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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


DOMAIN1:  Planning and Preparation


Accomplished teachers are readily aware of the abundant and varied resources available to teachers as aids to student learning.  Inner-city teachers will be painfully aware of the lack of funding for such resources in their schools.  In the past, teachers could call upon their teachers' choice account to purchase some of these materials.  Today, however, that amount has shrunken to a sum that cannot even scarcely pay for board markers.  Shortages in supplies and failures in technology will make it virtually impossible for teachers to functionally employ many materials in the classroom.  Yet, it is important that teachers show an appreciation for the vast array of resources that are just out of the reach of their students.

The elements of component 1d are:

Resources for classroom use

Classroom aids must be in sync with the goals of learning.  Good luck with this one in your inner-city classroom, especially when the metrics find that the teacher's class of 35 underfunded students suck vis-a-vis the wealthy kids in the suburbs.

Resources to expand the knowledge of subject matter and the teaching profession

Materials that can improve the teacher's pedagogy must be available, although due to the overfunding of test-prep-related activities, we know they are not.  The teacher may  converse with an experienced teacher if any have survived recent budget cuts, incursions by the T.F.A. and attacks on tenure.

Resources for students

Students must have materials to further their academic knowledge and skills.  Good luck with this one also.

Indicators include:

  • Materials scrounged up from dusty corners of neglected book rooms from decades past.
  • Materials provided for free as samples by testing companies looking to eat up some more good public-school money.  Despite the emphasis on oversimplified ideas and rote learning, it's better than nothing.
  • A range of texts, a very narrow range, indeed, in your inner-city school.
  • Internet resources in case your computer or Smart Board actually works.
  • Ongoing participation by the teacher in professional education courses or professional groups.  You are allowed to do this even though you are not afforded the respect of a true professional.
  • Guest speakers, if they are not too frightened to enter your school.

The teacher is completely unaware that there are industries that cater to teachers with resources and materials for student as well as teacher use, rich in content as well as teacher strategies and pedagogy.  These materials, although largely used in richer charter schools or in the suburbs, could have been smuggled into any district.
The teacher has heard tell that there are schools somewhere else where students have immediate access to materials that expand classroom knowledge.  The teacher believes these stories and begins to ask around.
·         The teacher tries to rely upon information from his or her own head, but it turns out the teacher has lost his or her head. 
·         Although the teacher is willing to search the trash cans in the building, the teacher refuses to dumpster dive for useable, discarded resources behind well-funded schools in suburbia.
·         The teacher refuses to pose as a well-funded charter-school  operator on the phone to request sample materials be mailed for possible, future purchase.
·         The teacher tries to use materials in the school library before discovering that there is no longer a library.
·         When representatives of book companies come to the school, the teacher filches their briefcase while they are looking the other way.
·         The teacher breaks into file drawers and abandoned lockers in the school, looking for materials that may have been left behind in times past. 
·         The teacher says, "Sorry, kids.  If I got paid more, I might be able to buy some new materials for you."
·         The teacher distributes a copy of excerpts from Gilgamesh, pulled from a neighboring teacher's trashcan, still covered in Snapple juice.
·         The teacher punches the Smart Board projector in the hopes of getting it to work.
·         The teacher attempts to take ninth-grade students on an in-school trip to the library, without knowing that it is has been converted into a test-prep center.
·         The teacher is taken away in handcuffs by the police for absconding with resources on the Bantu migrations from a book salesman's briefcase. 
·         The teacher thinks his students would benefit from hearing more about jobs that pay well.  He asks the book salesman to step out of the hallway and into his classroom for a few minutes.


This teacher has a relative who has worked or works in a well-funded school.  This teacher may have even attended one of these well-funded schools.  This teacher begs relatives and former teachers for resources to use in his or her classroom.  This teacher is not shamed to take hand-outs, considering nothing beneath his or her dignity.
This teacher is a member of every professional organization related to his or her profession before going broke.  This teacher will stop at nothing short of murder to get materials for the classroom. 
·         This teacher crashes lecture halls in universities with dark sun glasses and sun hats to get hold of resources and information applicable to the classroom.
·         This teacher regularly stands at a busy intersection after the work day has ended with a sign asking for donations of educational material.
·         This teacher asks friends and relations to leave her their teaching materials in their wills.
·         This teacher apologizes to her students for leaving to teach in the suburbs for a year, but promises to return with any resources which she can filch from there.
·         This teacher writes a letter to Bill Gates, trying to explain how the students might do better on his metrics if they could actually have more materials to work with in the classroom.
·         This teacher goes dumpster diving behind well-funded schools during off periods.
·         In a tenth-grade history class, the students are baffled by the reading level of Aunt Martha's materials.  One student exclaims, "No Comprendo.  Ayudame."
·         The teacher tells her students if their computer was working, they could go online to see all the rich materials that other school libraries offer their students on Ancient Egyptian religious practices.  She suggests they take a field trip to that school instead.
·         The teacher explains to students that it is important to learn how to read a variety of texts even though the school does not have the funds with which to provide them.   The teacher explains how to master the art of reading over someone's shoulder on the subway. 
·         This teacher takes a class set of modern readers to the laundromat.  They have been pulled from a dumpster behind a Charter School. The fifth-grade students smile at the immaculate set and say, "I hope this is as good as it smells!"
·         This teacher gets a form letter back from Bill Gates explaining that only a really bad teacher gets those kind of scores.  The teacher is not discouraged and trudges on, continuing to dumpster dive after school.
·         After working a year in the suburbs in an air-conditioned classroom in which all students have an I-pad and numerous supplemental materials, this teacher takes a drastic pay cut to return with valuable resources to her underfunded classroom.

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