors of America, has about 6,000 teachers from 14 states on his payroll in Orange County, Calif., but cannot meet a third of the requests for in-home education that come in, he said, because they are so specialized or extravagant: a family wants a teacher to instruct in the art of Frisbee throwing, button sewing or Latin grammar. A family wants a teacher to accompany them for a yearlong voyage at sea.
"Sailing comes up at least once or twice a year," Mr. Harraka said.
Parents say in-home teaching arrangements offer unparalleled levels of academic attention and flexibility in scheduling, in addition to a sense of family cohesion and autonomy over what children learn. To them, these advantages make up for the lack of a school social life, which they say can be replicated through group lessons in, say, ballet or sculpture.
Jon D. Snyder, dean of the Bank Street College of Education in New York, said his main concerns about this form of education were whether tutors and students were a good fit, and whether students got enough social interaction.
"From a purely academic standpoint, it goes back to a much earlier era," Dr. Snyder said. "The notion of individual tutorials is a time-honored tradition, particularly among the elite."
Think Plato, John Stuart Mill and George Washington. Philosopher kings and gentleman farmers. Because of the cost of in-home tutoring, the idea will probably not spread like wildfire, and just as well, Dr. Snyder said.
"Public education has social goals; that's why we pay tax dollars for it," he said. "When Socrates was tutoring Plato, he wasn't concerned about educating the other people in Greece. They were just concerned about educating Plato."
On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Krystal and Tiffany Wheeler earn high school credits in adjacent pastel bedrooms after breakfast. The teachers come to them.
Their mother, Charlene Royce, said she wanted her girls to experience the benefits of a personalized education but did not feel comfortable teaching herself.
"I feel that education is better this way, one on one," said Ms. Royce, whose expertise is in finding electronics companies in which to invest. "It was never an option for me to do it — I wouldn't know how."
For help, she turned to a Manhattan business, On Location Education, which took care of the logistics, providing her with curricula and teachers. Ms. Royce gets weekly progress reports and a visit every couple of months from a woman she calls "the mobile principal."
To meet their social needs — and for exercise — Tiffany and Krystal attend dance and piano classes, among other things, and belong to a gym.
Lisa Mazzoni takes acting and dance classes in Hollywood. She is also enrolled in a school for distance learning that provides a curriculum for her tutor, Rob Cox, of Professional Tutors of America, to teach.
"I do love the fact that instead of waking up at 5:30 every morning I get to wake up at 8:30," said Lisa, who is 17 and attended private school until this year.
"It makes life so much easier," Lisa continued. "I don't have to worry about missing tests and if I really wanted to, I could bring the work with me — because it's all in the computer — if I'm in Florida visiting my dad or going to a boat race."
When Nick Niell, an investment banker, and his wife, Sarah, moved to New York from East Sussex, England, for about a year in 2003, four teachers would come on weekdays to Mr. Niell's townhouse on 69th Street near Madison Avenue to teach his three school-aged children. Mr. Niell said he could not find a British school in the city and wanted his children to study the same things they would have studied in England. A floor of the house was converted into classroom space.
"It was quite good fun," said Mr. Niell, whose teachers came through Partners with Parents, a Manhattan in-home tutoring service.
The families embracing the one-on-one home-school model are turning the original concept on its head. Dr. Huerta said the popular notion is that home-schoolers leave schools they see as troubled, certain they can do better as teachers themselves. Hiring teachers for full-time instruction is not typical.
The new and more expansive definitions of home schooling irritate some traditionalists who want to keep the model simpler. "People use the term home schooling for all sorts of interesting things these days," said Celeste Land, a member of the board at the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. "Obviously it's not pure home schooling."
But the growing number of home-school support groups has made it easier for the new model to develop. And tutoring is more in the public consciousness these days in part because of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, which includes a tutoring component, and the vast array of test prep tutoring services being pitched to an increasingly tested national student body.
Companies that supply teachers and curricula are abundant, also making it easier for families to step away from traditional schools, experts say. And though many who follow the new model are wealthy, increasing numbers of middle class families more sociologically and racially diverse have begun to school their children at home, according to education officials and tutor-service companies.
Laurie Gerber, president of Partners with Parents, said she started to get requests for in-home teachers about three or four years ago.
"Our tutoring business started to become a huge percentage of home-schooling clients, as opposed to tutoring," Ms. Gerber said. "We started a whole home-schooling wing."
The teachers who are hired to home school say the job is great.
"I love it; it's a dream come true," said Mr. Cox, who tutors Lisa Mazzoni. He is a former television and radio news reporter as well as an actor and a certified teacher.
"If you want to travel or have some other business to attend to, there isn't a school system dependent on you being there," he said. "It's your own individual school that operates according to your needs."
Tiffany Wheeler's tutor, Nancy Falong, retired a few years ago after 32 years as a teacher in the New Jersey public schools. Now she works for On Location Education. Sitting next to Tiffany last week, their two world history books turned to the same page on the Marshall Plan, she expressed a sense of delight. "This is pure teaching."
And Tiffany, looking relaxed with bare feet under her bedroom desk, said, "It's fun."


