Time for some weekend reading. This time we have test-prep, toys being taken away (but for a good reason?), more testing, and educating future teachers.
(Can you tell it’s testing season?)
This week I posted on the teachers’ rite of spring. Next week on the blog I’ll be posting information that can help teachers who feel in danger of losing their jobs. Stay tuned.
“The bottom line is that students like me — from middle- to low-income families, who live in less prosperous areas of the country — tend to stumble upon opportunities by luck (if at all). My summer-school friends knew to compete for generous merit awards. They understood they had to transform themselves into perfect applicants for a competitive college and employment market that draws students from all over the world.”
“For several weeks, the toys would disappear, and the teachers wouldn’t tell the children what to play. While this practice may seem harsh, the project has an important pedagogic goal: to improve the children’s life skills to strengthen them against addictive behaviors in the future.”
“While Emma likes exploring and making and reading, she doesn’t enjoy school. Too much sitting. Too many worksheets. Too much yelling. She would rather conduct science experiments in our kitchen than complete another water cycle graphic organizer. I have stopped asking her much about school because it upsets us both. Curious about what books her third grade teacher is reading aloud to her class, Emma told me, ‘She never reads to us, Mimi. She doesn’t have time.'”
“The four of us each shared our stories briefly, and we tried to keep the focus on what it means to be a teacher leader. We certainly were not trying to scare off the students who are just entering the teaching profession, and I think, or at least I hope, that we didn’t. But we wanted to keep it real. New teachers cannot go into this profession with blinders on. It is just not enough to be able to close your door and block out everything. You’ve got to be aware of all the issues in public education and realize how they are going to impact you in the classroom. And at some point in your career, you’ve got to think about what you can do about those policies with which you disagree. Because you will disagree with policies. Especially when they are harmful to the work you are trying to do with your students.”