Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Respect The Experience...Ageism in Education!

This is a society that does not, as a whole, respect experience.

Instead of viewing someone's experience as something of value, oftentimes it is seen as worthless.

There is a huge difference between a 30 year teacher who is about to burn out, and a 30 year teacher who is still passionate about his/her profession.

But yet, they are treated the same.

People start to find things "wrong" with them. Lessons that were once phenomenal, are now basic. Test scores from previous years are dusted off and questioned.
Their wisdom, no matter how relevant, is considered outdated.
Pick, pick,pick....until finally, they give up and give in. Leaving behind a profession they were passionate about, and were still willing to do for a few more years.

It seems as if the mission is to put veteran teachers out to pasture, and replace them with "fresh, new" teachers.

I know how many "fresh,new teachers", could be hired with a veteran teacher's salary. I know there are "fresh, new" teachers who will bend over backwards doing whatever is asked, whenever it's asked. I know there are "fresh, new" teachers that will spend every,waking,moment of the day trying to please. But should these be the defining factors of a good educator?

Shouldn't the defining factors be that the job is done? That the teacher is educating the children? That the parents feel confident that their children are learning? That the teacher uses techniques that engage the children of today? That the teacher has no problem staying relevant with the changes in education?

We are a society that is enamored with staying young. Instead of embracing and respecting our elders, we shun and/or disrespect them. Instead of being proud of our veteran experience,we hide it away as if it is a shameful secret.

A woman at my church turned 75 the other day.
Someone said, "How old are you, 29?"
She said, "No, I am 75 years old. I will claim my 75 years because it has made me what I am today!."

That's how I feel about teaching. I have taught for 30 years, and I claim every year of it. It has made me the teacher I am today. I'm not ready to be put out to pasture. I'm like a good wine, I only get better with age.:)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why I (Continue to) Teach!

The other day I posted an article on Facebook that has received a lot of buzz.
It's title, "Why Half of the Nation's New Teachers Can't Leave Fast Enough."

After reading the comments, it's obvious that it's not just the new teachers who are ready to get out.
I have been feeling that way myself, and it has absolutely nothing to do with my students.

I received this message in an email on December 20, 2014.:
Hi This is T. It has been a long time since I have seen you and all the Plv Crew. I am at Del...High School now and am in 9th grade. I have not seen you all in over three years and have been sad that I've gone this long without contacting any of you. You all have had a big impact on my life and now at 14, I realize how much I do miss those times. Time really has flown; I've grown, gone through Middle School, gotten braces, I've been through a lot. I haven't had the time to come by, but I hope I can see you all soon. It's been TOO LONG and would love to catch up with all of you. Have a nice weekend and I hope to talk to you soon. P.S. This is my personal email if you would like to email me back and I am, if you can believe it, I'm 5'8 now.

Then I received this message January 8, 2015, via Facebook:
Happy New Year! My name is T. You were my third grade teacher at P.S.3. I am not sure if you will remember me, because it was so long ago. We are both mutual friends with Ms. T on Facebook.

I am really happy to see you here on Facebook! You have not changed a bit. You were absolutely the best third grade teacher I had! We both moved away from Brooklyn, but I never forgot you. I moved from NY 26 years ago ...where I still live today.
Best Regards,T

I can't even remember the years I taught 3rd grade, I know it was in the 80's though.:)

Tears filled my eyes after reading both these messages. They both came at a time when I needed them. They reminded me that, even with all the mess I have to deal with that has nothing to do with teaching, I will continue to do what I am passionate about, teach!

And while I am teaching, I will keep in mind that I am making a difference!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#whatif@arneduncan: Give Me 140 Characters...

Our Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent out a tweet.

I don't think the answers Mr.Duncan received were what he expected.

And then the #whatif @arneduncan Twitter movement began.

Here's the thing. He could make this work.

All he has to do is read the responses.

No, not just read them.

Listen to them. Listen to the hundreds of educators who stopped grading papers, reading essays, creating lesson plans, researching websites, connecting with their PLN, taking care of their families, or any of the things that teachers are doing at any given moment, in order to tap out 140 characters.

140 characters. Educators asking for a chance to be heard, to be understood, to be acknowledged.

Why not  have his staff go through every tweet, find the common threads, and work from there?

"Aaaah, this is what they want. This is what they need in order to provide a worthy education to the children in their classroom."

Mr.Duncan, you may not have received the answers you wanted, but you got the answers you need.

#whatif @arneduncan, you actually listened?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Popular Posts of 2014!

2014 was not a big year for writing for me.

But although I did not write often, you still read when I wrote.
So, thank you for continuing to read, and share, my thoughts.

Enjoy all the wonderful things that 2015 may bring, and defeat the obstacles that may challenge you! 

Enjoy 2015!:)

Enjoy the Top 5 posts for 2014!