My Teacher Voice

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It is of my opinion, there are those in the  world that have taken advantage of our children, especially those from poverty….  

These precious, voiceless children do need  our voice to  advocate for their needs…

Teaching  many years; of which the last  six  have  been at a public school with a diverse population with many children living in poverty…I have felt it was my responsibility to become a strong voice for their needs…Many of these children live in chaos…They come to school hungry, and if it were not for governmental  programs such as SNAP,  that provide free breakfast and lunch, they would not eat…In addition, I too feed my children   spending  my personal monies to provide cereal snacks daily….Our school  has been fortunate to have wonderful people in our community who provide weekly, backpacks filled with canned goods,  to our most vulnerable families…  

My children have such potential…Today’s curriculum is quite challenging for first grade…Our district has implemented  new reading and math programs that will encompass the Core Standards… As a teacher, I must teach these new standards…The success of my students does hinge on how well they learn… 

Our school’s  emphasis is on  involving all our  parents  …In order for children to learn, parents need to do their part…Our school reaches into the community to invite parents in for parent night programs… We also involve our children hoping to involve parent participation, and provide materials to work with their child at home. We invite parents to to volunteer,  attend our PTA programs ,  attend school plays; chorus programs ; and  art shows, trying to get their participation…

… We do all we can to involve our parents…In addition to all these attempts,  it is not unusual for me to make  home visits to involve my parents… With all of  our best efforts , we still do not reach many of our parents because of circumstances beyond our control…We do make a difference, but not enough…

Children in poverty do need our voice…I feel that Public Schools do  care for children and want all their children to succeed… I want my children to succeed… We can not do this alone…It is my hope that if all of us would give their voice to those children in need, and if our government would support programs that would provide more funding in public schools, all of our children would achieve success…It is my belief children of today will be the citizens of the future…

4 thoughts on “My Teacher Voice

  1. Infant and junior education is very much the same here in the UK, Janis. I know schools are always underfunded, class sizes too big. Sadly, I also know few governments would risk announcing a tax increase to provide extra monies. I am sad because I know most could afford that increase. We, all of us, can live on less income if we are frugal, just as we were when younger.
    You may not know of Gervase Phinn, he is a retired HM School Inspector, so loved by many schools and their teachers and children. He has written a few books of his experiences, both hilarious and critical of the system. As you would expect of a Yorkshire man. The many anecdotes he illustrates tell of children from poor families. One, for example, shows a hill farmers young son who found it hard to cope with course work, but could name every breed of sheep, their good and bad points and count a smallish flock of sheep in a field faster than a lay man.
    The point I am making, is that the school curriculum is not always ‘fit for purpose’. Not that teachers should teach farming, but that education should be flexible. Teachers are in the front line, and know best. Responsible parents next in the hierarchy. Civil servants and governments last. Testing should reflect what children know, not just what they have learned. ‘Street wise’ children know far more than they are given credit for. Each has a special talent that must be recognised, and encouraged to grow. And you will know parents must be told of their children’s gifts if they have not seen them themselves.
    I am preaching to the converted Janis, so hope you forgive. I have spent a few thousand pounds of our own money to ensure Gavin, our eldest, realises his dream, his special talents. Now he is well on the way, growing furniture. Our youngest, Robert, has Schizophrenia, as a result of smoking cannabis for 6 yrs of his childhood. He is in our hearts always, and making progress with Gavin’s help, that of his friends and us.
    No child is beyond redemption; having a poor education early in life is bad, but not the end. Many have gone on to learn and be successful later on. That’s where we, as adults, must be forgiving and non-judgemental. I reconnect so often with my childhood, as should we all. To remember the hard times, and the teachers who made them easier.
    Lots of love,
    Andrew.

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    1. Bless you, Andrew for your heart and candor…Your voice is my voice…every child has a gift to share, their diversity…Parents and teachers are a part of this process; if parents are not able to be a part of this process, having the support of government, to foster this process could strengthen a child’s education…Not every child is alike…A good education should reflect this diversity…

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      1. So true Janis. I wonder sometimes, how many potential genius’s were lost by bad teachers/parents thinking the child ‘backward’. Misinterpreting the signs. But then, we live, we love, we learn. Doing that, we have served our purpose; we have been successful.

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