How it Feels to Job Hunt as a Recent Grad

Congratulations recent college graduates! Two years ago had just come home from Greece (not bad) and started life guarding for the fifth summer in a row as I hunted and applied for teaching jobs to no avail. I sympathize with anyone who is going through that right now.

I’m a big fan of reading BuzzFeed articles before bed (don’t judge me) and I decided to take a crack at my own gif inspired blog post. With the help of giphy and gifhorse I was able to write one rather easily. One or two people have even said it was funny! I am more proud of it than I probably should be.

You can read ‘How it Feels to Job Hunt as a Recent Grad’ on the NY Creative Interns blog here.


Focusing on my “Passion Project”

I started volunteering for NY Creative Interns in June. I discovered the organization in January while rather franticly trying to get a job and make something of myself. Soon after that I started at ShowMe and stopped attending events but continued to followed them online. In April I saw all the photographs and recaps from their large Find and Follow Your Passion conference, and I decided it was time again to get involved. For purely financial reasons it seemed to more practical to volunteer my time than my money to attend the events. I volunteered to write recap blog posts from their events and now I also get my name attributed to their weekly opportunities post. (Which is skillful copy and pasting at the most- but it’s something!) But I’ve also had the chance to attend many different events and get to know a handful of really nice, motivated people that volunteer as well. It was a great decision.

A large chunk of the volunteers. Photo by Yael Malka 

Last Saturday, November 10th, NY Creative Interns held their second Find and Follow Your Passion conference at Pratt Institute. There were talks about all sorts of things like navigating a new job, finding your self-worth, social Media tools to help you network ‘IRL’ (in real life) and more. I lucked out and was given the task of managing a session room- so I got to sit my butt down and hear four great talks. I loved all four discussions I sat in on but the one that stuck with me most was called ‘Creative Alchemy: Convert Opportunities into Career Gold‘ and was lead by  Monica Lo, Senior Art Director at kbs+ and Megan Nuttall, Senior Writer at kbs+. I’ll be honest I was skeptical of this talk before it started due to the name, but the talk was perfect for me. Unlike a lot of the conference attendees I’m fortunate to currently hold a job I really enjoy, and I’m working towards a degree that should hopefully lead to a “dream” job in the future. I feel like I’m already headed in the right direct to successfully find and follow my passion. So the one thing that these ladies said that really stuck with me was that you need to find your Passion Project.

Monica maintains a food blog and Meagan loves to craft. These aren’t just their interests- these were the first things they shared with us when they introduced themselves at the beginning of their talk, they were passionate about these things. These were two girls who seem to really enjoy their job and have an awesome opportunity to work together as a team at their agency. And while they both enjoy their positions, they still spent a large portion of their discussion talking about the importance of finding your passions and doing what you love outside of the workplace.

So my #1 take-away from the conference was a motivation to begin working on more things I love, like crafting and beauty.  And I’m even contemplating starting a beauty, fashion and crafting blog next year. It sounds a little silly but this blog Merrick’s Art is one of my favorite things on the internet. I wake up every morning and hope she wrote something on her blog  about refashioning a dress, or copying a craft from pinterest, that I can read with coffee. I have a few other blogs I love but hers is my favorite. Is it deep? Not really. Will it drastically change the word for the better? Most likely not. Does it make me happy? YES. And if I work on things that make me happy that I’m passionate about I’ll perform better at work, do well in school, and I’ll better off all around. So while many attendees  were looking for career advice at this conference, I was able to take away something non-career related, but equally as valuable towards helping my find my passion.

Research Questions

I recently started grad school at the Teachers College at Columbia. I am going to be studying Instructional Technology and Media, and I plan on learning how to effectively assess the impact of technology in schools.

I’m going to grad school super part time (4 credits currently!) for a few different reasons.

