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Jo Ann Nahirny
Category archives for: Jo Ann Nahirny

PERT: Why Flagler Students Are Forced to Take the Stupidest Test You’ve Never Heard Of

| May 14, 2014

Why are a slew of high achievers at Matanzas High School and FPC who have already succeeded in various courses having to take the so-called Post Secondary Educational Readiness Test on top of all other tests? How many unnecessary, time-consuming tests are we going to continue to subject our students to?

Turned Down for a Job Outside the Classroom, a Teacher Rediscovers Her Mission

| May 4, 2014

It’s a sad notion that administrators, school boards, human resources offices and so-called reformists have unfortunately inculcated in teachers over the years, this idea that if you want to be successful or be taken seriously, or make any sort of impact, that you must stop teaching to do so.

A Matanzas High Teacher Reveals Her Evaluation Scores, and the Absurdity of Florida’s “VAM” Scam

| February 26, 2014

What do my almighty “VAM” scores reveal about me, my students, the quality of my instruction or what goes on in my classroom? Absolutely nothing, writes JoAnn Nahirny, who deconstructs Florida’s new teacher-evaluation scores, hers among them, and shows why they have little basis in reality, though they may well define a teacher’s fate.

How I’m Graduating My Children From College Debt-Free: Planning, and Lots of Hard Work

| January 12, 2014

Explaining what it takes to develop college-ready students and debt-free parents, columnist and Matanzas High teacher Jo An n Nahiriny describes the frustrations of dealing with students and families who don’t plan ahead and busts the myth that a college education must be debt-ridden.

When an F Is an Automatic 50: In Defense Of Matanzas High School’s Grading Policy

| September 8, 2013

Matanzas High School Principal Chris Pryor’s new policy of bottoming out all F’s at 50%–not zero–drew some grumbles, but teacher Jo Ann Nahirny explains why it’s a far more just policy than awarding zeros–and how the same policy may have changed her own life.

Closing Flagler’s Alternative School: When The Classmate Next to Your Child Is a Felon

| May 19, 2013

The Flagler County school, district may close Everest alternative school (formerly Pathways) if the June 7 referendum for a modest property tax increase fails. Jo Ann Nahirny, a teacher at Matanzas High School, describes the disruptions of managing a classroom with felons and sex offenders in seats alongside other students.

Feedback Failures: When Flashing a Grade Devalues Students and Teachers

| April 9, 2013

JoAnn Nahirny views giving feedback to students as one of the most valuable and important things she does as a teacher. Too bad FCAT graders don’t do likewise. Nor does the teacher evaluation process.

Florida’s Two-Faced Feedback to Teachers: Do as We Say, Not As We Fail to Do

| March 17, 2013

The Florida Department of Education expects its teachers to give immediate and detailed feedback to students on all work, yet the state will take three months to produce FCAT results, and it will do so without one iota of feedback other than a grade. Jo Ann Nahirny explores the hypocrisy.

What an Ode to Farting, Drug-Dealing’s Benefits and the FCAT Have in Common

| January 27, 2013

A Matanzas High School student who wrote a humorous essay on the health benefits of drug-dealing was threatened with a referral, though his teacher gave him a near-top grade: Jo Ann Nahirny explains how FCAT rewards dull, stupid and bad writing at the expense of creativity.

Tumor Gone, Staples Removed, Humor and Grit Intact: A Teacher Returns to Matanzas

| December 6, 2012

On medical leave for cancer treatment since September, Jo Ann Nahirny describes in harrowing and moving detail her final medical hurdles and clearances before deciding to return to her classroom almost a month early, on Dec. 10.

Not Dead, Not Dying, and Still Shopping, But Humbled By Cancer’s Side-Effects

| November 12, 2012

Almost two months into her cancer treatment, Jo Ann Nahirny–who faces surgery Tuesday–surveys the long list of side-effects, good and bad, that she’s endured, from crushing bills to the moving affection of students and friends, and am ever- loyal husband.

A Teacher Down to Her Last Cells, a Cancer Patient Hands Her Case to UF’s Med Students

| October 8, 2012

Always the teacher, cancer patient Jo Ann Nahirny–now with 26 of her 42 radiation sessions out of the way–takes satisfaction from knowing that even though she’s unable to stand in front of her students at Matanzas High School, she’s still doing my part as in educator as medical students learn from her case at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida.

