Well, here we go. After blogging on my own for many years I am finally taking the plunge and am going to blog more specifically about education. I have been in schools for my entire life and find myself thinking and talking about our public educational system for much of the time I am awake. I have always loved the process of learning and grew up teaching in the early 80”s or what I now refer to as “the hippy years” in teaching. At my first job in Barrington, NH as a 3rd grade teacher I was given the rights to my first classroom, complete with antique random sized and shaped children’s desks, some plastic multi-colored mismatched chairs, a teacher’s desk and four 3rd grade level hard cover spelling books. That was it.
And so I learned to teach by teaching. I learned to teach from my colleagues who took me in and helped me navigate my way through, learning how to meet the individual needs of my students with great pleasure and joy. It was the best teaching of my career. Every day was new and exciting as we collaborated to figure out what we were going to do next. I learned, by doing and reflecting and making changes based on what was working and what was not. It was that simple. It was that complex. It was that amazing.
Today, I don’t see this kind of reflective teaching as the norm. Big programs and moneymaking test companies have invaded our brick and mortar and we can’t seem to get them out!! Teachers are stressed. Administrators are stressed and students….well they are just there trying to survive in a crazy system that is failing too many of them.
So WHAT can we do? I don’t know right now, but I do know that all good ideas come from many and so I open up this blog and will post articles, ideas, thoughts, youtubes and anything else to keep this conversation going. I need your voices to put some power behind mine and perhaps together we can get back to our students and away from all of this noise that is keeping us from engaging in what is real. What is real is every kid that walks through your door with the promise of a fair and equal education for all. It is time for us to stand up for these kids because if we don’t do it, then who will?