Thursday, January 27, 2011

our new governor...

As I read the paper and watch the news, I've become more and more anxious about what is going to happen with education in my state. Already our governor is introducing cuts to our preschool program...a program that, according to the paper, "hasn't shown any real growth". I was so surprised when I read this that I wasn't sure I had read it correctly. Hasn't shown growth? I'm baffled by this statement. When I talk to friends of mine that are preschool teachers and see my own nieces going through preschool programs and have looked at the standards that these early childhood teachers are trying to achieve??? The words just can't get out of my head fast enough!!!

While I understand that things can always be revamped and refreshed...I don't see how our legislators still believe that we're not making headway....that we're not trying to get young children more prepared to go on to kindergarten?!

I've become so frustrated with people that believe that it is the teacher's fault for everything lately. We've become the scapegoat...the ones who are supposed to fix the problems and issues of our students....the ones that are supposed to continue our education without some type of financial support occassionally....the ones that are supposed to "entertain" the students in our rooms while plying them with rigor and relevance....

I decided to blog about my teaching experience and speak for things that I see are hindering my profession because of this line...."Those who can do...those who can't teach...." I hate this line.....I loathe it with my entire being. People believe this to be true have NEVER once been in a classroom other than the time they were sitting in it. They have no idea what it takes every day to do what we do, to see what we see and to deal with the issues we do.

I love being a teacher. Simple statement. Are there times I don't - well, duh! But I like what I do. I love seeing the expression students get on their face when they understand something...and I mean REALLY understand it. I love the tenacity in which they attack a concept they like and want to know more about. I love the ones that come back and visit so they can tell you how well they're doing and they do this because you believed that they could. I love working with colleages that can surprise me with their creativity, flexibility and endless energy.

Teaching isn't about sitting and lecturing. It isn't about a "3 month break in the summer". It's about hard work and being able to think on your feet. It's about being flexible and really getting to know a group of kids. It's about trying like made every day to get them to learn something, get excited about knowing it and then trying to get them to retain it - not just for a test, but for life.

My frustration with our new governor is that he doesn't seem to understand this. He doesn't seem to get that this job is a constant battle. He's never had a middle schooler tell him to "f-off" in the middle of a class. This job has lately been a thankless, tiring struggle....a struggle to defend what we do. To defend our importance....

When that line..."Those who can't - teach" is heard.....remember SOMEONE taught you how to do it before you knew it.

1 comment:

  1. HI, Jilly-

    I know we stand on different sides of the political fence, so I'll keep our political talk out. :)

    That being said, I hear your heart in the matter and I'm so sorry for your frustration. I know you work very hard for your students. You have the heart of a mother for them.

    During a period of my life where I felt surrounded by nothing but critical things, I ran across "The Lionchaser's Manifesto"... (Dad would hate it, but it's a fun little piece of pep talk.)

    In any case, one line resonated with me: "Criticize by creating." Whenever I create something instead of becoming burdened by what I cannot change, I perform an act of redemption.

    Be gentle on yourself, sister. Don't let these consume you. Continue in your good work steadily. One day I anticipate that a whole host of young people will arise and become leaders. And they will nod in your direction.

    Love, Em