Monday, January 19, 2015

Lessons of the Heart
Over the past two years I have learned much about the thing called ”common core” and the more I learn the more I feel it must be stopped.

That being said I must now say this:

I’m tired.

I’m tired of fighting a fight that very few in this town or county seem to care about.
I’m tired of fighting for others’ children when they do not even want to pay attention to what is happening to our state and nation re the educational system.
I know I was not asked to do this, but some help would be nice. I am a parent...I need other parents to help. It is said the greatest gift a parent can give a child is time. People run their kids to dance, to hockey, to swim, to karate...but must not think this issue is important enough for their time.

So why do I choose to fight? Because I would want someone to fight for my kids!
I fight because of elementary teachers I had in grades k-6…most of whom I remember and can still name. I fight because of the teachers I had in Jr-Sr High School from grades 7-12; so many of them I can also name and picture in my mind. Some of whom did not have me as a student but still took me under their wing. I fight because of my college professors: those from my years as an undergraduate and those I met on the way to obtaining my Master’s degree in Education.

I was so lucky to have all of them in my life. Every one of them gave me a piece of themselves and I know even as I write this that later I will remember more names. They were all as unique and different as the students they taught and I love them all. They did not teach me how to take a test; they did not make me feel like a number! They put up with me on good days and bad...knew my shortcomings and ups and downs and stuck with me anyway. I was not always the best behaved of students, there were days in which I was treated with more respect than I deserved and still they gave me a new start every single day.

They taught me that everyone has value. They showed me that every child was unique. I admire them. I look up to them, and I love each and every one of them. They were wonderful role models for a confused kid from a divorced household. They taught me many lessons about life and humanity that I did not eve come to realize until later in life. Most importantly I believe that they would have fought for me.

Now, as an educator myself, I know It is because of them that I see "my kids" the way I do: more than a homework grade, more than a quiz grade, more than a test grade, more than a number. I see ALL of them...the entire child....and I love them all for they all add to and enrich my life.

For those parents like me who are paying attention we know that the manure is going to hit the windmill. We know that the winds of change are swirling. The wind is rising. The question is will it be the cataclysmic common core cyclone driven by politicians, hedge fund managers, millionaires and reformers with no knowledge about the inner workings of the classrooms across America wreaking chaos and havoc and damaging many; or will the wind change to a warm zephyr breeze empowering educators, students, parents, and communities, energizing them with new vibrancy and life?

I am tired. As a parent I am tired. As a member of the community I am tired. As a taxpayer and citizen I am tired.

I don't want a bunch of "likes." I want you to give the gift of your time ....NOW is when it is needed most.

If you're a parent in favor of what is going on then say it.

If you're a parent and want more information then ask for it.

If you're a parent and you are against what is happening then YOU speak up and add your voices to the rest.

If you want more info from other parents then check this out:

People marched for women's rights to vote. People marched for civil rights. People protested economic inequality. Our kids deserve at the very least our involvement in the discussion of their education and their future.

I saw this posted on a social media site and asked if I could use it. It was written for a teacher when she retired by a former student she had taught 30 years prior. It is how I hope to be remembered by my students and their parents; I want to be remembered not as a teacher but as a person who cared for them.

Lessons of the Heart:

“Recently reflecting, looking back through the years;
I found that my eyes, they did fill with tears.
Not tears of sorrow, but rather tears of joy;
For this man now before you; you taught as a boy.

Your class was filled with learning, but you let us have fun;
You made us all feel great, and like number one!
English and life is what you taught us and you taught us well;
Always realizing that we….had our own stories to tell.

So now after all the years of teaching,
From education you part.
But know that ALL of your lessons live on….
…in this teacher’s heart.”

The greatest gift a parent can give a child is time. Give your time to this cause. Give your time to fight against the political and corporate takeover of education. Give your time to join others who have so long been on the front lines for their children, your children, and all children. Time: now is the time to give yours.

I will not sign this, for to put my name on it would be not be doing justice to those who came before me, those who worked with me, all of those that touched my life, all of those I carry in my heart, mind and soul; those who made me the person I am today. Mostly because any one of you reading this right now could have written it…I just took the time to do so.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There comes a time that one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

Now is your time to let your light shine.


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