Contributions by Publius

Morally Ambiguous Teaching

By | Prose, Publius

I have a student teacher this year. Her name is Chloe.   I also have to give a standardized test this week. So I’m stuck.   Do I give the test honestly?   Or do I do what I really do? As one administrator put it, “This test has no educational value.   Do as you will, as long …

Romeo, Juliet, and the Koreans

By | Prose, Publius

The kids are reading Romeo and Juliet.   So my student teacher is fishing for the answer “dramatic irony”.   She asks, “What do you call this, when Juliet is speaking on the balcony, and she doesn’t know Romeo is down below listening?’ To which Marshay responds, “Stalking.” And then yesterday as I’m walking out of the building with …

Data Dysentery

By | Prose, Publius

I recently went to a lecture on “data dysentery”, the countless reams of data we educators collect for, well, for what? To this data, I would like to add the following, a record of the sheer number of observations I’ve had in one semester only, this last semester.   These observations were done by three administrators …

The Coach has Classes of Sixty

By | Prose, Publius

The coach has classes of sixty.   That’s OK, though, because some of our language classes, say Advanced Chinese, have four kids, so our average high school class size is 32, the exact state maximum.    The coach is holding down his end of the arithmetic average.   Anyway, three weeks ago the school closed the gym for renovations, …

Lesson Plan: From An Inner City High School

By | Prose, Publius

There are a lot of reasons to quit this job.   Kate did.   I don’t blame her.   But of all the reasons to quit this job, the three best are depression, humiliation and rage. A freshman turns in the homework.   I look at his t-shirt, and see a disarming photo of a nice looking young man.   …

Standardized Testing in High Schools

By | Prose, Publius

I’m having to give a standardized test over material none of us have covered.   The test is over the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and I’ve just covered Caesar Augustus.   What makes me sad — or one thing that makes me sad — is Miss Willis. One kid says, “You hate this as much as we …