Torii Bottomley

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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Geoffrey Canada: Our failing schools. Enough is enough!
Why haven't school changed? Creative, innovative teachers are bullied out of their jobs (Breaking the Silence, Joseph Blasé). In my experience, these were caucasians working in urban education that really wanted to educate students not use them as statistics for data. Administrators are unprepared and unethical- even though they came from Harvard Ed School. Harvard's response- "We can't screen for ethical qualities." Atlanta only represents what is going on in many districts. Once the type of data is identified the administration brainstorms on how to forge this data-from attendance, to surveys, to standardized tests. The real litmus test is what you touched upon at the end of your talk-despite the data....who can really survive in college. How can we have amazing data in high schools and the Community Colleges have to have so many Adult Basic Education programs. As for the money-I have never voted for more money to be given to schools because it never gets to the classroom- rather inflated superintendent salaries, more layers of administration, stipends to buy silence etc. No thanks.
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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Pearl Arredondo: My story, from gangland daughter to star teacher
The line of blaming teachers is beyond boring. The point you made indirectly is that there is a call for better administrators. By and large, the staff reflects the philosophy of the administration. By improving the quality of administrators it follow that teachers will be more aligned with these new values and ideals. In opening your new school, you, as the administration, were able to hire teachers with your value system. As an educator, who taught in California 5 years where there were multiple gangs and weekends of my students were commonly spent visiting relatives in prison or working in the fields, I connect to your experience. However, although I would work beyond the school hours, I remember my colleagues telling me that this was unprofessional. It made sense. In what other career are employees asked to work beyond their hours for no pay? We are educators not volunteers. Since teaching is a predominately female profession, your comments are disempowering, especially for women. Yes to rigor and relevancy- when an earthquake hit our town, my students homework was to translate for the English only speaking Red Cross workers, trying to provide services to the flood victims and their families. You are on the right road.
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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Malcolm London: “High School Training Ground”
True. Chicago is not alone. Administrators in Boston Public Schools who profess to care about the students in urban education, who reflect their "race" are not ashamed to push them across the stage to profit from how their statistic will affect their data. While those who do not reflect the "race" of the students, who are highly qualified, creative and valued by their students, who truly care about their educations are bullied out of their positions. Students do not care about "race" of their teachers, they want the best regardless of classifications. These unethical administrators, prisoners of their own shadows, see students as things to use not children who deserve the best education.
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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Ramsey Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning
Correct. The art is finding open- ended questions for which there is not one correct answer and having students defend their point of view with evidence. This inquiry needs to take place in all classrooms to foster academic thinking, discussion and writing. This type of teaching has been the corner stone of my pedagogy.
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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
I agree. It takes an evolved person to admit their biases. This happened to me a few years ago. I had always been thin and in a year I gained 30 lbs. I had been a victim of workplace bullying. My cortisol level shot up and my adrenal system crashed. I certainly began to understand that as a person now overweight I had not done anything. My body was protecting me from emotional abuse. Now that I am out of the situation my symptoms are slowly going away-weight gain and hair loss. Please support THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL.
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Torii Bottomley
Posted about 2 years ago
Do teachers have adequate mental health support to cope with classroom stress?
In all my years of teaching and listening to my colleagues of various grades, subjects, and states...the problem is administration. There are very few principals that are qualified and understand their job. As an excellent teacher is a special combination of skills and intuitions, a successful administrator needs to have a special mix: an academic, ethical, a person who understands their charge is to support and nurture educators, not as mine put it " my job is every year to focus on several teachers and take them out". Unfortunately for 7 years she has done only that, ending the careers of the most ethical, passionate, skilled educators I have known- they were so threatening as they reflected back to her all her inadequacies.