My Teachers Were OLD.

by JAC and Ben's Mom 17. October 2014 04:35

Back in the day, teachers loved to teach and they stayed in the classroom giving students the benefit of their years of experience, sometimes for generations. My third grade teacher's granddaughter was my classmate. They taught children the love of learning. We practiced respect, tolerance and responsibility so we would be welcome, willing and capable participants in society. Everyone knew the most important work of a child was play. We grew up college and career ready without a bunch of tests. Our teachers gave us a greater gift than a cut score on material they never taught, they gave us the gift of their life experiences, their time and with that the joy of discovery.

Children spend a lot of time at school. After parents, teachers probably have the most opportunity to influence kids. Today's data driven curriculum limits teacher creativity and teaching to the individual needs of a child. I value the experience that comes with years spent in the classroom and I want that for my children as well. I don't want to see teachers pushed out of the school because they are not "Common Core certified" or replaced by technicians watching kids learn on computers as some Administrations are in a hurry to do.  I send my children to public school to interact with experienced, trained educators and to interact with their peers.  Because of my teachers I love to read. And I love to write. I think public school is important. I know because I can read and write I can learn to do anything and the possibilities are endless. I don't want my children's future limited because of a failed test on material their teacher had no control over, on one day when they may not feel their best. I don't want their wonderful teachers judged on a failed test they never see, either.  I want the sky to be the limit and for them to be excited to go to class and to be fascinated and eager to participate.

Teachers haven't changed. Mrs. Kehoe called up small groups for guided reading around a half round table and took a note or two when each child finished in 1969 when she taught eager first graders to read. We did math in a workbook. Yes,she wrote on the chalk board. But she got the job done. And we all loved her for it. She taught us to use the library and to count our nickles and pennies to buy milk in the cafeteria. And we loved and remembered her for it. Teachers haven't changed, I think they all get excited when a kid "gets it". The people controlling the funding and curriculum have changed. What goes on in the classroom needs to be decided by people that know best and are children's best advocates: parents and teachers. That is why my children will be refusing the New York State Assessments. I hope to help end the insanity in education and give the power back to the people who I have confidence in: My children's teachers. 



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