Tag Archives: teachers

Vexation with teachers’ budgets continued from pages 4&5

By Shari Rowe

In the past year, teachers in multiple states have had walkouts over funding and money. Kentucky is one such state that has had walkouts in the past year, protesting more specifically over their pensions being planned to be taken away.

“They so definitely affected having school in session. I’d rather support my teachers and graduate a few days late than not support them and complain about my senior year ending later. I do want to get out of here but at same time I’d rather be helpful and I want to be there for them,” said J Graham Brown School senior Max Palmer.

In addition, there are laws against walkouts in Indiana as well as in other states.

“It is illegal for teachers to strike in Indiana; however, there’s been other states where it’s illegal for teachers to strike,” said English teacher Kristi Charbonneau, “and it hasn’t stopped teachers because some schools are so underfunded that they can’t afford chairs that aren’t broken.”

Some of these obstacles, like the Kentucky pensions, are tackled by teachers in the form of walkouts, as well as other ways of protesting.

“A sick-out is where so many people call in sick that districts have to cancel school. I have heard we have to do this in the state of Kentucky because striking or walking out is not an option,” said Stuart Pepper Middle School counselor Aimee Fackler, who has participated in the walkouts at her school.

In Kentucky, which has been having walkouts since spring of 2018, the issues also lead back to funding for schools, students, and teachers. Many teachers in the Meade County school district, which includes Stuart Pepper Middle School, in Kentucky have actively spoken out about these issues.

“Kentucky teachers have several political goals, as I see it. One, fund public education at a reasonable level that restores money for textbooks, professional development, and stops requiring districts to pay for unfunded state educational mandates,” said coordinator for student services for Meade County Schools in Kentucky Amy Berry. “Two, demonstrate the ‘power’ that the teaching force has to lobby Frankfort in preparation for the fight that will ultimately take place over our pension system since this wasn’t a budget year, this could not be addressed during this session. And three, rebuild respect for the important work that our staff does for Kentucky’s children every day.”

In order for their requests to be fulfilled, many Kentucky teachers travel to Frankfort, the state’s capitol, to protest on the capitol in efforts for Congress and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to hear their demands.

“The reason teachers are walking out of school is to go to Frankfort to make sure bills do not get passed that would hurt our public education system,” said Fackler. “The overall goal is that we keep our funding for our schools and we fund our pension system. I believe the ultimate goal is to find better funding for our schools.”

Instead of walkouts, ISTA president Teresa Meredith wants to protest in a different way in Indiana than the walkouts in other states.

“Well, we’re trying actually to get more and more of our locals to do something called a walk-in where you pick a day, you prepare, you get all of the teachers ready, you try and get administration to do this with you,” said Meredith, “and right before the contract day starts, you all gather in front of the building and you all walk in together, and you invite the community to come and watch this and you ask the community members to come and show their support for their teachers and then you let local news media know that you’re doing this.”

Walkouts and other such protests happen to draw attention to the problems teachers constantly face in their chosen profession.

“The thing that will help Kentucky schools and employees the most, in this fight, is for all Kentuckians to vote,” said Kentucky Stuart Pepper Middle School eighth grade math teacher Casey Mattingly. “We need pro-education legislators in office. We also need all people who are not registered to vote, to register. The more voters for our cause, the better.”

Some students are even getting involved, some marching with their teachers.

“I do know a bunch of students, like when the teachers go and protest, a bunch of students are going to Frankfort to protest with them. Last year, when all of this kind of ramped up, there were walkouts before school started in the morning. A lot of students participated in that,” said Palmer. “That’s all that I can really think of, though. I know some kids are taking to Twitter because of that JCPS closings (Twitter) account. A lot of them are talking to the Matt Bevins (Twitter) account. I’m not sure if he is seeing them but someone is at least.”

Teachers want legislators to know that they are here for an important reason, and that is to help students.

“Understand that everything is not black and white, that teachers are here because we’re passionate about helping kids,” said Charbonneau. “We’re not here to jump through hoops or to give tests or to just make the state happy. We’re here for kids.”


Teachers share thoughts about romance

by Karli Coleman and Mia Boutelle

The following are interviews with FC teachers in regards to love at first sight. If interested in the printed story, pick up a copy of the March issue of the Bagpiper.