  1. I was flustered around this time last year, wondering what I was doing with my life, and figured I’d apply to only one grad school. One was enough!
  2. I need to get a Masters degree at some point if I still have dreams of one day being a teacher.
  3. I think this program will provide useful skills if I want to go back into the classroom (we’ll discuss current policies, theories, and strategies for educational research and implementation) or if I want to stay in technology or start-ups. (I’ll learn research skills that are applicable anywhere, and I have a few required Javascript courses I’ll have to take. I might even learn some basic programing.)
  4. If you go to grad school super part-time you have a lot more time to earn the $$$ to go there. 😉

One burning question I’d love to help research and answer is: How Effective is Teacher lead Professional Development? When I worked at ShowMe I went to ISTE and TEDxNYED and edCamp. These are all teacher lead professional development events (Well, ISTE is a lot of things) and I’ve participated in #edchat and other education twitter chats. The teachers that participate were engaged and excited to share what they’ve done in their classrooms.Obviously these teachers are the early adaptors, the mavens, the innovators. Most teachers are not like them. But I’m interested to see more mandatory, well-structured, teacher-lead professional development in schools.

Think of it as after school show and tell; the teachers share any PD they’ve recently attended and what they found useful. They can also share any failures or successes they’ve experienced trying a different tool, policy or strategy in the classroom. Everyone loves talking about “bad” teachers these days, but I think very few teachers are actually “bad.” Many are  just not innovative and stuck in their old ways. Teaching is a rather independent profession and you can get stuck in a bubble believing that what you do is working, simply because students are passing a test or sitting quietly. If all teachers heard what more adventurous, innovative, teachers are doing in the classroom it could at least give them the inspiration and opportunity to change their classroom as well.

But for now this is a complete hypothesis. I can chat all I want, but I’ll need some data to back this up. So perhaps this is a research question I’ll be working on for the rest of my time at Columbia. Or maybe I’ll change my mind tomorrow. Either way I’ll keep you updated.

Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is a hot topic these days. Recent graduates have a lot of debt but not a lot of job prospects. The average debt in 2011 was $23,300. Roughly 54% of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. I was in that category until recently, and many of my friends are struggling to find a job. Last Friday the NY Times released a short video interviewing three recent New Paltz graduates that were drowning in debt.  That obviously hit close to home.

I am so lucky and fortunate for several reasons. My family was able to pay for my education and I don’t have any loans to pay.  I really wanted to go to Bucknell University in high school. I did well and a lot of my friends were heading off to big name state schools or private schools. Bucknell had a great campus and a $40,000 per year tuition price tag. I remember my parents telling me they would try as hard as they could to pay for me to go if I got in. In hindsight I am happy to say I was rejected, so I never had to decide whether to go to a prestigious private school or a SUNY. Four years of New Paltz tuition was less than a year at Bucknell.

Who’s to blame for all this college debt? Well first, it does no good to place blame on anyone since these recent graduates are stuck with this regardless. Because they are stuck with this it is easy to place blame on them. When I was watching the New Paltz video the NY Times posted even I thought “Why did you spend $60,000 for an Art History degree? C’mon now!” But I started college in 2007, a year before the recession started. We had been bred since middle school to become college students. Adults gave us this idea that college was the golden ticket to the sweet life, we just had to get a decent SAT score, pass our finals and join a sport or club. Once we were accepted to college we would therefore be guaranteed a job upon graduation and we would be quickly reaping up those millions of additional dollars you earn over the course of your lifetime thanks to our degrees. And the better the college we attended, the better our lives would turn out. Any price tag was worth it!

This might sound suspicious for you, an adult, who has learned that adults can often be incorrect and misguided, just like kids. However, at 16 and 17 years old this can sound like a completely logical game plan. Senior year of high school is all about comparing your SAT scores to colleges in your range. You have “reach” schools, “good fits” and finally, “safety” schools. Getting into a reach school was amazing, being stuck with a safety schools seemed like failure. (At my high school most of our safety schools were state schools and community colleges, the ones with a lower price tag! But we didn’t see it that way.)

After we found out our fate, our parents often had good sense and helped us make a decision based on a combination of school fit and price tag. After time and consideration I decided that New Paltz was worth the bang for its considerably smaller buck, it had a decent education program and four years later I graduated with a degree and great friends and memories.

Sometimes I think about what I would have done if I had to pay for college myself. At 17 years old I worked at a West Point gift shop on the weekends and I made an average of about $100 every two weeks. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must have been to take out loans. The actual weight of amounts like $23,000 are foreign to the average 17 year old. We had been told our whole lives that we should go to good schools, the schools most have heard of often cost upwards of $40,000 or more. If that’s their price than you would assume it is reasonable- maybe it’s not as much money as your 17 year old self seems to think it is. One year on the job after college and this will all be paid off…

After the economy sank we can now see that this student loan debt really can’t work. I want us to change this ridiculous mindset. The average cost of a private school in the 2011-2012 school year was $27,340. The average starting salary for 2011 graduates was $41,701. I don’t see why you would pay more to go to college than what you make in your first year on the job.

