Tons of Students- but wait…. Where are the teachers?

 

I have heard rumblings for a few months now about multiple states that were getting ready to do the unthinkable- cut the numbers of teachers within their school districts.  I kept thinking that could not be at all possible until I had a recent visit from a former neighbor who had relocated from the Mid-Atlantic region to a state in the deep south.  Her husband, “Jack”,  had been encouraged by people within the education community to leave behind his sales job and go back to school to become a math teacher.

Jack jumped at the chance of changing his career and helping high school students understand math successfully. This was his dream and he was assured that positions were plentiful, especially with high – risk students.  He was three years in to his studies when the floor dropped out from under him.  The initiatives that would have guaranteed him a job teaching math in a high school that was designated as “in need of support”  all the sudden was cutting teaching positions versus adding them, as was the plan.

How could  this be?  What happened to all the reasons that were clearly outlined  as to  why the state and school district needed to fund additional teaching positions, especially for schools that were “under – performing” or “with critical needs”?   Not only were all the newly trained teachers “on hold” as no new teaching positions would be available,  but many of the expected retiring teachers no longer could leave their current jobs due to the state of the economy.

Then I received a call from someone close to me, my niece.  She graduated a year ago, the top of her class at her university with two degrees- elementary education and Spanish. “Janie” had hopes that like our friend, she too would be able to work with children who were from inner city schools that were in grades K-6.  This magna cum laude could not find one job. It has been a year- no teaching job to be found in the public or private sector.  She took a low paying teaching assistants job and had to move back with her parents as her salary didn’t pay for rent let alone other expenses.

Janie still has the drive and desire to teach, but she has now joined the vast growing number of unemployed people holding full teacher certification who want to be in the classroom.  My family member did all the right things and now has all the wrong perceptions of what being a teacher is all about.  Instead of setting up a classroom and using the tools she has acquired over four years of intensive training, she is working at menial jobs for a very low salary.  She is considering leaving the field of teaching before she really got started.

Why have I written about my two connections with the state of affairs in the teaching world?  It is because I too am a proud educator who will not sit quietly as teaching staff is being reduced nationwide.  I will not be quiet about programs being cut that are often the very reason why children go to school.  We often maintain students in our schools because of the ancillary programs that are integrated with the core academics.  How many students will leave upon their 16th birthdays if they cannot participate in sports or the performing arts?  These are the programs that often hold kids in our schools!  How many students will lose their competitive edge for college when they don’t have a “well rounded high school  experience” reflected on their transcripts?  How can schools even think about terminating much of their foreign language programs when many of our schools are filled with bilingual- bicultural children?  (And don’t get me started about school districts that are cutting full classes of students wishing to take American Sign Language- ASL- which is the fourth most commonly used language in the U.S today!)

So, I ask my readers to do the following if you now have chosen not to sit quietly either.  First, read the facts for yourselves. The National Education Association (NEA) has long advocated for keeping teachers in the classrooms and even adding staff where needed.  They are a huge advocacy group for children and their families.  I have great admiration and respect for their platforms.  Here is a helpful link that provides information that I think you will find of value with understanding the current needs and why we all need to be proactive within the next few days:  http://www.educationvotes.nea.org. Then please go to this link to let your elected officials know exactly how you feel about this situation. I hope that you are as outraged as I am.  I hope that you will advocate for teachers, children and families everywhere in the U.S. by letting your representatives know that these individuals come first.

I don’t want to fathom an educational system where children are in classes that exceed the size of conventional wisdom.  I don’t want to think of special needs children without trained staff support within the classrooms.  I really don’t want to think that all the decades of research and observations that have told us what are the best practices for education will be tossed out the window because we are not following the common knowledge known to  every fifth grader –  It is the teachers and special school programs that make students well educated and happy.

To find your state officials please see this link: http://bit.ly/8ZBh8M Please reach out to them asap.  The vote is imminent.

Please don’t sit quietly.  I hope you will share this information with others.  I look forward to reading your Tweets.  Feel free to add this hashtag  #EducationJobsFund to ones related to this cause, as I will-  Thank you!

And as I often do…. here are my opinions in sign language….

Why I Love Wednesdays!?!

I am one of the luckiest people I know as I get to wake up each day with a hubby that accepts my crazy career as a fun roller- coaster ride!  When we first met I just started as a School Psychologist at the Delaware School School for the Deaf and then ventured in to teaching and interpreting with American Sign Language (ASL) which then led to my developing my company Signing Families™ and ultimately landed me on Learning and Laughter with Louise!  WOW!

So why do I pinch myself these days, especially on Wednesdays?  I guess you can say because I never , ever, ever thought that the people whose talents I admired for years are the very people I now get to interview on Wednesday mornings.    So, each Wednesday I pinch myself first thing in the morning as I know that my day will be filled  with chatting about topics such as education, literacy, the entertainment industry, special causes (eg. JaylensChallenge.org,  Mattieonline.com, TigerlilyFoundation.org, Yourshere.com ,for example) and so much more!  My favorite part of this incredible journey is that I am able to bring quality guests to listeners each week who then share their amazing stories, invaluable educational information all while laughing and  enjoying a cup of coffee with me!

