The Hearts of the School…

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I have learned through all my experiences as a teacher, there are those special individuals besides the classroom teacher that enhance a warm and caring climate  …for children…One of those is a strong support staffThese special people interact with the children out side of the classroom… And their interactions are extremely beneficial to the care and welfare of children…

The first I need to recognize are those busy, caring office personnel; never too busy, to handle the many situations that occur each and everyday… Even before the day officially starts…These wonderful people utilize their talents to answer concerns that adults may have, and that particular child needing assistance, and moreover they  will always find the time to wipe away the tears when a child needs some love…The office personnel are most times, the first to meet parents and make that initial important contact, even before they meet with their child’s classroom teacher…

Another caring person we teachers can not say enough about is the importance of the school nurse…  she or he is that loving pair of hands that is there for those medical needs of children … Along with the many medical talents and duties a school nurse is responsible for, besides the dispensing of the medications and taking care of cuts and scrapes … is  taking that extra time to be a good listener to that child  in need or just may need to look for a warm jacket on a cold morning to finding dry clothes if a little one has an accident…

A warm and caring climate would not be successful without the caring support of the custodial staff...They not only have the important task of  keeping the school clean and safe…Being many times understaffed, they are utilized to their full talents and capacity…They also are another pair of hands or heart, when a child needs just that…love…

Through my experiences. I must add how the cafeteria and cafeteria staff affect the climate of the school…They are the providers of nutritious meals for the children prepared  with love and care… The cafeteria is that meeting place in the mornings where all the children are provided breakfast… For many children this meal is free and most need to get the day started on that full tummy…and warm hearts…Helping with their success in the classroom…

Lunch time too is a very important part of the children’s day… The cafeteria staff provides another nutritious meal, however now due to government constrains will no longer be so nutritious, and may be no longer free for those children in need… Lunch time is a favorite time for children to socialize appropriately…  Caring support staff monitors children’s needs giving them loving attention…

In addition, I can not forget the many other support teachers who reinforce curriculum… providing academic support for those children  in need, and moreover another loving heart…

When children have the opportunity to play out doors, a strong Physical Education Program provides just the right skills children need to learn; how to play cooperatively with a love and appreciation for good health through their exercise… However, because of funds and schedules, this may just be once a week… A physical education teacher provides this important knowledge and the necessary skills children need with the awareness of each child’s abilities and development…

However,  children may get another opportunity to free play at recess, which they need and love…and gives them more time to practice cooperation and social skills …  This free play time releases their pent up energy from the hours in the classroom…Sadly, recess may not be allowed due to governmental constraints…

Art and music are wonderful programs where children have an opportunity to utilize their creativity and release emotions constructively… These creatively talented, loving teachers who teach the arts, give their time to children to enable free expression …Many children who may not be strong in academics, may find success, love and passion through the arts!!!!  Music and art teachers are a strong support to enhance this creativity and free expression children…

 

We can not forget to recognize bus drivers who are a special group of men and women… who are responsible for children getting to and from school each day…Our bus drivers must take extra precautions for the welfare of children…. Children safety is the utmost importance…Children may have had a hard morning or a challenging day… The bus driver, with a loving heart and driving skills, must utilize all his or her talents making sure the children will arrive safe and sound…And we must say thank you!

A warm and caring  school climate impacts the hearts of children hopefully enabling them to have a successful education….And feel loved!!!

 

 

“Our Children…New Year 2017”

Be the voice for our children...
Be the voice for our children…
Hillary Clinton advocate for children's right to a strong public education...
Hillary Clinton… advocate for  our children’s right to a strong public education..

Blessings for the New Year 2014

Be open for our truth that all children’s voices must be heard…

 

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All Children need a leader that will provide them with a strong Public School Education..

It is extremely frustrating and challenging for me to accept  that in this brand new year,  with the election over, President Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos will be Secretary of Education…She has never been a proponent of public schools… Her focus will be on privatization and school vouchers for school choice…This choice for all children will be catastrophic for most children who rely on public schools!