The United States is a free country, and if you want to and can pay $30k per year tuition, it should be an option. But this should not be the norm by any means. It shouldn’t matter the name of the school but the worth of the student who attended it. With all of the publicity going towards student loan debt, I hope it has helped high school graduates and their parents realize what a disaster large amounts of student loans are. I hope strong students are attending schools within their financial means and that this is the norm, not the exception. State schools are great. Community Colleges are a valuable and necessary option for many. Going to school part time while working is commendable. Working a few years before going to college should be valued as well. We need to stop allowing our high schoolers to be so jaded and help them see that college can be their first big financial investment. A lot of the same students that took out student loans would never buy a car without having an income, yet they thought they were doing the right thing to buy their college education without one.

Just some food for thought. I’m a little sad because I feel like my generation was somehow tricked, and I hope all these kids are able to stay afloat.

Increased Performance

A while back i wrote a post about The Value of Teachers, where I tried to make the point that good teachers don’t come from better salaries and standardized teacher evaluation systems, they come from a positive and innovative environment where people are excited to foster learning in students.

Recently I saw this post from Staffroom HQ that linked to a speech made by Dan Pink called “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us.” I’ll include the video at the bottom of this page. Pink discusses various studies where workers were given monetary incentives to do work. In physical/mechanical tasks the more you were paid the harder you worked. But when even rudimentary cognitive work was required, a larger reward lead to lower performance. Crazy, right??

So what incentives are needed to foster increased performance in cognitive tasks? They discovered that higher performance happened when workers experienced  Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

Pink was able to say more eloquently and factually what I’ve been thinking for the past year in regards to gaining “better” teachers.  Many people seem to think the best way to see increased teacher performance is to create a standardized evaluation system. This system can rely on student standardized test scores. People like Michelle Rhee would like to see evaluations lead to higher pay for those with good results. I’m not naive, I also think teachers must be evaluated in some way, they have the serious responsibility of educating our children and they must be held accountable for it. But this standardized way of evaluating teacher and student performance is actually hindering performance for both parties involved.

Higher teacher salaries are not going to increase performance. (Although it is a real issue that some teachers don’t get paid enough.) An environment with more freedom to customize lessons to the interest of the teacher or students would increase performance (Autonomy). If teachers were  given time and partial stipends to attend professional development workshops or enroll in a courses about topics in their content area, we would see increased performance (Mastery). Respect from families, administrators and the general public would help increase teacher performance (Purpose).

One little anecdote: foursquare has hackathons every once in  a while where developers drink beer, work together and hack away over the course of the weekend. At the end of the weekend the hackers have created games, websites and other cool things using the foursquare API. Some of these things probably suck. Others are silly and will never amount to a profit making product, but they are still really fun. Timehop, a viable startup, was born out of a foursquare hackathon, then called 4 Square & 7 Years Ago. The people at these hackathons are smart and creative, and they have been given the autonomy to work on whatever they want. The result: a large amount of innovation and improvement in the short period of 48 hours. They don’t get paid in any form other than beer and food. Yet they work hard and create great stuff.

I’m fully aware that taking this and transforming it into an activity that would work at a public K-12 school may be difficult. Startups are small, private and there isn’t much at stake for the general public if they fail. Public schools are enormous, funded by tax payer dollars, and the future of our country is at stake when they fail. But as Dan Pink has showed us, money and standardization are NOT going to improve teacher performance. So we need to figure out what will. (And although it wouldn’t sit well with most, I personally love the mental image of teachers drinking beer and staying up all weekend creating new and innovative teaching strategies.)

Here’s the Dan Pink talk:


Recently I posted the KONY2012 video… that was before the insanity of it  going viral. Yesterday the African Union announced it will lead a mission of 5,000 to assist in process of capturing Joseph Kony. I’ve been paying attention to this issue for the past four years so I know that it could have been a coincidence that this happened so soon after the video came out. Obama for example, sent 100 American troops into Uganda to help strategize with the Ugandan military last December, before this film came out. (Although I think the actions of other Invisible Children videos helped in that process as well, but whatever.) But I have a large hunch the video and its crazy viral spread did have an influence on this decision.

