Welcome to the TeacherBeacon!

My name is Chad Manis, one of your fellow teachers.

Actually, I have 33 years of teaching experience under my belt.

I’m sure that many of you don’t have quite that much experience, and no doubt some of you have even more.

Other than having teaching experience, you and I also share a passion for guiding and educating the kids who will shape our tomorrows.  I’m guessing that if you didn’t share that passion with me, you wouldn’t be here in the first place.

I know that you are well acquainted with the challenges that all of us face on a day-to-day basis.  In these difficult economic times, we as educators are being asked to do more and more, with less and less.

Suddenly, our marginally adequate salaries can fluctuate based on the success of the students in our charge–students whose backgrounds and socioeconomic status had already been determined long before we came into each other’s lives.

Some of our kids are highly motivated.  Others, often from one-parent households, had never seen a book before they arrived at our classroom door.

And we are asked to work miracles.

The list of tasks that we are required to perform continues to grow exponentially.  We have to update our bulletin boards and post our standards.  We have to submit detailed lesson plans on a daily basis.  We have to update our word wall, daily agenda, and class website.

We have to continually check our school e-mail to stay on top of our never-ending schedule of meetings with parents, our fellow teammates, and the faculty.

We have to make time for a plethora of duties–everything from duplicating copies of the day’s activity all the way through meeting the demands for professional development.  Then we’re told what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it.

And they want us to work miracles.

Many of us have found ways to do it.

In spite of all the demands and pressures, there are a lot of really great things happening today in classrooms everywhere.  We are finding ways to excel and to make a remarkable impact on our kids.

It’s these successes that sustain us.  It’s these successes that drive us to achieve nearly impossible results.  It’s these successes that compel us to keep coming back for more and more.

I’m hoping that The Teacher Beacon can shine a spotlight on opinion and commentary related to our noble profession.

Yes, I will be expressing my opinions on a variety of topics.  But, YOUR opinions are just as important.  I strongly encourage you to participate by leaving a comment about something that I’ve said or adding YOUR opinion about the topic.

Will we always agree?  Definitely not!

And that’s the beauty of it . . .

So, come on in and take a look around.  Kick the tires.  Take it for a test ride.

And then, let’s talk.

Coming Tuesday:  Social Media as a Teaching Tool.