Welcome to June! Here are some articles from the internet about which I had strong feelings this week. And here is a picture of a bird I drew while some of my students were testing.


Dozens of the earliest written texts ever found in Britain were revealed to the world in London on Wednesday morning...The documents include what is probably the earliest manuscript ever found in Britain – as well as what may well be the earliest surviving example of the name London.


Key characters in the texts include Tertius the brewer, Proculus the haulier, Tibullus the freed slave, Optatus the food merchant, Crispus the innkeeper, Classicus the lieutenant colonel, Junius the barrel maker, Rusticus (one of the governor's bodyguards) and, last but not least, Florentinus the slave.

brb have to go write some ancient historical Roman London fanfic starring Rusticus and Florentinus

This article by a girl who quit TFA annoyed me so very much, and I'm trying to put my finger on why...

As I got to know my new colleagues and some level of trust was established, it didn't take long to discover that TFA's five-week training model was a source of resentment for these teachers. Not only were we youngsters going into "rough" schools with the stated goal of changing what they had not been able to, but we had done this with only half a summer's worth of preparation. I began to understand why my TFA status instantly communicated to other teachers that I found myself superior.

...See what I mean? Like, just possibly your colleagues had other reasons for finding your attitude vaguely superior.

Her criticisms of TFA are mostly valid (although she whines about a few things that, really, aren't their fault; for example, you cannot honestly expect them to place you if you fail your certification exam), HOWEVER...

  1. None of this is exactly new news, you can't be like "TFA teachers are undertrained, SHOCKING EXPOSEE OF THE TRUTH NO ONE KNOWS BUT ME"
  2. Also, she quit after a year! Which is totally her choice, and it sounds like it was the right choice for her, and I do not judge people for leaving TFA if they find it's not for them, but she seems to think that the act of quitting somehow qualifies her as an expert in everything that's wrong with education now, and I just...do not agree.

This seriously worries me: many of my students attend CUNY and I don't know where they would be going if they didn't have that option.

On the City College of New York’s handsome Gothic campus, leaking ceilings have turned hallways into obstacle courses of buckets. The bathrooms sometimes run out of toilet paper. The lectures are becoming uncomfortably overcrowded, and course selections are dwindling, because of steep budget cuts.
The faculty of the college’s well-regarded engineering school is so “disengaged and beaten,” an assessment last year warned, that if “serious shortcomings” were not rectified, the school could fail to earn reaccreditation.

I'm not sure how to fix this, but I suppose I can start by sharing it widely so that everyone at least knows about the issue...