So this leads me to one big criticism (I’m not addressing the other dozen criticisms here) Invisible Children has faced, but lots of other issues have faced as well. (For example, right now a lot of attention is being brought to the murder of Trayvon Martin.) This idea of “slacktivism”, sharing and discussing an unjust issue and admitting that we need to do something about it, but taking hardly any physical or tangible action towards solving that unjust issue. Social Media has made it so easy to be a “slacktivist”. In fact I’m sure this this term didn’t even existed before Social Media. (Not to say it didn’t happen.) People post the KONY2012 video and we all know that we don’t like child soldiers and we don’t like terrorist groups. But what is a 30 minute video that I watch and share on facebook going to change about it? We all feel terrible about the death of Trayvon Martin, but if I post an article about his death and write “RIP Trayvon” in the description, how is that going to justify what happened to him?

Some people are so disgusted by this trend, and blame the youth of our country for being naive, believing they are making a difference when in reality they are just sharing on facebook. But I don’t see it that way. This is the way I see it.

There are two types of people: observers/slacktivists and doers/activists. And both of these groups of people use facebook and twitter. Observers/slacktivists will always read an article, be upset by it and post it on facebook.  They themselves are doing nothing to push the cause forward and get stuff done. But the beauty of social media is that the doers/activists see the posts that the observers/slactivists left. The doer reads this upsetting article and flips out, immediately tries to rally a group of people together and get something done! These are the people that will make change in our world, the doers/activists are the change makers. But the great thing about these observers/slacktivists is they are the fuel for the change maker fire. They bring the issues to the attention of doer/activist and they in turn do something about it. Observers/slacktivists are never going to do anything, regardless of whether or not they post that article on facebook. But because they do share it, if enough doers/activists see it the opportunity does arise for change to be made. Like these troops the African Union is deploying to South Sudan. I also believe that because of this attention George Zimmerman will, in time, be arrested and imprisoned for the death of Trayvon Martin. The are just two cases, there are hundreds of others.

These doers/activists are all ages. Some are older and many are young as well. People who criticism observers/slacktivists for being unproductive are much less productive themselves. Stop being cynical. If someone posts something on facebook but you know they aren’t going do do anything about it, don’t waste you time complaining that they didn’t take action, just take action yourself. Theres no harm in a slacktivist as long as we still have some activists around to make some change.

One other quick point: I also really dislike people blaming the youth for not being motivated to make change. 1. A lot of youth is motiviated to make change, which is really surprising because 2. adults and schools have done a fantastic job of making youth feel like unimportant members of society that have no control over their lives. Social Studies classes in US public schools consist of memorizing the Bill of Rights or stuff Andrew Jackson did. Civics is about memorizing the balance of powers and the elastic clause. Why would these kids think that this stuff applies to them when nobody ever tells them that they can make change unless they have awesome parents or they themselves are awesome enough to think outside the box?

Kony 2012

I have lots of things I’d love to write about on here and I hope to soon. Today I want to show this video by Invisible Children. From sophomore year of college (2008) until this past spring (2011) I was part of the New Paltz Invisible Children Club. I was a founding member of the club, but that was only because my close friends were interested and I tagged along, halfway interested. Somtime during junior year I started taking things more seriously and took a more active role in the club. I managed the club blog, but I also did a ton of other stuff. (When a small group of college girls are running something you typically don’t have a formal job title for your responsibilities!) It was a lot of fun and some of my fondest memories from college are part of that club with my friends.

What is Invisible Children? Its a not for profit organization that was created in 2003 and aims to bring attention to a war that has reeked havoc over Central Africa (specifically Uganda and more recently CAR, DRC and South Sudan) for the past 26 years due to Joseph Kony and his rebel army (LRA) which is predominately made of child soldiers. IC also raises money for some really ingenious funding projects to help rehabilitate war victims and improve safety and communication for the more remote villages affected by the conflict.

