Saturday, September 17, 2016

Diane Ravitch Recommends: MY TWO CENTS – My thoughts on public education and other things

MY TWO CENTS – My thoughts on public education and other things:

MY TWO CENTS – My thoughts on public education and other things

Mary Holden: A Teacher Begins Her Blog | Diane Ravitch's blog - 

I had planned to start this blog in April of 2015. Having recently attended the 2nd annual Network for Public Education (NPE) conference in Chicago, I was really motivated to start writing. But… you know… the daily things that occur regularly in life just kept happening, darn it! and I never found time to actually do it. I may have also been a bit nervous about actually hitting the Publish button. Now that I’ve quit teaching – you can read all about it hereherehere, and here! – I have some time to think.
So now, I present my original first blog post. At the time, my 14th year in the classroom as a high school English teacher was winding down. Here it is:
APRIL 27, 2015
I have been tossing around the idea of blogging for quite some time now. There are several reasons why I haven’t started this blog earlier. One reason is time. Or lack of time, to be exact. But when I say that out loud, it really just sounds like a lame excuse. Another reason is anxiety. I’m a little nervous about putting my thoughts onto paper (or screen) for all the world to see. Even if only three people end up reading this, it’s still anxiety-inducing. The fear of being judged isn’t so easy to shake off, it turns out. But I’m over 40 now, so I’m trying not to give a damn. The final reason I haven’t blogged until now is that up until this weekend, I didn’t really think I had anything original to say.
I mean, I’m just a teacher. I’m just one of thousands of teachers who do their best and work hard to reach their students. But I’m fed up and tired of wanting to bang my head against the wall every time I read another article about the current state of public education.
A few years ago, I started getting upset about what was happening in education. I started teaching in 1998, so I’ve see the pendulum swing from no standards to state standards to Common Core standards and the testing frenzy we have now. And around 2008, I was starting to get frustrated. Maybe it began before that, but by 2011 I was downright angry. And that’s when I started researching educational issues online and realized there were many others who were feeling the exact same way.
Only I didn’t personally know many of those teachers. I seemed to be the only one I knew who was angry and aware of what was happening in education on a national level. I found like-minded people online, in the Badass Teachers Association (BATs) on Facebook and in the comments section of Diane Ravitch’sblog. But where I worked, I wasn’t encountering many who felt the same way I did at that time.
Even now, there are still so many teachers around me who have no idea of the struggle we are engaged in for the future of public education. They are content to close their classroom doors and shut it all out. Maybe they know but don’t want to face it. Maybe they are quietly seeking a way out of the profession so they won’t have to get involved or be here when it really gets bad. Or maybe they know but don’t know what to do. Many don’t speak out because of fear, and still others just have no idea what is happening outside of their own school or district. But MY TWO CENTS – My thoughts on public education and other things:

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