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May 6, 2015 frizzmonster commented on The Morning News: SPD to Brief City Council on May Day, Fewer Seattleites Spending More Than Half of Their Income on Rent.
Also, Seattle teachers voted to go on a one day walk out to protest lack of action in Olympia. It would be awesome if the Stranger covered our struggle.
Sep 2, 2013 frizzmonster commented on Seattle School District and Teachers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement, Likely Avoiding Strike.
Goldy, where are you getting this information? According to an email sent out by the SEA, elementary teachers are going to have to work longer days starting in 2014-2015. Teachers are voting on Tuesday, which is the night before school is supposed to start, not two days before. Also, where was The Stranger all week when we were picketing and demonstrating and voted against the contract proposed by the district?
Jul 23, 2013 frizzmonster commented on Scientists Crack the Crack Baby Myth.
I am an elementary school teacher and I work primarily with kids living in poverty. Many of the kids that I know were exposed to cocaine before they were born (as told to me by their parents or the family support worker). Almost all of those children were diagnosed with developmental delays or other learning disabilities and received special education services, and the majority of the children in my class were not. Obviously, this isn't a scientific study, but my experience.
Jul 3, 2013 frizzmonster commented on Charter School Opponents File Complaint Seeking to Have the Initiative Ruled Unconstitutional.
I am a teacher in the Seattle school district and I oppose charter schools. I think that the creative approach schools (Thornton Creek, Queen Anne Elementary, and Hawthorne, to name a few) are a much better option. Creative approach schools are more flexible in curriculum, teach using long term, ended projects, use WEA members as teachers, and focus on specific subjects (one uses geography and the arts, while another has a huge focus on technology). I wonder, however, how the Washington Supreme Court could rule that a creative approach school is common and uniform and a charter school isn't.
Mar 6, 2013 frizzmonster commented on Are Seattle Schools Racist?.
I'm a teacher in a south-end school in Seattle. 90% of my students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and we are almost evenly split between white, African American, Asian American, and Latino students. I have also worked in schools that are almost entirely white and rich, and schools in the middle. In my experience, students from difficult home situations who are living in poverty cause more problems and therefore are more harshly disciplined than students who don't. Unfortunately, more of the kids I know that are living in difficult situations are not white or Asian American. Although my school tries its best to work with and support kids who have serious problems, when kids are acting violently they get suspended. Kids who cause the most problems get suspended more frequently, and the more often someone gets suspended, the longer his or her suspension will be. Also, kids with serious problems at home who go to school where 90% of other kids who also have serious problems at home will not do as well as when they have some models of classmates who don't, and are able to model learning behaviors in school.

This study doesn't seem to focus on the big problem: what can we do about inequality in Seattle and how can we support the students who have fewer opportunities to learn and grow? My school, which already has a student body that is 90% in poverty, has two programs for students labeled emotionally or behaviorally disturbed. The district's rationale for putting them here is that most of the kids labeled emotionally or behaviorally disturbed are from poor neighborhoods. The district also insists on an inclusion model, putting the kids with diagnosed behavior problems in the same classes as all the other high needs kids in our school, which adds to the behavior problems in our classes. In my opinion, this placement is racist. If the federal government wants to change racism in Seattle Schools, why not take the EBD program out of ours?

Although we have many high needs kids at my school, the district will not fund a counselor at my school and did not allocate us a vice principal until last year. The title one money we receive barely supports one extra classroom teacher a year. Teachers are not given any type of room grant to buy classroom supplies, and Kindergarten classes have 28 kids in them. Again, if law makers would like to see racism in action, I would invite them to try to teach my first grade class for one day, and then think about how to make real changes in our schools.
Feb 6, 2013 frizzmonster commented on Sweets for the Sweet.
As a vegan, I unfortunately have to second the comment about Plum. While most of their food is really good, their desserts just aren't. If you're looking for a good vegan treat, get the brownie/ice cream/chocolate fudge sauce thing at Cafe Flora, or head over to Full Tilt for some vegan ice cream.
Apr 11, 2012 frizzmonster commented on South Lake High School Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Student.
I teach second grade at a title 1 school. Yesterday in my class, one eight year-old told me that I'm a faggot and an idiot and that he hates dumb teachers. Another eight year-old told me that he goes to stores and takes toys out of boxes and leaves the boxes back on the shelf and that it's easy and that sometimes he steals from other kids. A third eight year-old threatened to choke and kill another kid tomorrow. Three kids destroyed property in my class and there were two fist fights.