Two reasons I like Invisible Children: 1. They are really great at getting young people to care about a social issue. Most IC supporters are high school and college students. 2. In regards to the donation part of IC,  This is not a run of the mill charity organization that tries to provide food for the “poor people of Africa.” The money that IC raises is used in ways the people in Uganda and the DRC, not Americans, have decided it is best fit. This includes school rebuilding, free tuition scholarships for students, employment opportunities and economic courses for women who escaped the rebels,  and radio towers to improve communication lines between villages. The people affected by this conflict are well educated and extremely capable, they have just been put in a very difficult and dangerous situation. IC simply helps provide resources and word of mouth via technology and videos that these people would not be able to do on their own.

Each year Invisible Children has a concept that they promote. Every semester they have teams of “Roadies” visit schools throughout the country to show a new film and discuss the current situation of the war. This year their initiative is “Kony 2012.” Joseph Kony is the leader behind this senseless rebel group, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA),  that has killed and abducted thousands of adults and children. He is ranked the most wanted criminal by the International Justice Court. So why has the majority of the population never heard of him? Why isn’t he as famous as George Clooney, Jay-Z or Taylor Swift? 2012 is the year to make him infamous to the world.

I could talk about Invisible Children for hours. If you have any questions for me feel free to leave a comment, but I leave you today with the newest Invisible Children film. Take a few minutes out of your busy day to watch this film!

**Update** I am blown away by how viral this video has gone in the past two days and I find it interesting how controversy  has also been surrounding it. Here’s my opinion: Invisible Children has been creating movies very similar to this one and initiatives like Kony2012 for the past 8 years, this is not new. If you just heard about them yesterday then you have 8 years of this organization to catch up on.

Also, if you want to criticize the organization after doing thorough research, then you have every right to do that. If you are interested in doing some research on Invisible Children here are some facts straight from the source:

The Danger of a Single Story

It’s TED talk week here! Sorry, I always love TED talks but this week I’ve seen two really stand-out talks. If you’re anything like me you love an excuse to watch a good TED talk anyway.

This talk is from Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian author. I came across it because Globaloria shows this video to students as a part of the curriculum early in the year. This week we have been looking at the curriculum, seeing if we can build up the empathy and social understanding portion. Globaloria is a game design class, so these things don’t have to be a huge part of the curriculum, but I think each class in every school should devote some time to the importance of respecting others and embracing people of all backgrounds and orientations.

I would love to see our schools put more effort into informing students about the dangers of “a single story.” But right now we live in a country where many teachers, administrators, politicians and policy makers also live by one story. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be a Social Studies teacher. Students see things like the Holocaust or the Civil Rights movement, and they can see that the way Jews were treated was horrible, or that the way Blacks were treated before 1970 was inexcusable. But we still have so many more subtle instances of racism and hatred today because many people believe ideas that they were told and think it is right to make judgements about all people from one background based on a single story they have heard.

Don’t just believe a story.  Never assume someone is a certain way because of their background. Find out for yourself. It’s always ok to change your mind and alter your thought processes. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, I actually think it means you are so very strong.

Some things I’ve been doing and creating.

I believe 2012 is really going to be a big year for me somehow. Things are going to change but at the same time things will fall into place. At the beginning of this year I started two new internships. Now I’ve been at them for almost a month and I wanted to share what I’ve been working on with you.

I currently work 4 days a week at World Wide Workshop. WWW has a program called Globaloria, which is a curriculum and learning network in 4 different states across the country. In the class students build an educational game using Flash Software. Students design the game from start to finish, creating a paper prototype (just ideas for the game on paper) in the fall, and eventually develop a game demo by mid-year and a final playable game by June. The main office is in NYC and the team is very small. I’m enjoying my time and I find this work to be meaningful and interesting. I’m thankful I have many different tasks to do when I come in… I hate doing the same thing everyday. One of the projects that has been assigned to me is maintaining the Globaloria Spotlight blog, which highlights exceptional student work throughout the year.

I also spend a few hours a week at Hot Bread Kitchen, a not for profit bakery in Harlem that aims to help women from low-income backgrounds receive a decent income and gain valuable food service skills. I’m working to bulster their Social Media presence over the course of the next 3 months.  I’ve mainly just been scripting out some interactive/ interesting content for them to post. I’ve been working on this project for less than three weeks and their followers/”likes” have already increase pretty significantly which is really encouraging.  I also created a foursquare page which has over 35 tips at different Greenmarkets and Shops throughout the city. It took a while but I really like how it turned out. I’ll eventually incorporate some tips at cultural locations that fit well with the mission of HBK.

