Saying Goodbye: Time to Speak the Truth
by Robin Harris Newhall, a Massachusetts BAT
Today I said goodbye to one of the nicest groups of kids I've ever
worked with. I said goodbye to a loyal and excellent para who has stood
by me through thick and thin. I also said goodbye to a fantastic and
energetic co-teacher who helped me bring fun back into the classroom.
The hardest goodbye today was that of my teaching career. I resigned
from the only job I've ever known. I could no longer continue the cycle
of abuse I felt I was forced to implement on my students and myself. I
have never been driven by salary, competition, recognition etc... I
have always found motivation to succeed by being creative, passionate,
happy with a job well done and pleasing my soul and that of others.
Unfortunately, there is no longer any room for that in our public
schools. It's all about an agenda, driven by data and individuals who
want schools to become private corporations where billions will be made.
Everyday I see this agenda and those that support it grow more and
more powerful. This year, I witnessed more corruption, greed and abuse
of power than I have seen in my twenty two years as a teacher. An
environment that breeds fear, hostility and submission is no good for
anyone, especially our children.
I'm not one to run nor sit back and be
silent. Being quiet, submissive and without tenure is what they want.
Make no mistake, creating public schools to resemble that of private
corporations is their exact intention. When you make no attempt as a
leader to educate yourself and to make sense of this agenda, you fall
victim to it. Worse, you drive it, promote it and believe it.
to make myself very clear, I am not leaving my peers and especially the
children behind. A fight has been ignited within and I can't ignore it.
The take over of our public schools and the regime of high-stakes test
supporters, union breakers and unfair evaluations is a blatant and bold
invasion of our civil rights and a damaging blow to the very principles
of democracy! Our children are it's most tragic victims.
So what do I
say to these reformers and anyone else who has jumped on this toxic,
destructive ride? I no longer have a paycheck tied to a reputation that
could be slaughtered nor the fear of any other retribution. I can
speak the truth freely, rally and have more time to write, research and
educate. Movement, commitment, fighting this fight will make me weary,
but submission and obedience would break me! I'm all in. Game on!