No. of Recommendations: 2
"Very rarely do you witness math and science teachers or English and history teachers collaborating with each other."

At my son's school, he's always worked as part of a team consisting of an English, Social Studies, Math, and Science teacher. THe same sets of students move through their classes all day. They collaborate on a bunch of issues as well as serve as a support system for each other. It's one of his favorite aspects of the school. Also, it's a small school system, serving a town of 17,000.

When (if?) Heather wants to return to teaching in the states, if she isn't averse to Massachusetts--a town almost halfway from Boston to Providence (so among small towns yet close enough to urban areas and the coast), I think she'd like it there. The district has a lot of Jewish and some Asian students and teachers, as well as foreign students whose parents have temporary positions such as teaching at one of the Boston colleges or who have a family member making use of one of the renowned Boston medical centers, so parents as well as students tend to be more supportive of school. The middle school just completed a major rebuilding project--my son finally has a real science classroom of his own! And they seem to appreciate teachers who can think outside the box, in some ways a bit more like a private school. My son was hired right out of U-Mass for his science knowledge, empathy and sense of humor, despite not having taken a single education class at that point. Since then he has taken a few ed classes, but sez he's gotten more useful advice from his colleagues on the cross-subject team.

The teams tend to be stable until someone leaves the system. On his original team was a woman who graduated from my small high school on Long Island 2 years ahead of me. Coincidentally, she loves Charleston and happened to be spending the same week here with her family when my son was visiting after his first year. We met at the beach, where she told me that Greg was a natural who was liked and respected already. Wow! What a nice thing for a mother to hear! Charlayne was the English-teacher member of my son's first team, and he said she was a great mentor.

My son's small town, about 20 minutes' drive from where he works in a town twice the size, was half destroyed during "King Philip's War," a widespread, 14-month war between Indians and New England and New York colonists. Some interesting facts:

"The settlers in New York had just permanently taken the cities and territory there from the Dutch in the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1674) and were in the process of setting up an English settlement controlled by an anti-Puritan government. They offered no support for the mostly Puritan New Englanders. The New France government of this period were Catholic and rabidly anti-British and were sponsoring on and off support for Indian tribes attacking the British settlements.

The war ultimately cost the New England colonists over £100,000—a significant amount of money at a time when most families earned less than £20 per year [the money was borrowed from England to pay for the war, and as a colony, they owed repayment]. Self-imposed taxes were raised to cover its costs. Over 600 colonial men, women and children were killed, and twelve towns were totally destroyed with many more damaged. Despite this, the New England colonists eventually emerged victorious. The Native Americans lost many more people—mostly to disease. They died, dispersed out of New England or were put on a form of early reservations. Some of them slowly integrated into colonial society. They never recovered their former power in New England. The hope of many colonists to integrate Indian and colonial societies was largely abandoned, as the war and its excesses bred bitter resentment on both sides.


The colonists' successful defense of New England with their own resources brought them to the attention of the British royal government. Before King Philip's War, the colonies had been generally ignored, considered uninteresting and poor English outposts. The English authorities soon tried to exploit the colonies and their resources for the authorities' own gain—beginning with the revocation of the charter of Massachusetts Bay in 1684 (enforced 1686). At the same time, an Anglican church was established in Boston in 1686, ending the Puritan monopoly on religion in Massachusetts."

And much more of interest here:
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