Hello and Welcome!!

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?Image

11 thoughts on “Hello and Welcome!!

    • Chris,
      SO glad to hear that you are still trusted and that you have not lost your autonomy in teaching!! Would love to know what is new in your world and the latest you are working on with your 8th graders!!
      Miss you guys!
      Tomasen

  1. thankyouthankyou thankyou Tomasen for starting this conversation.It is a much needed forum for us soldiers dutifully complying with moremoremore on the battlefields of our classrooms. Just want to keep the quality connections with kids to feel more more more joy. It seems harder to hang onto these days with CCSS steering the ship. But knowing like-minded others are willing to stand up for our beliefs and for the kids we deeply understand, keeps me going.

  2. Oh, Tomasen, how I miss those hippy days! I ran into one of my special ed students years later, where he was working at the grocery store. He told me that it was because of me that he knew how to balance his checkbook. I had made up checkbooks and checks and paid my students for each word they got right on their weekly spelling tests and charged them for pencils. Talk about learning about responsibility and life-skills! I could never do that these days. Why would a reading teacher do that??
    Now I do a Readers’ Court activity, but as I stand in the hallway waiting for “the baillif” to announce me, I’m just waiting for someone to come along and tell me take off the stupid black robe and get back to teaching. (I’m sort of daring them, actually.) At least we’re now at the age where we can give them a little “Judge Judy”, and not be intimidated like I would have been back then. I’d hate to be a new teacher now! How long would we last?

    • I know Joanne! You know what they say, “You don’t know what you got til it’s gone!” Little did we know that all that fun we were having creating places, spaces, time and choice for kids would become a thing of the past! I love the image of you out there in your black robe and the idea that you are daring them!! LOL!! I would love to see more of this standing up to the man, if you will!!
      I would not last as a new teacher today. Period.
      Thanks for your kind words!!
      Tomasen

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