Continue reading Teachers share thoughts about romance

FC faculty, IB students provide more feedback on IB Diploma

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The above charts represent the results of an anonymous Bagpiper survey given to Floyd Central teachers and faculty members.

How would IB classes be laid out?

The following is a sample schedule provided by principal Louie Jensen:

9th Grade
English 9 Honors
Geometry 9th
Biology Honors
Spanish I
AP World History
Career Info / PE I
Performing Arts elective

10th Grade
English 10 Honors
Algebra II
Chemistry AP
AP / IB US History
Spanish II
Health / PE II
Performing Arts elective

11th Grade
AP / IB English (Literature / Composition)
IB Physics
IB European History
Spanish III
Computer Apps / Theory of Knowledge
Performing Arts elective

12th Grade
AP / IB English (Language / Composition)
AP / IB Calculus
AP / IB Biology
Ap Government / IB International Relations
AP / IB Spanish
Theory of Knowledge / Economics H
IB Performing Arts / choice of AP Art studio or Music Theory

Diploma candidates must complete the following:
> Three subjects for High Level (HL) examinations
> Three subjects for Standard Level (SL) examinations
> Extended Essay
> Theory of Knowledge class (100 hours)
> Creativity / Action / Service (CAS) requirement 200 hours, 3-4 hours a week

The following are the rest of the anonymous comments from FC faculty members from the Bagpiper survey on the International Baccalaureate Diploma:

“IB will be a detraction from our AP and dual credit programs…The IB curricula consists of mountains of busy work of no demonstrated educational value.”
“We need to keep moving on.”
“How will this be accomplished with reduced staffing?”
“Given current budget problems I don’t believe the timing is favorable to introduce the IB diploma.”
“[Benefit the students] some certainly, all depends on class size. [Right now time for diploma] funding, class size.”
“Because of the severe budget issues I feel the additional time will be overwhelming and its implementation will be less than ideal.”
“I believe it is not affordable right now.”
“Need more info.”
“Not enough info on this–too many diplomas just to get out of high school. Why? What’s the benefit?”
“WAIT until the school is in better financial shape.”
“With teachers being laid off I do not see how we could implement a new program.”
“As long as it doesn’t pull funds that are needed to keep jobs in the District.”
“Adding the program (which costs money) is not appropriate at this time when our corporation is getting rid of 50 teachers.”
“[There is] too much money involved that could be used for helping with budget crunch. Private donations would help the current cause. Then IB could be added later with other monies.”
“I don’t know what this is. I know it’s been talked about, but [I] have no information upon which to make decisions. I want to know more.”

The following are additional responses from students at other high schools concerning the International Baccalaureate Diploma:
Why did you take the [IB] Program?
Janaki Patel – Fishers High School: “I took the program because it offered the most challenging courses in high school and looked like it would help [me] get into college as well as get more scholarships for college.”
Irene Gibson – Carmel High School: “Ironically enough, our history teacher asked us the same exact question in the beginning of junior year. Two out of 19 people had a good answer. The rest of us didn’t really know why we took IB. However, after two years with the program, I can tell you why I stayed with IB. The IB style of learning is higher level, prepares one for college, and actually teaches the information it contains, unlike AP classes, which ask specific questions that are often obscure and unrelated to main points. IB asks general, broad questions that require deep analysis and understanding of the material provided. You don’t just memorize useless facts to spit them out. You learn things. IB students also tend to be very educated and involved with learning, which helps the class progress.”
Taylor Kelsey-Zia – Ben Davis High School: “I wanted to be apart of an unique and challenging program. The way the program was presented was exciting and pretty extraordinary given the monotony of past school experiences.”
Nick Heitkamp – Fishers High School: “There were several reasons why I chose to become a part of the IB program. First and foremost, I had always taken accelerated classes and IB was the next step in that progression. I felt that if I had not chosen to take the IB route then I would have been taking steps backwards. Another reason I took this path was because of the academic benefits. Just from statistics, those who take IB have a higher rate of college acceptance. And, finally, I wanted to be challenged. It is very hard to be excited and motivated about school if the classes you take are boring and do not stimulate you.”

