- Staying Within Law: Special Education Teachers and IDEA - September 1, 2020
- Teaching With Minecraft EDU - April 3, 2019
- Self-Care Is Priority One for This Teacher - February 13, 2019
- Preparing Students For Teacher Absences - February 12, 2019
- Respect in the Classroom: Earned, Not Expected - February 11, 2019
- Dissing the Family Crazies: A Christmas Story - January 6, 2019
- Band-Aiding The Mental Health of Our Children - November 23, 2018
- We Must Love Them - November 5, 2018
- Take One For the Team: The Need for Self-Care - August 19, 2018
- The New Teacher Smell - August 19, 2018
I have read several articles over the past month that, in a nutshell, explain that The United States was founded on the premise of greed. And even as I’ve taught Social Studies this year to my elementary kids, I find myself making that link as well: the pilgrims came over because they were being forced to do something they didn’t like; the beginnings of the American Revolution had the same issue; the movement westward was a rush for free land; the California gold rush was a hunger for wealth.
The list goes on.
However, I believe it is all in the perspective of the way you look at it. Sure, we can all see selfish reasons for most of the rebellions in the history of America, but isn’t there also a perspective of a group of people taking a stand TOGETHER for what they believe is right and just? The pilgrims were standing for the freedom of a belief system; citizens of the New World wanted just treatment and freedom from being taxed by an entirely different country; families were opportunists looking to establish a good life for their families, as was the same for the gold miners.
For every selfish or greedy act in this great country, I truly believe we can go back a few steps and find at the heart of the rebellion a fabulous idea that was for the greater good of all involved. No one can argue with the fact that the major uprisings in our country have created new policies and new perspectives, and at the very least, provide a platform for people to begin to think about the what ifs and the maybes. It allows all of us to see the difference that can be made by an idea that was put into action by one person or a small group of people.
So let’s apply that to our education system. I believe most of us agree that education in the United States is in a sad state, to the point of emergency level. If we look at the comments posted just on this website in the past month there are very few positive outlooks within our 50 states.
Take those comments and add the fact that there is upwards of 7 million teachers in The United States (out of a 2010 US population of 315,718,000) and that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the number of jobs for teachers is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2018”, what kind of voice do we have?
If we continue to voice our concerns without taking action, how will we solve the problem at hand? What would happen if we took the attitude of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. and applied it to the problem we see in education? What if every teacher who has a burden for our students turned around and took a stand against all of the unnecessary testing, paperwork, poor change in policy and everything else that is dictated to us by politicians and even superintendents and administrators who have no idea what goes on in a classroom, let alone how to handle the daily ‘stuff’ that we teachers have to put up with?
What if? As teachers we’ve all seen the cutesy phrases about leading our children to dream big, how ‘even if you shoot for the moon and miss you’ll land among the stars.” And true teachers want to create those possibilities for our students by helping them reach their potential and encouraging them to dream big.
But what are we showing our kids if we don’t do it ourselves? Pretty hypocritical. I made my difference by starting my own school and bucking the norm because I believe that words without actions is as effective as silence. What will you do?