Although I'm usually pretty calm, yesterday I almost snapped.Teachers make a thousand choices a day. When one of those choices is poor or unusually harsh, it makes the news. When almost all of those choices are good, we get the government cutting our pay or health care, parents and administration who question what we do, and mostly wonderful kids who try to learn despite the challenges presented to them. I'm not condoning what this guy did, but I definitely think that as a society we need to stop pointing fingers at teachers and start making families, governments, tax payers, rich people, communities, and kids accountable for their actions (and their silence), too.
Jan 20, 2012 frizzmonster commented on "Save yourselves: go vegan.".
I have been vegan for seven years, and in general feel much healthier than I did as an omnivore. I lost twenty pounds during my first year (I was borderline overweight before I was vegan, and am now at an appropriate weight for my height and age). I spend more time and energy planning and cooking meals with a variety of foods then I did before. Sometimes, it's a pain in the ass for myself and my friends and family, I get my blood tested every year to make sure that I have enough nutrients in my body, and I know it's annoying to eat out with other people. Eating healthy as a vegan is more expensive than eating semihealthy as a nonvegan. I try not to eat too much soy or processed foods. Sometimes, I feel like I don't have as much energy and am not as healthy as I would if I incorporated a little bit of meat in to my diet in addition to the organic vegetables and fruits and grains that I eat now.

At the end of the day, I am willing to take the energy and money and annoyingness and time of my diet because what I eat isn't just about me. It's about the environment and it's about the way our society treats animals and plants and it's about my body and what makes me healthy. I don't believe that there is a humane way to slaughter an animal. I guess it's better for animals to live slightly longer in captivity on an organic farm and be killed by the people that raised them than in factory farms, but both ways seem degrading and awful. I understand that humans were designed to eat animals as well as plants. The way that I see it, every time I eat a vegan meal, I'm saving an animal's life, and to me that seems worth the inconvenience of veganism.

When humans were really hunters and gatherers, eating animals made sense. Today, we no longer kill animals by killing them in their natural environments. We also have the abilities to create vegan healthy food. Many (not all) human bodies can live healthy as a vegan. So why don't we? And why is this issue so touchy for so many people?

Although I rarely say it aloud, it really upsets me when people make fun of my diet (which happens a lot). I am trying to do the right thing by the environment and by animals. When I think of someone treating either of my pets the way that they do animals on farms it makes me sick.
Jan 18, 2012 frizzmonster commented on Two Votes Away from Marriage Equality.
Dear Ms. Haugen,
I am writing to encourage you to vote for gay marriage. I moved to Seattle from Maine four years ago because I wanted to live in a community that supported the rights and freedom of everyone. Here in Washington, I have found a wonderful job teaching second grade, a great apartment, wonderful businesses and restaurants, and most importantly, a community that encourages individuality and diversity. I have close friends who are in homosexual and heterosexual relationships, friends who practice a variety of religions, friends who are old and young, and friends who come from different ethnic backgrounds. I love observing how all these different families care for their children in largely the same way, with love and respect. The children that I know with with same sex parents have the same struggles and the same celebrations as the children in other types of families. All of these families deserve to be celebrated by the state of Washington in the same way. Marriage equality will not only allow parents in same sex relationships to have the same benefits from the state as parents in heterosexual marriages, but it is also the right thing to do. Marriage equality supports values that I know and see in Washington every day, the values that I moved here to find.
Thank you,
Jul 27, 2011 frizzmonster joined My Stranger Face