Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With 30, do you get eggroll?

With 30, do you get eggroll?
Originally uploaded by mahlness
This fall I begin my 30th year as a public school teacher. I feel lucky, and I do love being a teacher.

But I go in to that year with egg on my face, simply because I AM a teacher. I am absolutely astounded the way the new education reform movement has taken over and is being sold and bought, hook, line and sinker.

It is so wrong and so totally misguided.

I have never felt so discouraged.
I have never felt so disrespected.

I have never been so competent at what I do.
I have never been so restricted from doing fantastic things.

We teachers are being blamed for what's wrong in education.
We are being threatened.
We are being told to shape up, or else.
We are being evaluated by invalid measures.
We are being evaluated on the wrong things.

Our president thinks this is great.
So does his secretary of education.

School starts in three weeks.
Instead of encouragement, I hear threats.
Instead of freedom, I feel tighter shackles.
Somehow I have to close out all this awful noise and teach.

Is this any way to make great teachers even better?

Of course not, it's a prescription for driving people who care right out of the classroom.

Thank goodness there are teachers like Ken Bernstein who are battling for us all. He wrote this today as he prepared to start his teaching year:

Today I return to school.

Today I begin the necessary preparation to do the work which consumes me.

Today I begin yet again the process of preparing to teach.

I am a teacher. I wear that title proudly. I am honored to be in the company of those who are teachers. There is no more important work that I could be doing.

I have always wanted my life to make a difference.

I am a teacher. If I live up to the meaning of those words, I will be making a difference.


Thanks Ken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a great reminder of what it's all about. in new jersey we have a governor who doesn't value his teachers at all. so you have to keep reminding yourself of these things. thanks for uplift.