Monday, March 2, 2009

What Teachers Make.

I went to an CATE conference a few weeks ago and saw this guy Taylor Mali. He is a poet and educator who runs this poetry cafe in NYC and he's curating a program in which slam poets share the stage with "page poets" (?). He is on stage with Billy Collins-one of my idols--who I also met at the last CATE conference. Here's a photo I took of him. It was kindof an awkward place to take a photo, thats why its not awesome.

I watched that video again and it made me rant a little bit in my head about what my principal thinks a good CAHSEE English class should look like. He has told me more than once that there shouldn't be any books read in my class. It should only be CAHSEE tests and worksheets. Of course I've thought about this before but as I was discussing it with Meghan the potency of it all started to come through.

That is what is wrong with our school system. Yes my principal seems a little out of touch and books better have a place in the classroom. But the bigger picture is, if we teach to the test, what will our kids really learn? how to pass a test?
I guess thats important in this society, but it is a shame.

Low level students need to learn how to read and understand and grow from it. If they cant read, they have nothing. Well I'll try not to rant too much more about school, but it seems like there's always something.

I make kids think.


  1. Thanks for sharing that video Daren, I forwarded it on to several friends who are teachers! I loved it!

  2. No books in an english classroom?? I don't get it. Or your pricipal doesn't get it. Keep making them think...against all odds.

  3. Agreed D, rant on brother. The education system is whacked and I routinely think that an outdoor school is the best bet.