From Tape-Downs to Lockdowns: A Day in the So-Called Life of a Cancer Patient

| September 30, 2012

Three radiation treatments in and with 39 to go, Jo Ann Nahirny describes life at the curfew-happy Hope Lodge for cancer patients, her manhandling on the radiation table, and her husband’s angelic patience.

Matanzas Pirates’ Mission: A Senior Rallies Students and Faculty For a Teacher’s Survival

| September 25, 2012

Juan Pablo Torres, a senior at Matanzas High School, decided to repay his English teacher, now undergoing cancer treatment in Gainesville, by showing her how students and teachers at Matanzas take care of their own.

At Matanzas High School, an Irrepressible Teacher’s Untimely Farewell, For Now

| September 18, 2012

Jo Ann Nahirny, an English teacher at Matanzas, put in her last day of the year today before a three-month leave filled with radiation treatments and surgery as she battles a cancer’s recurrence. This is the story of her last day in class.

Ripped from Her Trenches, a Teacher Mobilizes for Months of Cancer Combat, and Anguish

| September 16, 2012

From feeling like a human easel to a convicted felon, Matanzas teacher Jo Ann Nahirny takes us step by step through the anguish of preparing for cancer treatment and its implications–physical, financial, emotional and spiritual.

AP Oncology: What a Teacher Did On Her Summer ‘Vacation,’ and How It is Ending

| August 8, 2012

Matanzas High teacher and columnist JoAnn Nahirny returns from what was not exactly a summer break, with a story of her students’ unique success in the Flagler school district–and shattering news about herself for her returning students next week.

The Joy of Writing, Strangled by FCAT
Testing, Is Revived One Page at a Time

| June 3, 2012

Most students hate to write. Jo Ann Nahirny can’t blame them. Schools have snuffed the joy out of writing, all in the name of standardized testing, she writes, as describes how she empowers them to claim their voice back.

Advanced Placement Gambit: Challenging Students at the Risk of Penalizing Teachers

| May 20, 2012

Flagler County high schools are encouraging more students to take Advanced Placement tests, which beef up a school’s profile. But when students fail the testm their teachers are penalized, now that their pay is tied to student performance.

Dear Mrs. Nahirny: Tales From the “Don’t Quit” File on Teacher Appreciation Week

| May 6, 2012

Every year during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11), Matanzas’s Jo Ann Nahirny has her English students write thank you cards to teachers, and receives a few herself, which she’s always kept in what she calls her “don’t quit” file. She opens it up.

FCAT Season From a Teacher’s Perspective: An Absurd and Demeaning Fraud

| April 15, 2012

Florida’s FCAT autocrats have gamed the system into an exam only the dumbest can fail while hijacking teachers’ and students’ time for nine weeks of regimentation and secrecy worthy of classified military secrets, argues teacher Joann Nahirny in her latest dispatch from the trenches.

Teachers’ Bane: Students Who Don’t
Give a Damn, and Parents Who Reward Them

| March 19, 2012

In her latest installment from the trenches, teacher Jo Ann Nahirny describes how regulations force teachers’ time to be consumed by efforts to improve the performance of indifferent students at the expense of students who actually want to learn.

When 125 Students, Infinite Expectations and Untold Critics Encircle Teachers’ 36-Hour Day

| February 26, 2012

Down time after dismissal? Summers off? Think again. Matanzas High School teacher Jo Ann Nahirny, in her latest installment from the trenches, describes permanent on-call nature of a teacher’s days and evenings.

Deaf District as Flagler Students Are Cheated Out of Dozens of Hours of Test Preparation

| January 29, 2012

As high schools prepare students for the FCAT writing test in a few weeks and end-of course exams in May, Matanzas High School’s Jo Ann Nahirny explains how the district’s abbreviated schedule is hurting student preparation and will likely hurt results. Yet administrators seem deaf to alternatives.

As School Board Votes on Uniform Policy, a Reality Check From the Trenches

| January 16, 2012

Drawing on arresting experiences, Jo Ann Nahirny, a veteran teacher at Matanzas High School, disputes assumptions on school uniforms in a letter to Flagler County School Board members.

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