And here, at last, is my list of:
Reasons that I support teacher tenure:
(gathered from my own and close colleagues’ personal professional experiences)
I can advocate for students when I stand up and talk to my administration and make a complaint when they are not giving recent newcomer refugee students access to qualified teachers and curriculum. I can take this complaint to others and make my administration change course.
I can advocate for students when I write a letter to the PTO and complain about an administrator not managing students well at a dance, and thus allowing sexual harassment to occur.
I can advocate for students when I complain that it is 15 degrees hotter in my room than it is outside and that learning isn’t happening and the students need a fan.
I am so blissed out to be done with final exam grading – and off to Spanish language environmental science/inquiry/play/non-standardized test summer camp with five kids out on the beach tomorrow and a brilliant Colombian teacher! Okay, I’m only partially excited about that – in reality, I am really looking forward to my massage at Kabuki Hot Springs on Wednesday. I love the children. I am sick of the children. And teacher mama needs a massage.
So on with my message (not massage)! This past semester I met some people with a Bay Area organization called Evolve, who are trying to build support to repeal aspects of Prop 13 and get corporations to pay more taxes to support public education.
“Those that make test scores and grades the heart of education hit their targets while entirely missing the point.” – Joe Bower
More on the Common Core!
This last week the California legislature voted to suspend standardized testing for all public school students for the 2013-14 year. (Here’s who voted for and against). This was based on the idea that we are transitioning from the California state standards to the Common Core standards. In this transitional year, many districts are spending their money on updating their technology, professional development and practice tests for the Common Core. Teachers, administrators and districts do not want to test students on the old standards while they are preparing students using the new standards. Testing kids on both would be a monumental task, stress students, teachers and schools, pull everyone in two directions at once, and stretch districts’ resources – all the while taking time away from actual teaching and learning.