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  1. Are teachers in the house? Say "Yeah!"

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    As the sinfully greedy attempt to make our society become what I think our Founding Fathers tried to prevent, there are signs of the beginning of the end of public school.  That means only those born into some money would get educated.  That would mean basically a caste system, certainly the end of the American dream.  Teachers and parents, when united, determined, and brave, are a strong voice.  I think pediatricians and child psychologists should contribute their voices as well.  Sitting in front of a computer for hours with no other children, no experiences of sharing, singing, smiling, making crafts is far from a kindergarten experience.  We know too much about childhood now to allow this to happen.  A four-year-old is not a little adult.
    For those teachers who have returned to work and sat through depressing staff meetings, I thought it important to share some reminders, inspiration, nourishment, and appreciation.
    When She Realized Her Students Were Suicidal, This Teacher Changed Her Curriculum
    Students are why teachers exist.  Politicians and administrators are not why teachers exist.  So when you see what the teacher in the above video saw -- ten-year-olds with little will to live -- please think about their needs.  Loving oneself is much more crucial than knowing what years one country's military slaughtered another country's military.  Patriarchy and capitalism to an extreme has us ignoring our children, not recognizing nor rewarding those who bother to love the children (our future), and destroying the planet.  It so goes against nature and our souls.  It really shouldn't surprise us that so many of our citizens are medicated or need to be.
    Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
    Filmed May 2013 • Posted May 2013 • TED Talks Education
    TED Talks Education
    Try to remember that life is huge, as my friend Jackie Sheeler reminds me.  It is certainly bigger than any one crisis.  I happen to work with adult basic students.  The future of basic education is very uncertain for them.  New York State sold the whole high school equivalency ordeal to a for-profit company who intended on charging people who are trying to finish high school to take a new test.  That is not legal in New York State.  So now it is with yet another for-profit company.  Word has it that the new test will be harder and ultimately to be taken on computer.  We have students in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s who are not computer literate.  This adds to the mountain before them.  No matter what is going on with policy makers and their lack of knowledge of how people learn and/or their lack of concern if people have access to any hope for their future, I try to keep my eye on my students.  I try to address their needs.  I have been fortunate to have worked at places that have pretty much allowed me to be, and I tend to be much more student-centered than curriculum-centered.  I try to accept wherever my students are at, and we go from there.  
    So my teacher peeps, in spite of a lot of awful shit going on, close your classroom door, fight the good fight, and try to provide a meaningful and happy school year!   As a member of society, I thank you.
    Mindy Matijasevic

    ....said no teacher ever

  2. 5 comments:

    1. Canada Anne said...

      Great read. The teacher who changed her curriculum to help out students who were suicidal should get an award.

    2. Canada Anne said...

      Great read. The teacher who changed her curriculum to help out students who were suicidal should get an award.

    3. A friend of mine, Dan, sent me this to my email and okayed my pasting it here.

      "I wanted to get back to you about what you said, because you made so many great points about where our educational system is going. But first, let me tell you what happened right off the bat; I opened a video where Jaden Smith, the 15 year old actor son of the uber-wealthy Will and Jada Pinckett Smith, is telling his 4 million-plus followers on Twitter to dump their public school eduation. GEEEZ, this is what happens when rich kids get a forum to be really stupid, because obviously his pampered lifestyle got him top of the line education and he never had to set foot in a public school.

      But you're so right about how money is starting to affect education in such a bad way; charter schools are sucking the money out of the public school coffers, in NJ, the Abbott districts are sucking the rest of the state dry even though many places there are affluent enough to not even need the aid. And Chris Christies idea about tests being more important than a proper education is even more bloviatingly stupid than his usual ranting and raving.

      And so many other countries understand this and are blowing our doors off in many aspects of education. I remember when Oprah Winfrey was thinking about donating for a school in Newark, she asked a lot of kids what they'd need for school. But when all she heard were requests for video games, high end sneakers, cash for whatever etc, she decided to build the school in Africa, where the kids there asked for computers, pencils and better books.

      We all really need to get ourselves together on education, before we go third world on ourselves; its a lot more than education, and we can all see that there is some serious Sheriff of Nottingham shit coming down the road in many aspects of our lives. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were NOT supposed to be trench warfare.

      Take care Mindy, and keep fighting the battles! *:-)"

    4. Anonymous said...

      Great blog, thank you. I got a pretty good public school education but that was a long time ago.

    5. Thanks CA, Dan, and Lisa. I appreciate your time and comments.

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