Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Calling All High School Students!

My former advisor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Eleanor Duckworth, recently posted this request for filmmaker and author Michael Moore. Please feel free to pass it along to any high school students you know. Many thanks!

Dear friends--

I was at the annual North Dakota Study Group meeting just north of Chicago this weekend (flew back this afternoon).  Yesterday noon, after hearing an inspiring and catalyzing presentation from Milwaukee Public School Teacher, Bob Peterson (Rethinking Schools), we abandoned the conference schedule, loaded up and hit the road, in thirteen cars, heading for Madison to stand in solidarity with fellow educators and public workers. It was some great experience.

This evening, returning home. I have found this message from Michael Moore, which he asks us to pass on to all the students we know.

In solidarity --


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Michael Moore <>
Sent: Fri, February 18, 2011 1:56:32 PM
Subject: Join My High School Newspaper ...a note to students from Michael

Join My High School Newspaper ...a note to students from Michael Moore

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Dear High School Students:

How inspired are you by the thousands of students from Wisconsin high
schools who began walking out of class four days ago and have now occupied
the State Capitol building and its grounds in Madison, demanding that the
governor stop his assault on teachers and other government workers? I have
to say it's one of the most exciting things I've seen in years.

We are, right now, living in an amazing moment of history. And this moment
has happened because the youth around the world have decided they've had
enough. Young people are in revolt -- and it's about time.

You, the students and young adults, from Cairo, Egypt to Madison,
Wisconsin, are now rising up, taking to the streets, organizing, protesting
and refusing to move until your voices are heard. Effing amazing!! It has
scared the pants off those in power, the adults who were so convinced they
had done a heckuva job trying to dumb you down and distract you with
useless nonsense so that you'd end up feeling powerless, just another cog
in the wheel, another brick in the wall. You've been fed a lot of
propaganda about "how the system works" and so many lies about what took
place in history that I'm amazed you've been able to sort through all the
bs and see the truth for what it is. This was all done in the hopes you
would just keep your mouths shut, get in line and follow orders. And don't
rock the boat. Because if you do, you could end up without a good job! You
could end up looking like a freak! You've been told politics isn't cool and
that one person really can't make a difference.

And for some beautiful, unknown reason, you've refused to listen. Maybe
it's because you've figured out that we adults are about to hand you a very
empty and increasingly miserable world, with its melting polar ice caps,
its low-paying jobs, its incessant war machine, and its plan to put you in
permanent debt at age 18 with the racket known as college loans.

On top of that, you've had to listen to adults tell you that you may not be
able to legally marry the person you love, that your uterus isn't really
yours to control, and that if a black guy somehow makes it into the White
House, he must've entered illegally from Kenya.

Yet, from what I've seen, the vast majority of you have rejected all of
this crap. Never forget that it was you, the young people, who made Barack
Obama president. First you formed his army of election volunteers to get
him the nomination. Then you came out in record numbers in November of
2008. Did you know that the only age group where Obama won the white vote
was with 18-29-year-olds? The majority of every white age group over 29
years old voted for McCain -- and yet Obama still won! How'd that happen?
Because there were so many youth voters of all races -- a record turnout
that overcame the vast numbers of fearful white adults who simply couldn't
see someone whose middle name was Hussein in the Oval Office. Thank you
young voters for making that happen!

Young people elsewhere in the world, most notably in the Middle East, have
taken to the streets and overthrown dictatorial governments without firing
a shot. Their courage has inspired others to take a stand. There's a huge
momentum right now, a youth-backed mojo that can't and won't be stopped.

Although I've long since left your age group, I've been so inspired by
recent events that I'd like to do my bit and lend a hand. I've decided to
turn over a part of my website to high school students so they -- you --
can have the opportunity to get the word out to millions more people. For a
long time I've wondered, how come we don't hear the true voices of
teenagers in our mainstream media? Why is your voice any less valid than an

In high schools all across America, students have great ideas to make
things better or to question what is going on -- and often these thoughts
and opinions are ignored or silenced. How often in school is the will of
the student body ignored? How many students today will try to speak out, to
stand up for something important, to simply try to right a wrong -- and
will be swiftly shut down by those in authority, or by other students

I've seen students over the years attempt to participate in the democratic
process only to be told that high schools aren't democracies and that they
have no rights (even though the Supreme Court has said that a student
doesn't give up his or her rights "when they enter the schoolhouse door").

It's always amazed me how adults preach to young people about what a great
"democracy" we have, but when students seek to be part of it, they are
reminded that they are not full citizens yet and must behave somehow as
indentured servants. Is it any wonder then why some students, when they
become adults, don't feel like participating in our political system --
because they've been taught by example for the past 12 years that they have
no say in the decisions that affect them?

We like to say that we have this great "free press," and yet how free are
high school newspapers? How free are you to write or blog about what you
want? I've been sent stories from teenagers that they couldn't get
published at school. Why not? Why must we silence or keep out of sight the
voice of our teenagers?

It's not that way in other countries. The voting age in places like
Austria, Brazil or Nicaragua is 16. In France, students can shut down the
country by simply walking out of school and taking to the streets.

But here in the U.S. you're told to obey and to basically butt out and let
the adults run the show.

Let's change that! I'm starting something on my site called, "HIGH SCHOOL
NEWSPAPER." Here you will be able to write what you want and I will publish
it. I will also post those articles that you've tried to get published at
your school but were turned down. On my site you will have freedom and an
open forum and a chance to have your voice heard by millions.

I've asked my 17-year-old niece, Molly, to kick things off by editing this
page for the first six months. She will ask you to send her your stories
and ideas and the best ones will be posted on I'll give
you the platform you deserve. It will be my honor to have you on my site
and I encourage you to take advantage of it.

You are often called "our future." That future is today, right here, right
now. You've already proven you can change the world. Keep doing it. And I'd
be honored to help you.

Michael Moore

P.S. When can you get started? Right now! Just go here and register. (You
can use a made-up name if you want and you don't have to name your
school.) Then once you're done, start submitting blogs, music, video and

P.P.S. If you're reading this and not in high school, please take a
second and forward it to all the students you know.

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