This is a corner of my world where the hokey pokey really is what it's all about! So when life hits you all at once ~ just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No, no, no!

I can not believe that the time is drawing near! School will begin in @ 3 weeks. It seems just like 2 weeks ago, summer started. I like to work but recent changes in the education program and systems just make me not like my job so much! I started teaching 19 years ago with dreams of making a difference. No~ I do not mean fixing every child that had special needs~I didn't think I was God! I just wanted to make a difference in one child at a time. I started in Special Education and knew that change for these students did not always occur rapidly and sometimes not at all. Well after @11 years, I made a change to regular education. That first year I thought I was teaching third year French. But I needed to change because I had started my family and I had several students that had passed away in those years due to their conditions. I just couldn't do it anymore. Well, Now I have been in regular education for almost that long and it has changed so much during those years.
It is amazing how we as a society look at test scores and realize that we are failing educationally. There are so many things that affect this change in our culture. Our teachers have pressure to make every child be able to master material, deal with behavior, social, personalities, cuts, headaches, bumps, and dogs that eat homework. Today, both parents typically work and sometimes more than one job. More parents are single parents and can't afford to always provide after school child care. Drugs and gangs are more commonplace than ever. Children have more good and bad choices to make than we can ever imagine. They are faced with all kind of pressures. Many kids come to school angry, hungry, tired, dirty and stressed to the max and that is assuming that they are children that have the ability to learn without putting forth a lot of effort like studying and doing homework. But not all two children are created equal and some children need extra support and changes to be made so that they are on a level playing field. That is when the decsion makers come in and dictate what and how we are to teach and pile on more and more paper work to cover our behind. Their ideas look good on paper especially when dealing with 20 "normal" students, whose parents participate in their education, and students that have no outside issues. BUT...those 20 children never exisit in the same classroom and especially in every classroom in every school.
I went into teaching to do whatever it takes to ensure I can help make a difference and to provide every child the opportunity to learn. I have always said that if the decsion makers would let us know what the children need to know and let us determine based on our children how to accomplish the ask. Let us get into the classroom and teach~get back to the basics. Let teachers do what they have been trained to do. Not all teachers are there for the right reasons, some just occupy space and give millions of worksheets, and are using the same strategies year after year after year. No two kids are created exactly the same and sometimes we have to regroup and try different activities and strategies to help everyone but...that is what we need to do. Sports so many time takes a priority over education and not everyone is going to be a football or basketball star but everyone does need to learn.
Well~ that is my soapbox today~forgive my ramble!


Suburbia said...

Well that's an eyeopener! All that distance between us but still strugling with the same problems! I want to love and nurture all the hurt away from those that come to school dirty and hungry and unable to even start to learn, thay are at such a dissadvantage.

We had sports day today and one boy (who always looks uncared for) told me all he'd had for breakfast was some cola! I guess at least there was sugar in it to keep him going!

You go back in 3 weeks? We have 9 days left to work! At least we can relax together for a while!!

Susan said...

Suburbia the first group of people I got to know at my school was the lunchroom staff. They spoil me and my own children and I always make sure to speak and talk with them. My kids and I always do or make a goodie to let them know how much we appreciate them and all they do. In return no matter how late a child arrives~if they haven't eaten the lunch bunch always finds something for them. I laugh but a co~kindergarten teacher and I always seek out to have those kids that are the underdog, not the well to do kids, kids whose parents aren't there for them. I want this group because there is so much you can do with them. The first thing I teach my students is the fact that no matter what happens once mine always mine! No matter what I love them and they can't change that. I have had quite a few that did everthything including destroy my classroom~but I still loved them!
I am glad you and the kids will get a well deserved break soon! How was sports day?

Liz said...

Teachers everywhere seem to have the same problem: too much bureaucracy and not enough time to teach in the way that is needed. Life is so hard for our youngsters these days, and home and family life have such a tremendous impact, whether that is for good or bad.

At least we have some teachers like you who have their hearts and heads in the right place.

Suburbia said...

Sports day was good, thank you, and my Small Sprog came to my school today for his induction. He loved it so hopefully when he starts in September all will be well!

Your school children are SO LUCKY to have you.

Susan said...

Suburbia, Thank you for the compliment.I think that i am the one that is lucky. The children that I get each year are there to teach me life lessons while I am there to teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic.