Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Big Brother in our Classrooms?…

Our Florida schools have been dealing with such an authoritative control… Making it quite challenging for teachers to feel secure, safe and even continue to teach…We have a critical shortage here in Florida…

And moreover our precious children suffer the consequences!!

First, back in the nineties, it was the “No Child Left Behind Movement” where children were being classified by a standardized test, taught from developmentally inappropriate curriculum…

That outcome led to the privatization of schools, taking resources and funds away from our our public schools… giving it to private and charter schools, And we still are grappling with these issues today!!

And in these last twenty year, safety issues have been a major concern for schools…where arming teachers was one of the solutions…And since the pandemic, social media influences, and the divisive of our Country, has gotten much worse…

Thus leading to what many school districts teach…Controlling what children learn in classrooms… Especially when it comes to history!!

Florida Lawmaker Files Bill To Put Cameras In Classrooms & Mics On Teachers – CBS Miami…

Author: Jacqueline Quynh
January 12, 2022 at 11:14 pm
Filed Under: Broward County Public Schools, Jacqueline Quynh, Local TV, Miami News

https://cbsloc.al/34C9Bbe


FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – While lawmakers in Tallahassee debate a new proposal to allow schools districts to put cameras in classrooms, a select few in Broward County Public Schools already have them.

“That is happening right now, yeah,” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said.

According to the Broward County Public Schools website, parents of a student can request a camera system with visual and audio capability be placed in a classroom if the child is a student with a disability and is an individualized education program from where the majority of the students have a disability. This came into existence after Florida House Bill 149 passed in July 2021.

“And it’s not in every classroom. We have parents that have not exercised that right. It’s kind of two fold. If one parent wants it, the camera goes in the room. If the other 10 parents don’t want it, they don’t have a say,” she said.

“Everything that happens in a classroom is monitored and watched and heard all day. There is absolutely zero privacy for anybody, even when the students are in the room and the teacher needs to do a parent conference on the phone,” Fusco said..

The bill filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, a Republican out of Naples, is proposing to allow districts to adopt policies that could install cameras in classrooms and require teachers to wear microphones for all students.

“I think if we can do it in a safe way to protect the privacy of students and teachers I think we should do it. I haven’t heard a response good or bad from any teachers but you know what it’s not their private space, it’s our children’s space too,” Rep. Rommel, R-District 160, said.

“It can be looked at any time. We don’t know how they’re going to keep in in record, so they never get that piece out, and also the funding, there is no funding,” Fusco said.

However, should there be a window into a student’s classroom in the first place?

“You want to play Big Brother every moment? That’s not how society should be. We need to get back to where we have trust, we have value, we have faith we have conversations, and we can work things out if something happens,” Fusco said.

The bill is still currently in the house…

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/01/12/florida-lawmaker-bill-cameras-classrooms-mics-teachers/?amp

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Today Is the Anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ “Historic” First Day of School…

This is why our children must learn history…

Six years ago, I was teaching young, impressionable first graders, who came from diverse cultures… brown and black…We were a celebration of “Rainbow Ethnicity”…

I felt it was my role to provide them with their history at a developmentally appropriate level that would embolden their spirit…I made sure they had that understanding…

I, myself growing up during the civil rights of the sixties, and began teaching in the seventies when our schools were recently integrated…I would tell the children their history from my own experiences of those times…

This gave them such insight and a feeling of empowerment…They were proud of who they were…

On this day in 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges was escorted into William Frantz Elementary School by a team of U.S. Deputy Marshals, desegregating the public school system of New Orleans…

In 2011, the painting was put on display at the White House and Ruby Bridges Hall visited with President Barack Obama; “I think it’s fair to say if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together,” he told her.

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

School Board Meetings in Chaos…Is this Really about Our Children?

In the past, historically, school board members are elected by a community to make important decisions about our schools…They have a local authority… Their meetings are open to the public…to discuss issues that may be concerning…

However since the influence of our political divisiveness…These meetings are being attended by an outside influence of political activists who utilize threats of violence…

WH aided school board group’s ‘domestic terrorism’ letter before Garland sicced FBI on parents
By Samuel Chamberlain

October 21, 2021…

In a letter to the president last month, the head of the nation’s largest school board association reached out to the Biden administration before suggesting that parents who object to mask mandates and the imposition of critical race theory in classrooms are engaging in “a form of domestic terrorism,” the emails show…

Garland announced on Oct. 4 that the FBI would take the lead on probing what he called “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”

Arguments over education and cultural issues are nothing new, said Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, recalling debates on how math is taught and the Common Core… But this year is different.

“There have always been disagreements that were discussed, if not necessarily amicably, at least respectfully,” Domenech said. “The climate is very different now, what we’re seeing around the country. School board meetings that actually turned violent, where the police have to be called, people that are disrespectful, they’re shouting and shoving.”

“It’s something that we have not seen on a scale that we are seeing it now,” he said.

And board meetings “have turned into ground zero of the nation’s political and cultural debates,” Education Week noted…https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/06/23/virginia-school-board-critical-race-theory-mh-orig.cnn

Once again, all this political divisiveness will affect our children…They are dealing with so much and it is up to all of us to do better for them

Our precious children
Posted in Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Fall Festival Days… Memories…

November…4, 2015… Idywild PTO…

Now this is a special, special memory…
My final
“Fall Festival”…💕🎃🧡🍂🍎

Our children just loved all the school festivities…And then getting to share this time with their family…

For all of us, teachers…We may have had a busy day of teaching, and then staying late into the early evening…

We may have been exhausted, but so worth the joy it brought the families…💕🧡🎃🍂

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Where are Those Fun October Days?… It’s Time to #BeKind…

In the many years of my teaching… I realized October was one of those favorite months for children…We had our daily routines down; teaching those required ki learning activities…And now by October, I could have activities centered around this glorious season…

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” ...
~ L. M. Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables” ~

And here we are in present day… I am so concerned with this year, 2021…October school days

With a pandemic and such discord in our Country; Such resistance in doing what’s right for our children! They are back in school, opportunities await…

Yet, School Boards are now under attack…And they need federal protection…

School Boards are reaching out to Biden: Protect Us!

‘America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,’ the leaders of the National School Boards Association said, citing sometimes violent backlash against COVID-19 policy, critical race theory and more…

In addition, communities are experiencing teens acting out with vandalism challenges directed to high schools… influenced by social media…

Our children are dealing with so much….And they are looking for escape and attention in the wrong places…

It is Time to #BeKind…for our children… They are listening, watching, and learning from us…

💕🙏🏼🌈🍎🇺🇸🌍

Posted in Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Memory Lane…

Florida Educator…38 years …Retired 6 years…

7 years today …My last teaching year … Idylwild Elementary….

Praying for our children being a priority…

Starting in Palatka April Fools Day…1972… traveling 90 a day just to teach…


Alachua…1973-Assistant teacher
1974-1989
Terwilliger… 1989-2002
Idylwild…2007-2015
“38 years”…

I pray our children, teachers, essential staff…
Are safe.. learn lots, and have fun…

💞🌈🙏🏼😷🍎

#OurChildrenMatter
#teachersrock
#essentialstaff

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

School Days 2021… Please Don’t Forget Our Children…

Together we can change…

Hoping for a better year for our children… They have dealt with so much this past year…

Yet, I am not so sure it will be much better…

We are still dealing with residual issues from the past year, due largely from the consequences from the previous presidency…

This pandemic is not over! We have a new variant… And, we have citizens in our Country who are extremely resistant to follow the necessary protocols and the recommendation of getting vaccinated…

Thus, our children and schools will suffer from this divisive inaction!

The CDC is now recommending children twelve and older get vaccinated…All children, teachers, essential staff wear masks indoors…

Yet here in Florida and other Republican controlled states, not always follow the necessary guidelines…

And now Governor Ron DeSantis is preparing to sign an executive order that would keep schools from mandating students wear masks in schools;

And will withhold state funds from schools with mask mandates…

This comes after that CDC guidance recommendation … https://bit.ly/3rGUg0F

Once again our children…may experience consequential repercussions!

In addition to such restrictions, Florida and Republican controlled states are even dictating what children will learn in history…

Teachers; the professionals we are; and many parents; are extremely concerned…We know how dangerous this is!!!

We know children need to be able to get a foundation in truth… without bias, with a developmentally, appropriate curriculum…

The new child tax credit parents are now receiving,  could lift more than 5 million kids out of poverty and give families in need that extra boost!!!

This new year, we will now have a wonderful opportunity to get the much needed funding from the American Rescue Plan…The Biden-Harris Administration got passed!!!

Lifting many children out of poverty…

From my own teaching experiences working with children from poverty…I so realized that those children who came to school hungry were restless and inattentive…

Because our school district was concerned for our struggling families…. They made sure our schools in need had free breakfast and lunch programs; even throughout the summer…

In addition, our district made sure children had access to wifi during the pandemic…

Now with extra monies allocated by the American Rescue Plan more resources for struggling families will be available…going directly to parents in need and schools getting extra funding!!!

With the new child tax credit parents are now receiving, it could lift more than 5 million kids out of poverty and give families in need that extra boost!!!

This upcoming year may still be quite daunting…I pray that our Country do better for our children …

We now have a President, Vice President, Secretary of Education; an Administration that truly care… knowing to provide monetary resources we have so yearned for our children…

Now really it is up to all of us …

Please…Follow CDC guidelines…so we can manage the pandemic, and our children will be safe at school…

And the citizens of Florida…

Vote for a governor that represents our children and public schools… 💞🌈🙏🏼🍎🇺🇸

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Meet Miguel Cardona, the New U.S. Secretary of Education | NEACindy Long…

Historical…

I am so hopeful that for the first time, that I can remember, our NEA
(National Education Association) will have a cooperative relationship with the Secretary of Education…What a difference for our children and public schools will this make!!! This is historical…Such an opportunity!!!

NEA President Becky Pringle sat down (virtually) with U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and hundreds of NEA members to learn about the department’s priorities during the pandemic and beyond…

Pringle thanked Cardona and President Joe Biden’s administration for honoring “the promises made to get control of the pandemic, to make investments in public education, to listen to educators, and to lead on racial and social justice.”

Cardona then expressed appreciation for educators’ heroic and unyielding work during the pandemic, saying more people than ever now recognize that community and state growth starts with good education: “I want to thank you for your commitment and for everything you’ve done,” he said.

Cardona stated that he will focus on closing the digital divide and homework gap; getting all of our students back into classrooms as quickly and safely as possible; creating equitable access to college and career programs; and making higher education affordable..

As his department begins to address these issues, Cardona said he will partner with NEA every step of the way as we “learn together, grow together, and heal together.” But we must not lose the sense of urgency of the pandemic, he cautioned…

“Our kids need us now more than ever. … We now have the opportunity to hit reset on things that don’t work, and I am committed to making sure we have NEA at the table to [elevate the profession] and do the very best for our students.”

NEA members submitted thousands of questions for Secretary Cardona. The following are some highlights of the hourlong town hall, with questions and responses edited for brevity…


Key Takeaways

Cardona’s priorities: closing the digital divide and homework gap; getting all of our students back into classrooms as quickly and safely as possible; creating equitable access to college and career programs; and making higher education affordable.
The Department of Education will work with NEA and educators to guide decisions on assessments…
Educators and unions will be part of the planning process in how American Rescue Plan funds are used to best serve students…

Question:

Can you share with us how you envision the future of assessments?..

Miguel Cardona: There is no “one-size-fits-all.” For example, assessing students who don’t understand English makes no sense. I get the frustration and the challenge that assessments present. No educator needs a standardized test to let them know how their students are doing. It’s just one data point. We need sensible assessments, always asking, why are we doing this? Does it improve instruction? Does it help serve students?

