Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 20: Education is Worth the Fight

Education is IMPORTANT! Everyone NEEDS an education.

Albert Einstein once said, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." And as usual, Einstein knew what he was talking about. And yes, I am not impartial because I am a teacher.

Like I tell my students, college is not for everybody, but you should have a plan for after high school. Do something, be amazing--don't do nothing. Education is not just confined to the classroom with textbooks.

I will be the first to admit that I think the education system is broken because of the heavy implications of standardized tests on both teachers and students. It's not right and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

There is also a pervasive attitude that "anyone can teach" so teachers are not always seen as professionals. When and why did this start? I can not say, but it's not right. I am a professional who was formally educated through a University's College of Education. It's like saying anyone can be doctor or pro athlete.

 And since when did this sense of entitlement in classroom begin? Since when was less than your best good enough?

As parents and teachers, we should support one another--not pass blame. Together we can champion are students to believe in themselves and try hard. No more excuses---no matter what "level" or "type" of student you are.

It's hard for see the light and opportunities when you are surrounded by negativity and self doubt, but education can be the pathway to a greater you. It can be the new start you yearn for in this life.

Education is not always easy. There are times when everyone struggles or we baulk at the fear of a possible struggle. It's okay to be challenged. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to ask for help. It's not okay to float through life. It's not okay not to try. It not okay to not believe in yourself.

You want to change our country? Fix the economy? Let's focus on education! We can have the rigor in the classroom (and eat it too) because teachers and students are inspired, energized and motivated to think, discuss, and listen. A love for learning begin with a single spark. Once it's there, a million things are possible.

Our students AND teachers deserve more and better. Politicians, administration, district leaders can sometimes (yes, I am being nice here) be out of touch. They are not in "the trenches" with students, but in offices with meetings and paperwork. Yes, some of the programs and initiatives presented by these people sound great, but usually they are implemented incorrectly with little or no training. More often, these "new or revamped programs" are just piled on top of the already existing "stuff" and it becomes a hodgepodge of the with "too many cooks in the kitchen." It's easy to see the ineffectiveness and why people end up banging their heads against the wall.

I want to be remembered by my students. I want them to never doubt that I care about them and each and every success they achieve in my classroom because we are a family. We love and support one another each and every step of the way. My expectations will be high and unyielding.

There will probably be complaints here and there, but we will strive forward. I know that somedays the students will "win" and I will come home exhausted, but not defeated; however, I will begin the next day a new--ready to start again with the same goals in mind.

I am sure I can do more posts on the topic of education and I probably will because on this list of life's significant matters, this dear reader is near the top of my list. Where is it on yours?

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