What a beautiful day today! The sun was shining, the breeze was warm. It was a perfect day to spend outside, breathing in the fresh air, and feeling oh, so happy :)
And then reality sets in. Inside the walls of the school, there is a completely different feeling. A lot of information. Some not-so-great news. Many of us are frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to do, the little amount of time we have to do it in, and the demands that continue to be placed before us.
We no longer feel compelled to get in our car and drive to work. The passion has been taken from us as the state continues to implement rigorous testing, data analysis, and student comparisons. The goal to teach children to become contributing citizens of our community, who have the skills needed to thrive socially and globally is gone! Instead, teachers are encouraged to teach to the standards, to get the kids who are not passing the test, to pass the test, and to keep everyone happy.
So, we walk around with a smile on our face. We suck it up when a problem arises. Some people make excuses, others just take the blame. Either way, it's not our job anymore to build bridges and relationships. Instead, we are, as someone said to me recently, "in the customer service business...people pleasers".
I want so badly to take a stand. I don't know where to start, who to contact, how to make any changes. I am, after all, one person. The thing that scares me the most is the future of our kids. Not just my own children, but those out there who are desperately seeking someone to listen to them, to help them, but most importantly, to teach them. How are they ever going to survive? How is our world going to survive?
Kids need to be kids. They need to learn about how to explore, take care of, and thrive in our world. Something that cannot happen by passing a test! Think about it, we teach our kids daily that it's ok to be different, that we all may learn at a different pace, and that we should respect each other and all of our differences. Yet, if a child is not where they need to be, which is determined by a test, at the young age of now 3rd grade, the child will be unable to advance to the next grade level! Can you imagine what that might do to their self-esteem, their confidence level, their willingness to participate and learn? It has the potential to create unnecessary anxiety and could cause them to avoid taking risks due to fear.
These are real problems that need to be addressed. And because I am working on being a problem solver rather than a complainer/worrier, I plan to find a way to positively contribute to the solving of this problem. I realize there is no immediate fix. However, recognizing there is a problem is the first step in solving one!
I figure if I can write a book, find an illustrator, start a blog, own a business, take care of my family, and so on, I should be able to come up with some idea! If nothing else, it felt good to take these thoughts out of my mind and put them on paper.
Until I figure it all out, I'm gonna...