Alan Sitomer's Blog (168)

The D'Oh of Being a Teacher

I've read scores and scores of books on the art and science of teaching. Many of the big names, lots of small ones, folks who have had some genuinely brilliant stuff to say and others who struck me as flat out nincompoops. But I think that one of the most important things I have taken away from all my "studies" is something about which everyone in our profession needs to be frequently reminded.



We flub. We mess up. We make mistakes... on almost a daily… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 16, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Loving the Bad Guy

Had an exceptionally interesting conversation today with my literary agent about the need for an interesting villain in fiction. He spoke quite eloquently about the idea that the strength of a hero is really predicated on the force of opposition that your hero must face. After all, a weak villain doesn't require any great, spectacular heroism to conquer -- and this a problem with a large majority of the slush pile… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 15, 2009 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Librarians are my Homies!!

I am immensely proud of this picture. The people you see include 1) Jacqueline Woodson, an author who has won the Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Newberry Honor Medal, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement as given by the American Library Association 2) Ann Martin, President of the American Association of School Librarians 3)… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 14, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Goodness, do I really understand how much things have changed?

I was a featured speaker on the President's Panel of AASL this Saturday for the American Library Association's annual conference. (Took place in Chicago this year... what a town!)



So much great info, so many great people and so many great, mind-blowing ideas came at me from so many different directions that it's virtually impossible to keep up.



Yet, through the speaking, the book signings, the… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 13, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

National Standard 1.0 has got to be...

No one asked me but...



Considering that a bunch of high-fallutin', really smart, really accomplished folks are now getting together to concotuate national standards (and you wonder why they didn't invite me to the party?) I figured I throw in my own 2 cents.



All I ask is that they give me one standard. Just one. The rest, I'll leave to the professionals.



Standard 1.0: Have fun!



That's right, have fun. Enjoy your class, enjoy your… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 10, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

What kind of Neanderthal schooling is being provided by you Philistines?

School budgets need to be cut! But you better not shortchange MY child's education. This is the schizophrenic mantra being shouted by policy-making parents today.



On one hand, when they put on their bean counter hats, they see the excess, the fluff, the areas which can "justifiably" be scaled back. On the other hand, when they wear the hat of a being a parent and they look at the education that their own flesh and blood are getting in our schools, suddenly it's a whole… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 9, 2009 at 9:13am — No Comments

Why We Need to Teach Sex Ed in Our Schools

For those who wonder why we need Sex Ed taught in our schools, I offer this story, the tale of the teens who mistook a woman's lovemaking cries for assault and promptly beat the crap out of the man with whom she was amorously copulating.



But the question arises as to which school personnel are qualified to handle such a delicate, senstive class. Good thing we have teachers such… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 8, 2009 at 5:01pm — No Comments

My 3% Pay Cut... What Does It Really Mean?

I was just informed that my pay was being cut 3% for next year. The vote of the school board in regards to the issue of cutting my salary was unanimous. Budget issues. Belt tightening. Everyone taking one for the team.



Things is, I kinda get it. I mean we are facing huge budget issues, folks everywhere are tightening their belts and if everyone doesn't chip in a little, then there is no way to make up for the fiscal shortfall and keep our schools running.



But the… Continue

Added by Alan Sitomer on July 7, 2009 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

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