Blogging has always seemed like something OTHER people do. People with cute stories and a need to share their thoughts with anyone and everyone that might want to hear them. It occurred to me this morning...I have LOTS of cute stories. I have some funny ones too. And some HOLY CRAP I CANNOT BELIEVE SCHOOL IS LIKE THAT stories. I also have quite a few things to say about the state of our educational system, and all of the people making decisions about teaching and kids that don't know a damn thing about teaching OR kids.
Welcome to my first blog post.
I am a teacher.
I am a champion for kids.
I am a nerd.
I am incredibly obsessed with making sure we change the path we are on in the world of education and educate all kids. Equitably. I remember a quote I used to have hanging on my wall. It said, "Children are always the only future we have...teach them well." That really sums up my entire life. I am the child of educators. My sisters are teachers. My best friends are teachers. My heroes were teachers. I am 44-years-old and am still in touch with my 4th/5th grade teacher. And he is still one of my heroes. But teaching has changed. School has changed dramatically. Politics has infused itself in the educational process to a degree of absolute ridiculousness.
I am not like most teachers I know. I love data. I align curriculum in my free time and I write formative assessments for fun. I have Excel spreadsheets with more data about kids than almost anyone I know. I love that stuff. I love using it to help my own teaching. I also love using my skills to help teachers that don't want to be curriculum/data/assessment nerds like me. They shouldn't have to be. NONE of this is what makes a teacher great. NONE OF IT.
I am a teacher. I am a teacher that also happens to be a curriculum/instruction/assessment NERD. Because I am such a nerd, I am clear that the "hoops" educators are jumping through were designed very specifically to take the focus OFF of kids and teaching. The assessments developed likely line a politician's pocket. The punitive evaluation systems being forced on our schools are pitting teachers against each other. (Boy oh boy...do I have some stories for you!) I work in a district where we know ALL of the road blocks set up for us by the state and federal governments. And we choose to add as many extra hurdles as we possibly can. I work in a place where the fewer qualifications you have for a job in leadership, the more likely you are to get that job. When people who have never taught a class before are the very people telling you how to make your scores better (and we know this is all about test scores), and the evaluators have never taught a class are determining the effectiveness of teachers you have a big ol' problem.
I haven't quite decided exactly what my blog is going to be about. But I know one thing for sure...I am gonna tell it like it is! Welcome to "Talk Nerdy to Me!"