The idea of arming teachers had come up again. Based on some experience in a large school district, here’s how I think it might go: Funding for the guns will come from each school’s special education budget. The teachers with guns initiative will be given a sassy acronym. Teachers will receive no training other than … More arm-ED: Weaponizing Teachers
I’m changing the name of this blog today. The name Unnecessary Lessons comes from a scene in The Jerk in which Bernadette Peters, newly rich, fills her time by taking knife-throwing lessons. After a failed attempt, she cries, “I can’t do anything right.” Her husband is enthusiastic and supportive, yet she struggles to find her … More Unnecessary Lessons
I’m not even sure if they call it math workshop in New Zealand, but let’s just go with that. I observed a structure in my daughter’s Wellington school that allowed students to self-assess, determine their own schedule, attend targeted workshops, complete work on their own schedule, reflect on their learning, and learn from other students. … More Math Workshop as I understand it.
It only makes sense. I’m not in New Zealand anymore. Soon I won’t be in Chicago anymore. Even sooner than that, I won’t be a teacher, at least not for a while. Our family is moving to Austin, TX at the end of December. Geoff is taking an awesome job there—I’ll let him explain it … More I’m going to change the name of this blog
Usually when I tell people that I teach middle school math, I’m met with sympathetic and somewhat terrified looks. It’s the same look I give kindergarten teachers. It’s not easy, but I love my job. Middle school students are funny, awkward, and yes, sweet. I enjoy teaching math, but even after 11 years, I’ve never … More Math Workshop: Another Good Idea from New Zealand.
There’s not much time for me to write a farewell blog. Geoff and Eliza left this afternoon, and I’m flying out with Augusta tomorrow. Like many things on this trip, flying separately was not planned. There was some mix-up with ticketing. Many people have reassured me that a 24-hour flight with an eight-week-old baby will … More Good-bye,Land of the Long White Cloud. Hello, Land of the Stinking Onion.
This morning, a friend asked if I am now a full-time researcher and mom: “some kind of superwoman,” as he put it. My brain isn’t working well enough for me to make a witty comparison between myself and superwoman. I am trying to wrap up my project on a ridiculously small amount of sleep. Visiting … More The Exhausted Mom’s Version of my Fulbright Project
Although it requires a bit more paperwork, giving birth in New Zealand is easier than in the United States. This is true, in part, because Augusta is our second child. It also helps that my mom is here for three weeks. Another reason is New Zealand’s postnatal care. Eliza was born at a very nice … More Why You Should Have Your Next Baby in New Zealand.
Augusta Victoria Burkhart was born on April 5, 2017 at 9:09 A.M. She weighs 3,240 grams, is 55 cm long, and is covered in baby fur. She is lovely. Geoff’s been proudly walking her all over the hospital. Eliza, equally excited, is going out of her way to be a responsible big sister. I’m still … More Augusta!
When I was pregnant with Eliza, Geoff and I attended childbirth classes. Each class was disturbing in some way. I remember watching a video of a woman holding onto a bar, sweating and gnashing her teeth, while squatting over a hospital bed. I learned in another class that breastfeeding only hurts if you’re doing it … More The Caesar