How has it helped you?
Patel: “I have made so many great relationships with my IB teachers and also my IB class; we are more like a family now than a class. I feel like I was able to have the best of both worlds because even though it is challenging, I still hung out with my non-IB friends a lot and am actively involved in the school. Academically, it has changed the way I look at subject material because it helps connect the subjects and apply what you know rather than just knowing it, and it has helped me look better on paper for colleges as well.”
Gibson: “IB has helped me broaden my perspectives on the world and open my mind to various cultures and ways of thinking. As an IB diploma candidate, I can say that I regularly apply what I learn in IB to my every day life. IB has also pushed me to volunteer more, as it requires 150 hours of [community] service for diploma candidates. I believe the IB program is part of the reason I want to pursue international relations.”
Kelsey-Zia: “I’m sure the scholarships I’ve received have had something to do with my involvement in the IB program. In terms of skills, I’ve learned to appreciate everything I learn, rather than just memorize the facts that will eventually leave my head.”
Heitkamp: “It has helped me on both a small and large scale. On the smaller scale, the rigor of the material has truly helped me to be a better student by mastering material in many different subjects (my favorite being Spanish, anatomy, and psychology). On a larger scale, it has led me to realize that I really can move on from high school and become anything I want to be. It has opened up both opportunity as well as my own eyes.”

Do you think you are more prepared for university?
Patel: “I have friends from previous IB classes and when they started college and even now, I hear them saying how easy college is and how much IB prepared them, so I know I am well-prepared for college. Also, most of the IB work is projects that are long term and have many deadlines that are farther away, so it helped me learn how to manage my time better.”
Gibson: “Yes, undoubtedly. IB has assignments called Internal Assessments, which require its students to conduct their own projects with little to no help from their teachers.”
Kelsey-Zia: “I definitely think I’m more prepared for university life. The courses are no doubt very similar to the structure seen in college.”
Heitkamp: “I think that I am definitely more prepared for college. Several of the courses that I have taken are, in fact, college courses themselves. The textbooks that I have been using for Spanish for the past two years have been college textbooks. Actually, just two days ago, I received an e-mail from the assistant chair at Purdue University. She sent me the reading, vocabulary, and homework from a Spanish 300 level class that I will be sitting in on this upcoming week during a college visit. After quickly reading the story and looking at the vocabulary, I realized that a Spanish 300 level class is far too easy. I understood the story with ease and I had previously learned the vocabulary two years ago.”

Is it worth the cost and time/rigor?
Patel: “I would definitely say IB is worth the cost and time. If you can’t pay, the school helps you pay at my school. Junior year is difficult, but everyone’s junior year is difficult because that’s when you are trying to prove to colleges that you’re good enough. Senior year, however, has been great. Almost always, I have less homework than my friends that are taking AP classes and there are even days when I come home and watch T.V. and sleep with no homework.”
Gibson: “Honestly, the cost of IB is dependent upon which college you’re going to. Colleges can accept some IB classes, all IB classes, or none, depending on the colleges you go to. So, depending on the college, IB can enable one to skip over prerequisite classes in college or perhaps skip over the entire freshman year. It just depends on where you go. Internationally, IB is beneficial because it was designed to be international; all colleges across the world who participate in the IB program teach the same things and take the same tests. For me, even though I am staying in America, IB was still worth the cost. I personally loved the program.”
Kelsey-Zia: “This is absolutely dependent on the individual’s experience. For me, it was worth it. There are definitely sacrifices, but they’re not terrible and they’re almost equivalent to the sacrifices most AP students make.”

What do you like most and least about the IB Diploma?
Patel: “I love the personal relationships that I have formed through IB as well as how it has changed my thinking into application rather than rote memorization. I am much better at making connections and understanding concepts, which is great. I really don’t dislike anything about IB, except maybe the cost.”
Gibson: “The IB students make the class, and they are amazing: nice, smart, funny, and easy to get along with. In my two years of IB, diploma candidates have come from India, England, Switzerland, France Nepal, Canada, and Australia. That’s just out of the 30 people in our program. My least favorite part of IB, and I know many of my friends share the same sentiment, is the fact that some of our classes are IB/AP hybrids. Some of our teachers teach  AP classes, then add just a little bit of IB to them. This does not work; IB and AP are not very compatible, so it is not the type of learning or teaching we appreciate. The two classes that are generally agreed upon as the best are history and English, the two classes that are purely IB with no AP.”
Kelsey-Zia: “I’d have to say the teachers are the best part. It’s very rare that you talk about Bob Dylan with one teacher and discuss Voltaire’s mindset when writing Candide with another teacher on the same day. The worst aspect of being in IB is the social setting. The people I’ve met in IB are wonderful, but after having every class with them for two years straight, I find myself yearning for new people and new experiences. I’m not saying it destroys a person’s social life, but it does test your ability to balance friendships/ relationships with commitments and school work.”