Dedicating my professional life to teaching in our public schools… I know from first hand experience what such an impact will have,  when public schools  lose  resources affecting our children…

Just like it was yesterday; back in the Nineties when Jeb Bush was our governor right here in Florida. It was the beginning of privatization  with school vouchers…”The no child Left Behind” Act began, making testing and accountability priorities… School vouchers and charter schools taking  monies and resources available to our children and public schools….We were required teaching  a more sophisticated curriculum that has been characterized developmentally inappropriate,  with fewer resources…And we teachers evaluated unfairly and blamed for the failures in our public schools…

This loss of necessary revenues has led to overcrowded classrooms, fewer specialized teachers helping our children with issues impacting their learning… We even have had school closings that have caused these overcrowded classrooms with longer bus rides for our children…

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President Obama signing Elementary and Secondary Act on December 10, 2015…

We must thank President Obama for realizing our public schools needed his involvement… We have been dealing with those many challenges imposed from the Bush era…And This act was to put more emphasis on children in the young years, when learning is crucial to a child’s foundation…

Having taught many children from  impoverished homes… Knowing how  they  come to school hungry for what public schools  have to offer…Their families are just surviving, and it has been  up to dedicated teachers providing them with the necessary tools to be successful… a hope for a better future…

What saddens me is that we as a Country could have made a difference for our children… I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for Hillary in Flagler County, in Florida… a predominately Republican County… I met wonderful volunteers who worked along with me to make that difference… We made calls and knocked on doors… Meeting wonderful people in our community who wanted a better tomorrow… Even with those who did not see the future as we see for our children…

And now we are left with a future very uncertain for our children and public schools… My hope is that we will realize what is right for our children before our public schools become severely affected…

 

 

 

 

Our Season of Thanks….

2c3d19e6946923cbac75990147e20316This time of year, back in the day…My classroom was the place for fun that inhanced our  learning….We had time to incorporate into the  curriculum,  learning through special art  and  creative poetry projects that were made for our parents, as holiday gifts…

We truly enjoyed taking  two special  field trips to  magical places that our  children got to experience first hand: visiting a pumpkin patch farm and  the viewing of the Nutcracker Ballet…Some of our children would never have had those opportunities…What learning!

We spent a great deal of time learning and appreciating different cultures and how they celebrated the season…And finally,  the children couldn’t wait for the culmination of the celebration of the season with our holiday cookie exchange…Then off for winter break!!!

It is my hope that  our public school teachers continue these beautiful traditions for our children…As we know, there are those children who especially need to know the Beauty of the Season…

This could be a Season of Miracles…

“What will Happen Now?…

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Being an eternal optimist… I must use my positive outlook… In having had many challenges in my personal life… I as many are feeling in the aftermath of this election, may  want to give up the fight…

My positive outlook on life dictates for me not to give up, but rise and a call to action….

We as a People can not… As “Hillary” would emphatically speak…

We are Stronger Together… For all that is right in our Country… For our beautiful children who need positive roll models…

Teaching  those many years,  my children who came into my classroom  from poverty and dysfunction in their homes, would listen, with full attention when I would share some of my  personal stories coming from a poor single family household…and how I overcame the many challenges I incurred in my life, having made me  work extra hard,  paying my way for a college education; I was always hoping to provide them with insight …and guidance… Our  young children want and must need to know…In order to succeed….

Now this election is over, I am deeply heartsick and realize how divided our Country is… We as teachers have definitely witnessed how these changes have impacted our children…Children, especially from poverty need positive role models to guide and direct their future…This is crucial especially those that may not get much if any support from home…

Having listened to  such negative and hateful rhetoric,  watching our media giving so much attention to getting the story… missed so much… The divide of our people…how their anger affects their  children, nor really caring…As I witnessed first hand in volunteering for Hillary’s campaign  this concerns me as the message we are giving our children..

However, In my own personal experiences canvassing neighborhoods for this campaign.  Flagler County, in a Republican Community  in Florida,  I did meet many people from different ethnicity, age groups, and genders… We were all ready working together to get Hillary  elected as our President…… I must be positive  and hopeful… Those of the many, as the popular vote affirms,  believe as I do…

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We need to  keep up the fight for all the beauty our Country has to offer…We must continue speaking out for the “good”… We need to be positive role models for our children…

I feel we will succeed…for our children…This is their future….!!!

Our Future…Election 2016

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http://www.news-journalonline.com

Now that I am retired from a forty year career educating  our children, I have more time to continue my passion for “our children’s  right to a strong public education…

I can now be more vocal in the politics, advocating for our children…I have lived through all the changes from the past…Starting back in 1972…To the present when privatization  is weakening public schools, taking tax monies away that  perhaps will destroy public education…

I am now able to volunteer here in Flagler County…Democratic Headquarters for Hillary and  other strong democratic candidates…Such as Patrick Murphy running for the Senate and a local citizen, Adam Morley vying for District 24 seat on Florida’s Legislature…

I have been calling citizens in Flagler and Volusia Counties…. canvassing, and attending a rally in Dayton Beach, Florida, where I actually met Hillary and thanked her for supporting public education…

I feel as many of us do we have to get out and vote…Our general election will be on Tuesday, November 8, 2016…Please, vote…

Our children and their right to a strong public education depend on this election…

School Spirit…

With the beginning of a new school year, and the start of a second year since my retiring…I can reflect those many wonderful memories I hold onto…

The one I do hold dearly is that all through my forty plus years in my career as a teacher…I can truly appreciate my children allowing me such a wonderful platform where my unique sense of drama and creative talents allowed me to utilize my spirit in my teaching…

In these present challenging times with fewer resources and many demands of teaching ; even after these many years; It was the children’s love and innocence that  provided me the passion to inspire them with my enthusiasm; my strong sense of  spirit…They gave me a wonderful audience where I was able  to utilize  my sense of drama and creativity to make each day unique… I  now must happily recognize these essential components to my success, as a teacher…

It was always my goal to find the  fun… And now, I can recollect  those moments of fun a teacher shares with his or her children… Through this captive audience, my children allowed me to keep my spirit alive…Keeping “the child in me alive”…

When I first began teaching in the early “Seventies”, I was young and fresh; our  curriculum allowed  time for the fun…We got to bake more often…Play and theater was a big part of the day…I myself enjoyed the opportunity to use drama in the classroom… I felt like I was playing a role, putting on a performance…to engage with the children…Never a dull moment…Each day was a new beginning….The years flew….

Teaching children of today, has  certainly become much more serious,  many more challenges, many more demands…Children needed  more from me than the “play”,  they needed mr to be a positive,strong role model… I  was then able to incorporate to utilize “my spirit to gain their attention…even managing behavior issues…

For many, I was  their  one positive constant in their lives… With my drama and creative spirit,  I was able to reach them, even for that moment…Hopefully touching their lives forever…

 

 

 

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Politics in the Classroom..

Having taught back in the early seventies, post Civil Rights Movement and  having the most important opportunity teaching all children especially those that were mainstreamed from our society that practiced segregation …I  can remember just like it was yesterday,  entering into teaching with such passion that reflected my idealism and hope…As I do speak for myself;  many of my colleagues felt as I did…

I can even remember entering the classroom for the very first time, summer of…1970…doing my first field experience in preparation for my becoming a teacher….

I was going to “Change the World”…And “Make that Difference”!

The political climate of the Seventies was definitely pro education…It was more than just rhetoric… Federal programs such as Head Start with such a strong emphasis on early childhood education and Title I programs that assisted those children who struggled with their learning…were being funded and implemented…

Parenting groups also began at this time,  providing such educational and informative workshops for those parents who needed support and encouragement;  Hopefully in the end, becoming more knowledgeable and  involved in the educational needs of their child…And I too, even had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with…

I feel so blessed that I was able to be a part of this history; fueling my passion for saving children …So much so , that most of my forty years have been in primary education…

Over twenty five years as a first grade teacher, of which ten of those years, teaching children that were not on grade level…

 This  political climate of pro funding continued through the Eighties … However by the early Nineties there was a most definite shift… … the result from the direction of our politics right here in Florida, under the Governorship of Jeb Bush. .. Sadly, his politics encouraged the privatization of education, detrimentally affecting our children with the… “No Child Left Behind” Movement…And I as many feel the beginning of Public Education’s struggles….

Public Education was most definitely not a top priority any more…We teachers felt this in our classroom everyday… We had to deal with the strain of  more standardized tests, and more biased accountability…  This was now  the beginnings of vouchers and the privatization of  education…Our children were now  feeling  this emphasis, more demands and  less resources…We  teachers, feeling so unappreciated…and devalued…And more than ever the blame with all the reasons schools were failing…

“Our children were being left behind”… 

My first twenty years flew by so…Teaching was such a joy…

However, through the Nineties, and into this New Millennium with the demands and  fewer resources due to this political shift…Society’s politics has impacted families thus affecting our children… Children are now coming in to school less prepared…More of our children live in poverty and have emotional and physical issues… …And we teachers with all our creative talents have such unrealistic demands…Our classrooms are micromanaged and we are being assessed on how proficient we are…We educators have always felt being accountable is extremely essential…Children deserve the best… However we are not being assessed fairly due to the limits placed on with testing and collecting data… Many teach in overcrowded classrooms and fewer resources at our disposal….

How will the Politics of Today play out? …Thanks to President Obama Passing…The Every Child Succeeds Act, no child will be left behind

Some of the rhetoric has been ecouraging fewer tests and even giving recess back to children….

I feel this can be a fresh start, and we may be going  back to a time in History… the politics of the Seventies when all our children were important…We must prioritize funding Public Education for all our children…