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: bbc
Date: 05 Jun 06 - 07:23 PM

England in August, to visit Bill Sables. :)

bbc


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Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 06 - 07:07 PM

Long summer holidays with pay just around the corner again. So what are all you teachers going this summer ?


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: wdyat12
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:57 AM

I taught art in a middle school and mechanical drawing in a highschool for several years. I occasionally teach as a volunteer art/science teacher in our local school systems. For 20 years I have climbed into the sky as a crane mechanic at Bath Iron Works. Recently a new position has opened up here at the shipyard. Seems that OSHA now requires all crane operators to go through a more rigorous training to reduce the number of accidents. BIW is looking for a crane instructor from within, so I have applied for the position. If I get the job it doesn't mean I will retire from climbing into the sky, but I will get a chance to use my teacher training again. Wish me luck.

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: GUEST,Rag
Date: 16 May 01 - 08:13 AM

Taught for over 15 years in the secondary age range and saw the job change from an enriching and challenging experience to one of absolute drudgery and stress largely because of underfunding, over expectations generated by competing schools, and depressing attacks, both physical and verbal, encouraged by the media.

Left two years ago before my health suffered too badly, and now I'm fine doing a different job I really enjoy.

All credit to those still in there!

I still feel the indignation when I hear or read some stupid diatribe about our schools failing our kids, or some rubbish about poor teachers.

For me, folk music has always been about community, solidarity, sharing, and mutual support. The folk world is a natural for teachers who share the same values.


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Firecat
Date: 16 May 01 - 04:11 AM

Mind you, Mum and Dad (Tig and The Badger) don't escape children!! Hahahahahahahahaha! They've got me, ain't they? Added to which, seeing as I hate doing college work, they're always nagging me so Mum is kinda lying when she says she's a Human Being, cos she's still being teacherish towards me (GRRRRRRRRR!)!!


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:28 AM

{{{{{HUG}}}}}

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Susan from California
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:02 AM

Yes, Mark, thanks. I had one of those days today where I had to call Child Protective Services. It really hurts when kids are broken BY their homes. i cried most of the way home. I know that this weekend I'll be renting a sad movie so that I can cry it all out. But MOST days, I love it.


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:39 AM

Mark, that is superb. It was just like seeing my husband look up from his desk to find another member of the Uomi tribe looking for help that does not help and refusing the help that would help... and him staying there in that work anyway because on any given day one may actually be making a difference, even while not seeing it at all.

God bless you, Mark.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 15 May 01 - 08:52 PM

I've been on the clinical faculty of several medical schools in the past, just got around to getting my faculty appointment at the U. of Hawaii medical school (after 7 years here!), so I'm looking forward to having medical students and residents rotating through my pediatric office, because I love to teach.

A number of years ago I noted the high proportion of social service types in the folk community, and to honor them I wrote a song called Help for the Helper.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 May 01 - 08:40 PM

Sue vG, welcome to Mudcat!

Teacher, no, but I did work in (and consult in) the schools running parent and community involvement and school change programs.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: Dunkle
Date: 15 May 01 - 01:01 PM

I've been teaching French and Spanish for a good long time now...currently in a Friends' (Quaker) k-8 school outside of Philadelphia...hence my interest in chansons and canciones, as well as good 'ol amurican (and canadian, and english, and australian) folk music, as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: GUEST,Lucius
Date: 14 May 01 - 10:39 PM

As you can tell from my lack of cookie, I'm not an active enough Mudcatter to even reset it on a regular basis. But yes, I teach elementary students K-5. I teach all the traditions: Brahms, Jimmie Rogers, Fats Waller, Beatles, I been known to sneak some Brittney Spears in for analysis, but my kids know that the music that I love best is the kind that just plain folk make when we sing and dance.


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Subject: RE: BS: How many mudcatters are teachers?
From: vectis
Date: 14 May 01 - 06:39 PM

I'm a special needs teacher. I must be mad. Only 7 years and I can retire if I can afford to go I will. Music and folking keeps me sane.


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