Check out Hot Bread Kitchen on Twitter, Facebook and foursquare

I’ve also been helping the community manager at ShowMe work on some odds and ends since the end of last fall. ShowMe is a great iPad app that allows anyone to create lessons very similar visually to the style of Khan Academy. I don’t have an iPad, but I’m going to start spending a few hours a week working there (a new internship!) with them so maybe I’ll have time to create a lesson or two and post it on here. For some reason I really want to create a compare and contrast lesson on Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm  X. (I created a lesson about that last year with the 8th graders and they enjoyed it.) Until then you can check out a guest post I wrote for their blog here.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve been so busy I had to quit my retail job. My dad and I have a joke that I work for dozens of places yet I make no income. No worries though, its all about experience and I’ve definitely felt my confidence in myself increase over the past month. I’m getting involved in all my interests; ed tech, community management and social media management. I  suppose that is more valuable than money. 🙂

The Value of Teachers

This morning a few people on twitter posted this NY Times Opt-Ed article by  Nicholas D. Kristof, titled “The Value of Teachers”. Articles like this help me remember why I wanted to be a teacher and how I still would like to teach. I enjoy these discussions about the “value” of teachers. We all know a great teacher is one of the most empowering and influential people in our lives outside of our family and friends. But the statistics of a valuable teacher even surprise me.

” A landmark new research paper underscores that the difference between a strong teacher and a weak teacher lasts a lifetime. Having a good fourth-grade teacher makes a student 1.25 percent more likely to go to college, the research suggests, and 1.25 percent less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. Each of the students will go on as an adult to earn, on average, $25,000 more over a lifetime — or about $700,000 in gains for an average size class — all attributable to that ace teacher back in the fourth grade.”


I watched Waiting for Superman recently and the movie talked about the same idea. A good teacher is so valuable and a bad teacher is so detrimental to our students, yet our Teachers Unions provide practically no way at all to differentiate between “bad” and “good” teachers. Both get paid the same amount of money and receive the same benefits. That doesn’t seem fair and it doesn’t make sense. Michelle Rhee, the previous Chancellor of DC public schools, wanted to give good teachers the opportunity to earn up to 6-figures per year with a merit-based pay system. This plan was immediately shot-down by Teachers Unions.

In theory we all like the idea that “good” teachers be rewarded with higher pay and “bad” teachers really should quit the profession. And although we can all rattle off names of a few nightmarish/amazing teachers we’ve had in our lives, in practice it is much harder than it sounds to weed out the bad from the good.

There are over 400 comments on Kristof’s Opt-Ed piece, all of them bringing up some excellent points on the issue. But today I just wanted to share a few ideas that I’ve thought about after reading this piece.

1. I don’t like the idea of merit-based pay because like I said earlier, it is too difficult to measure the quality of a teacher. Certainly we don’t want test scores determining whether or not a teacher is deemed as “good”, but really what else could we go off of? How many students like the teacher? How decorated the classroom is? How many parents call and complain? It could maybe be an elaborate evaluation process, but eventually school politics would get in the way and good decisions would not always be made.

2. Instead of focusing on separating the “good”  from the “bad” teachers, our systems should and can work on making most teachers “good”. And in my opinion, the best way to get good teachers is to make all teachers feel valued. A higher salary is not the only way to feel valued.

Ways to make a teacher feel valued:

  • Allow them to attend a professional develop event of their choice each year.
  • Give them smaller class sizes (no more than 25 students) so they are not overloaded.
  • Give them the proper supplies and equipment they need to teach.
  • Allow teachers to pursue their more exciting ideas; fund class field trips, bring in exciting public speakers.
  • Provide Administrative support for the teacher when students are in trouble or parents come in ready to attack.
  • Allow time for teachers to collaborate and discuss lessons and teaching with co-workers in a positive setting. (This is not the same as complaining in the Teachers Lounge at lunch.)

We always talk about how students are uninspired in our current school system; It is because our teachers are facing the same problem! They are overloaded, disrespected, under supplied, putting up with tedious, irrelevant B.S. everyday. Schools are worrying about complaining parents and standardized test scores for state funding. They are not interested in creating an innovative and engaging environment to inspire learning. When schools do focus on that I believe we will see that many of our “bad” teachers actually have a “good” teacher in them somewhere just waiting to come out and inspire our students.