Do I have a favorite interview?  Honestly- no.  But, I do have favorite moments and today’s interview with American Idols previous contestants-  John Stevens  and Scott MacIntyre had some of those!  John brought tears to my eyes while he discussed his love of Frank Sinatra.  My parents use to dance around the house to the songs of Sinatra and many other great singers of this era.  You can’t replace those memories. In addition,  John sang on American Idol one of my favorites (As Time Goes By) by a top 5 movie in my book- CASABLANCA! John is still very young and his amazing voice will no doubt continue to open many doors for him! Bravo to John!

On the other hand,  Scott had me laughing when he answered the following question-  “If you could have a group of  friends join you for a meal at your fave- Wolfgang Puck’s– who would be included?(Scott mentioned that he liked that this question was never one asked to him during an interview so he took a few moments to answer.)  Here was his answer…. Scott immediately said Jack Black with a quick addition of Ben Stiller (never has met either).  Then he added Bruce Hornsby (because of the many comparisons made of Scott and Bruce since Idol days).  Followed by  Billy Joel (admires his career and loves his music, which he has played during AI and on the tour).  After a few more minutes (and I truly thought he would round out this fraternity with with Elton John)  he shouted out….. FERGIE (from the Black Eyed  Peas!)  LOVED IT!!  He did comment that a goal of his is to attend a live concert with  Billy Joel and Elton John singing together.  This top scholar turned musical artist will no doubt have that opportunity during his soaring career!

Scott wanted to share that he is involved with the Idol Gives Back program and the finale that will air next week- so please check it out on FOX.  John has many irons in the fire, including his involvement with the Beantown Swing Orchestra.

It is moments like this mornings interviews and others that I may blog about later that are the reasons why I LOVE WEDNESDAYS!!  Feel free to share your favorite day stories below and why

On another note- for future shows I am looking for the following:

1.  What would be your essential college or back to high school products?  (for an August show)

and

2.  If YOU could invite 4-6 people to join YOU for a meal or a cup of coffee who would they be?  Send me an email at info@Signingfamilies.com .  Best answers will be read on air (maybe by YOU) and/or blogged.

Thanks for reading!

~Louise

Please visit these sites, YouTube, etc.

Scott's new DVD can be purchased at http://www.scottmacintyre.com/

www.ScottMacIntyre.com or on Twitter @ScottDMacintyre  (please check out his amazing album- HEARTSTRINGS !  My fave cut off the album is VALENTINE!!)

and

John Stevens on FACEBOOK or www.beantownswing.com

John Stevens

Of course go to http://toginet.com/shows/learningandlaughterwithlouise for more info.

Here come the videos:

CRUEL IS NOT COOL!   (Love this phrase coined by Annie Fox!)

Please help many experts, parents and children stop bullying in our schools and neighborhoods!  Kudos to Annie Fox,  Sue Scheff, Alison Rhodes, Hilary Bilbrey, Jaylen Arnold and Dash Mihok (JaylensChallenge.org), Jeni Stepanek, D-Pan, and countless others for helping champion for peace among all and stop bullying!
Here are some great videos and links!  Comments welcome below. Please join in this important discussion!!


Video Blogs for Deaf/ ASL users

Hello and welcome to http://louisesattler.wordpress.com
I work within the deaf and special education community. I also (ironically) have a radio program. But, guess what- I believe in equal access so I transcribe and/or VLOG my radio shows. Catch them here on WORDPRESS starting this week and every week after. The show airs LIVE WEd. 9 a.m. EST show (to listen go to http://toginet.com/shows/learnngandlaughterwithlouise) and I will VLOG shortly after.

Feel free to get my weekly email reminders too.
If you sign a VLOG, let me know….. Family friendly only, please!
So- learm some sign language and have fun!

Welcome to Video Blogging!

Hello everyone!  I think it is only fair to warn you that I like to post videos- especially ones that are humorous with an educational twist!  I also plan on having sign language VIDEO BLOGS (VLOGS).  So, here is my first!
Enjoy my welcome to ASL Video Blog-  others will have captioning for non-signers… but not this one.  And don’t adjust your volume- there is no sound..

Hello world!

WELCOME!  Hello everyone and thank you for joining me on my new BLOG, well actually VLOG!  Why is that?  Because, I tend to video blog much of what I want to convey for my friends who are anxious to learn, practice or communicate with American Sign Language!

Like many people, I don’t just wear one hat!  I created my own business- Signing Families™, have worked in education for like a “zillion” years, blog on other sites at maniacal speed, host a radio show on the HerInsight network titled- Learning and Laughter with Louise (Yep – it is both Educational and FUNNY!) and have time to spare for my family…. (more about them later).

However, it is important to note that this blog is mostly for us to have a forum to share and learn from each other.  I will be posting my weekly Learning and Laughter with Louise updates here from now on!  So, look forward to flying fingers as I sign my little heart out!

And from time to time I will post favorite material from others, as well.

Comments are welcome…. but we all need to be adhere to a few rules… be nice, play fair and no negativity.

Thanks for reading….

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