Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Life's Work...Renewed

Renewal. Ahh... that sweet feeling!

You know the one.  Where your soul says, "FINALLY! I just need a drop or two of hope to continue forth..."

In today's climate of standardized testing and the rush to pass state and local tests, it is easy to get bogged down, to have our creativity and, yes, our SOULS stifled.  To get, well...depressed. :(

Our school is currently in the category of 'failing.' We are in a mad dash to catch our tails and 'fix' the problem.

Problem???? Say, WHAT?????

I look around our school each day at the bright, smiling, happy faces.

I wander down the primary hallway and see displays of artwork and classwork that impresses me.

I look at the sophistication that comes with older student's work. The delight of 'oh, that's one of mine' feeling.  I see greatness.

But, in today's educational climate, WHO AM I???

I might as well be someone plucked off the street. Shoved into a classroom and handed textbooks, worksheets, and computer programs and told, "TEACH!" Any idiot (I don't like to use words like this, but I feel it is necessary here.) can do it, right????


When I went to college, yes- I have a degree, to learn how to teach, I studied child psychology, child behavior, child learning styles, child development, childhood illness, childhood disabilities, children's literature... Do you see the trend here?

I spent hours working, mentoring, and teaching children ever BEFORE they gave me a degree. Since then I've spent many hours in professional development learning tips and tricks that might help me grab that one student that seems out of reach.

It is my life's work. To foster, to spark, to IGNITE that love of learning that will drive a young one to doing what their soul is made to do.

It is my life's work.

Are there bad schools? Bad teachers? I'm sure there are SOME.

But the trend to drive student learning and teacher evaluations in a way that is detrimental to our children is nothing short of disastrous!

I, as a fully licensed teacher, know what to do. Just let me do it. Just let me TEACH!!

Last night while looking for ways to help my students with geometry, I stumbled upon Doris Young's teacher blog, Third Grade Thinkers. She had posted the following video.

It gave me hope.

Maybe you need some of that, too.

Thank you, Doris Young. I greatly needed that.

So, let's change the 'climate of education'.

Let's let children, be CHILDREN.

They are curious, energetic, intelligent, bits of gooeyness wrapped in love.

I want to see their eyes widen, their breath start to quicken, their spark start to explode. I want to travel down the road less taken with them, for there, they will find a path that is truly made just for them. It will become their life's work.

Just let me teach.
The Zookeeper

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