I’ve seen an overreliance on tests, and I’ve seen a harmful narrowing of curriculum. Assessments should mirror good instruction, and I’m eager to make sure they are authentic and assess students in a real way. I look forward to having NEA members at the table from the beginning to guide the work on assessments.

Now that the money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is going to the state and local schools, how are you working to ensure governors and local districts are using the funding to best help our students?

MC: We released an application for states to share what their plans are going to be and what they entail, and I want those plans to be public … to have educators’ fingerprints all over them…

We need to work with our educators and all stakeholders. We need ongoing collaboration. This is unprecedented, the amount of funds going to schools, and we need to be good stewards of that, which means bringing educators and all voices together.

We put out guidance (that includes the voices of NEA members) to make sure the money is going to support schools and not supplant funding that would have been there before.

I recognize that people are feeling burned or hurt or pushed aside. Through our actions more than our words, I want you to know that this is a new day, and I look forward to working with our educators. Our job is to help support you so can be successful in helping children…

Question:

Due to the pandemic, some students are behind academically. What will you do to help get students back on track?

MC: Many of our students were significantly affected academically. But to get to that piece, we first need to get to their social and emotional well-being. It’s hard to learn if you’re grieving, or if your teeth hurt, if you’re hungry, or if you’re not sure where you’re sleeping at night. The pandemic created a lot of these issues for our students and families…

After such a traumatic experience, let’s make sure that the social and emotional well-being of our students and educators guides the decisions we’re making. People talk about the “three R’s,” but the most important is the fourth R—relationships….

After we support that, we focus on accelerating learning inside the schoolhouse, outside the schoolhouse, after hours. That could be in nontraditional forms. We need to be creative about that…

Question:

What is your plan to serve students with special needs and to fulfill the promises made to them at the federal level?



MC: I want to make sure [those] I bring in to the agency share my belief that our students with disabilities are first students who need to access the general education curriculum. They should not be defined as students with disabilities—they are students with abilities. They are assets, and they bring so much to the table. We have to shift to that way of thinking.

We need to ensure they have access to quality, tier one education first, and then look to specializing instruction. We need to ensure there is funding for IDEA. Special education teachers’ caseloads are too high to help students grow. Our regular classroom teachers haven’t had sufficient professional learning to help these students, and there is a lot we can do…

What policies do you plan to put in place to support all educators as expert professionals?

MC: Hopefully after this pandemic, there’s a newfound appreciation for the amazing work educators do day in and day out

First, we must pay educators what they are worth. It’s unacceptable that, in 2021, educators have to work a second job because their first job doesn’t pay enough. We need to value growth opportunities and professional learning opportunities. We ask so much of our educator’s—blended learning, trauma-informed instruction—and I want to make sure that ARP resources have job-embedded professional learning opportunities. Not those offered from 4 to 8 p.m., or three times a year where we cram everything in. Let’s reimagine what professional learning means.

We also need good “grow-your-own” strategies. How can we more systematically make sure education support professionals and more people of color become certified teachers so they can grow in their careers….

Question:

How will you expand and ensure access to more student debt cancellation, particularly for Black, brown, and Indigenous students, and ensure that public service workers have a clear pathway to the loan forgiveness they were promised?

MC: We can’t expect that college students take on this massive debt and be weighed down for rest of their lives. It’s unacceptable, and there are some students that are disproportionately affected by this.

We have done some things to help borrowers most in need. For example, there is now relief—$1.3 billion—for those who have total or permanent disabilities. We will continue to look at ways to help other borrowers with the most need.

In 2017, when public service loan forgiveness loans became available, 98 percent of those who applied were rejected. We need to do better.

At the end of the conversation, Pringle told participants that it was the first in many conversations NEA will have with Secretary Cardona to discuss his experience in public schools, his vision for learning, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities for our public schools and institutions of higher learning.

Watch a Recording of the Full Conversation with Miguel Cardona…