Heroes represent the best of ourselves, respecting that we are human beings. A hero can be anyone from Gandhi to your classroom teacher, anyone who can show courage when faced with a problem. A hero is someone who is willing to help others in his or her best capacity.
During my eleven years as a New York City public school teacher, I saw firsthand the impact that poverty has on the classroom. In low-income neighborhoods like Sunset Park, where I taught, students as young as five years old enter school affected by the stresses often created by poverty: domestic violence, drug abuse, gang activity.
When I enrolled in college at age 19, I had a total of eight years of formal classroom education. As a result, I was not comfortable with formal lectures and receiving regular homework assignments.
The world is a bell curve. Classroom test scores, employee performance in a company or how many people really, really like you. No matter the population you're studying, they always fit neatly across the standard deviations of the famous bell curve.
Teachers say their schools of education did not adequately prepare them for the classroom. They would have welcomed more mentoring and feedback in their early years.
How absurd that our students tuck their cell phones, BlackBerrys, iPads, and iPods into their backpacks when they enter a classroom and pull out a tattered textbook.
On the first day of school, you got to be real careful where you sit. You walk into the classroom and just plunk your stuff down on any old desk, and the next thing you know the teacher is saying, 'I hope you all like where you're sitting, because these are your permanent seats.'
New media's not very old, hence the word new, so we don't know a lot of things about new media and by the time you've taught it it's probably out of date. I think it's much more beneficial to have an experiential lesson versus a classroom lesson in new media.
The bits I most remember about my school days are those that took place outside the classroom, as we were taken on countless theatre visits and trips to places of interest.
The unions say 'last hired - first fired,', we say hire and fire based on merit. We want the best and brightest in the classroom.