Heitkamp: “The thing that I enjoy the very most, with the exception of the knowledge that I have gained, is my IB family. We have created a solid group of 21 that is constantly supportive and caring of one another. Because IB requires you to take certain advanced classes during certain years in high school, you end up taking classes with the same people – your IB class! But you learn to love it and cherish it. The part that I like least is the misconception about the program that turns potential students away.”

Kalmey settles into FC

 By Kara Beard,

Staff Reporter

    As we continue to proceed through the 2010-2011 school year, we welcome new teachers into the building. During the past few weeks the most recent addition to the English class has been a sub filling in for English teacher Jenny Adams. Her name is Camille Kalmey.
                Born and raised in Louisville, Kalmey started her education at an all-girl Catholic school called Sacred Heart Academy. With the strict rules and dress code, Kalmey still found interest in many of her regular studies.
                “I was a little bit weird in school because I found a lot of my subjects interesting, I loved math and solving the problems but I also loved English and science. Most kids usually take a liking to one of those subjects but that was never the case for me, I liked them all,” said Kalmey.
                After graduating from Sacred Heart Academy, Kalmey went on to college at IU in Bloomington.  Not knowing that she wanted to be a teacher, Kalmey went on to pursuing a major in science.
                “I didn’t really enjoy science as much as I did in high school but my counselor and others realized I was really good with kids so they are the ones who encouraged me to get into teaching.”
                Once Kalmey graduated from IU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, she started to pursue more and reach higher goals. She went on to getting her master’s degree in journalism education and to receive her specialist’s degree.
Moving forward in her career Kalmey started teaching at Scribner. She taught 7th, 8th and 9th grade English for one year and then transferred to New Albany.
                “I never taught freshmen at New Albany, except Journalism 1 and yearbook since those classes had a mix of all grades. I did like it at New Albany, except some of the students at New Albany tended to act out, whereas Floyd Central students want to learn and try to explain things to you if they don’t get it,” said Kalmey.
                After 11 years of teaching at New Albany, Kalmey’s husband, who works with Kindred Healthcare, got a job offer located in the south end of Florida.
                “I don’t work because I’m being forced to,” said Kalmey. “I like working with students and seeing them develop,” said Kalmey.
                It wasn’t long after Kalmey and her husband settled in their house, she started looking for a job and came upon a job offer at Saint Andrew Catholic School. Being Catholic and having attended a Catholic school when she was younger, Kalmey accepted the offer.
                “Students, no matter where you go, tend to be similar in a lot of ways. They all seem to want to learn. But this school just seemed to be disorganized and it would get very frustrating trying to deal with it all as a teacher and that would have to be the biggest difference between Saint Andrew and Floyd Central– it’s nice working in a school that is organized.” said Kalmey.
                It was not long after accepting the job offer at Saint Andrews, that she wanted to return to the New Albany/Floyd County area.

                “The school wasn’t my reason for wanting to return, the community in general wasn’t what we wanted to raise a family in, so that’s one of the reasons we came back. The bright and sunny weather was nice, but I will not miss it,” said Kalmey.
                However, she did not know that once she returned she would already have a job waiting for her at FC.
                “One of my friends found out I was returning, and they told Mr. Jensen, so he contacted me saying Ms. Adams wasn’t coming back, and that’s how I ended up at Floyd Central. But, I really love it here, the teachers are great and they really look out for each other along with the students,” said Kalmey.
                Yet, even though Kalmey has only been here a week and a half, she still sees a bright future ahead of her working at FC.
                “The administration is on the ball, the teachers have respect for other teachers and the students are awesome and wonderful to teach and learn from as well, so I would definitely love to work here for many years to come.”