All posts by Sean Shannon

‘Bad Luck’ Yourself

When I was having difficulty remembering to pass around sign-in sheets for each of my classes in my early years of teaching, I created my own set of sign-in sheets with one of my favourite quotes on each of them. Even though I knew that the quotes would make my students realize that I’m even more of a dork than I appear at first blush, the ability to share those quotes with my students still did its trick in getting me to take attendance more…

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Deadline Approaching

Teachers Are Scared to Go Back to School. Will They Strike? (Education Week) We don’t talk about school shootings enough. It’s bad enough that this country has gotten to the point where even a school shooting with multiple deaths may no longer merit the briefest of mentions on the evening news, but what’s worse is how those people devoted to destroying public education silently use these tragedies to their advantage. Even if growing waves of school shootings might not penetrate the broader American consciousness that…

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Scapegoat Season

Pamela Segal and Molly Mee: Don’t blame teachers for looking out for safety of themselves, children | COMMENTARY (Capital Gazette) I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to pinpoint an exact moment when the fight to give all American children a good education became so intractably perverse, but the broader movement of neoliberal Democrats towards big business’ vision of American education was certainly one of the key shifts that made the struggle monumentally more difficult for the rest of us. From the edubusiness ties…

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Something for the Occasion

Today would have been Mom’s seventy-fifth birthday. Part of me wants to use the present-tense “is” in that sentence, since I still feel Mom’s presence in my life every day. (Today is not a good day to get me started on the vicissitudes of verb tense standards in different cultural situations.) In a way, it feels like that choice makes me focus on what might have been in our lives here if things had turned out differently, instead of what there is right now. Maybe,…

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To Slaughter

High schools nationwide ask athletes to sign coronavirus waivers in case they die (New York Daily News via MSN)Wisconsin teachers unions urge online-only start (WIFR) Several years ago, I was put in the uncomfortable position of having one of my students at the start of a semester die before the semester’s end. This would have been a serious problem under even the best of circumstances, but the college I was teaching this class at didn’t even tell me of the student’s passing; I only learned…

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