Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

“Hope” … Florida’s Schools… Vote…November 8

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness…”

Our Florida schools have an opportunity to get out of the political restrictions created by Republican control beginning in 1999 …

That has been exacerbated by the authoritarian control by our latest governor, Ron DeSantis…

Right here, in my former school district, Alachua County…Our school board is grappling with these very issues…

Gershon Harrell
The Gainesville Sun


https://www.gainesville.com/story/news/2022/09/06/alachua-county-school-board-discussing-dont-say-gay-stop-woke-bills/7949729001/?s=09

House Bill 7, aka ‘Stop WOKE’
HB 7 allows for the teaching of African-American history but prohibits classroom instruction and curriculum being “used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

HB 1557 also HB 7 have both sparked outrage and protests around the state. In Alachua County and statewide, high school students staged a walk out in protest of the HB 1557 after it passed the Florida House in a 69-47 vote.

DeSantis signed the measure into law March 28

HB 7 led to the Florida Department of Education rejecting some math textbooks after it was claimed the books “contained prohibited topics” that included references to critical race theory.

Alachua County Public Schools will soon have a better idea of how new laws restricting discussions around race, sexual orientation and gender identity will affect classrooms.

The county School Board will hear from school district attorney Francine Turney about recommended updates to a number of board policies, including those changing due to Florida House bills 7 and 1557, at a Wednesday workshop at 1 p.m. Already parents are seeing the effects of the latter law in requirements for their permission for health screenings.

House Bill 1557, known as Parental Rights in Education and called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, also prevents classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten though third grade. House Bill 7, known as the Individual Freedom bill and dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act” by supporters, prohibits classroom discussions on certain topics regarding race and gender.

Trans youth at risk:Medicaid for Florida’s transgender youth at risk under Gov. DeSantis

‘Don’t Say Gay’ protest:Alachua County students mobilize in protest of the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Textbook ban:School board approves 4 of 11 math textbooks after DeSantis’ crackdown on critical race theory

The measures were signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The district has to update its instructional learning materials to fall in line with state standards, according to backup materials for the meeting.

House Bill 1557, aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’
HB 1557 prohibits classroom discussions surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade classes, while requiring instruction to be age appropriate in other grades.

The district implemented this policy for kindergarten through third grade classes on July 1, when the law went into effect, according to the district. For grades four and up, it takes effect only after the Florida Department of Education develops rules or guidance on age-appropriate instruction.

The law also requires parents to be made aware of health care services offered and allows for parents to deny or accept them. It further gives parents the right to file a complaint with the school district if there is any violation of the law.

On Aug. 9, Alachua County Public Schools sent a message home to families regarding health care, stating that parents must give active consent for their child to receive care for chronic health health conditions, vision screenings, dental screenings, hearing screenings and other services.

My heart is breaking for our children and teachers dealing with this…Our children are not being educated with the necessary culture and curriculum…Teachers live in fear they could lose their job …

We are still living with Covid, and our children still are being affected!!!

Many teachers have left teaching and we have a critical teacher shortage…Yet Governor DeSantis is reaching out to veterans and retirees who may not have any teacher preparation classes, nor have experience….

I myself was retired at thirty years due to health issues, was extremely fortunate to resume my teaching career for another eight more years … Before doing so, I had to take another teacher prep class, and take the requred teacher exam before being allowed back into the classroom…

If they gave teachers the respect and paid what they deserve…we would not have a teacher shortage here in Florida or anywhere!

Hope is here for our precious children here in Florida! If we are united and vote for Charlie Crist and Karla Hernandez!!

@andrewsparfea… President of the Florida Education Association…

Let’s go out and work hard to make sure that we have an educator working at the highest levels of our state!

And make Val Deming’s Senator…

She is running against Marco Rubio.. who has done nothing for our children..

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Our Precious Children’sMental Health…

In the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report evaluating states on indicators of child well-being, Florida — after modest improvements in rankings over time — remains 35th in the nation…

Each year, the Foundation uses 16 publicly available indicators of child well-being organized into four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. All of these come from publicly available national data so the states can be directly compared. Trend data is also presented for each variable to show change over time.

Below, FPI looks at each domain as compared to 2008-20121…

https://www.floridapolicy.org/posts/florida-lawmakers-must-do-more-to-improve-child-well-being

These findings are extremely disturbing…Our children have been dealing with so much… pandemic, divisive politics and poor leadership…

We have a governor who has refused to expand Medicaid…and from my own personal experience…My daughter who has mental health issues has been denied assistance…

We in Florida must vote blue for our precious children…
Having taught 38 years in Florida…
We so need a fighter…with heart…. right now more than ever..
#SomethingNew
@NikkiFried
#VoteBueforOurKids🌊💙🍎📚🇺🇸 https://t.co/LjSHn15Sxa

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

#PrayersForUvalde….Our Precious Children…

My last class…Just before retirement
My little first graders, 7 yrs ago…Honor Roll Winners…
Reminding me of how very same they are to those precious babies killed Tues
They’re in high school…

“Pray they live out their dreams”

#PrayersForUvalde #VoteBlueToSaveOurKids 💙🌈🙏🏾🇺🇸🍎

💙
Memories…My precious children… June 2015
Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

What Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill really says | The Week

Here in Florida especially…Our children and schools are definitely under attack…All these concerns are manufactured by divisive politics….

In my many years as a teacher of young children…we never discussed their sexual identity…They were learning how to socialize with others…And to become who they were …And accept our differences…

“What Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill really says | The Week” https://theweek.com/education/1011116/florida-dont-say-gay-bill-briefing?amp

MARCH 13, 2022
Why Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill has caused a nationwide uproar
Ron DeSantis.

GRAYSON QUAY
MARCH 13, 2022
A controversial piece of legislation commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the Florida Senate on Tuesday after being approved by the House last month. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signaled that he plans to sign the bill. Why is the bill getting so much national attention?

What’s in the bill?

The legislation, more officially titled the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, seeks to restrict the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity with public school children, especially from kindergarten to the third grade.

The text of the bill, which was filed on Jan. 11 by state Rep. Joe Harding (R), stipulates that “[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”

“If that language seems vague, it is,” writes CNN. “But vague legislation can have massive consequences.”

The bill also empowers parents to sue schools and teachers that violate this ban, enhancing the ability of Florida’s parents to object to their children’s curricula.

Notably, the “Don’t Say Gay” nickname was created and spread by activist opponents to the bill. The bill does not seek to prohibit the use of the word “gay” in schools, supporters note.

LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida threatened to “lead legal action against the State of Florida” if “the vague language of this bill” is “interpreted in a way that causes harm to a single child, teacher, or family.” Kara Gross of the ACLU’s Florida branch told Time the bill could infringe on teachers’ First Amendment rights.

In his State of the Union speech, President Biden told “younger transgender Americans” he would “always have your back … so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.”

DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law. He has repeatedly expressed support for the legislation, though he hasn’t explicitly said he will sign it if it reaches his desk, ABC News reports. If he does, however, the law would go into effect July 1.

Teachers speak out as Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill heads to DeSantis’ desk…

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/living/story/teachers-speak-floridas-dont-gay-bill-heads-desantis-83475914

image

I am quite proud to have been a teacher for thirty-eight years

I came to teaching quite by accident I always had an interest in the arts; perhaps becoming a fashion designer

Happy Life Moment…Dream Maker…My family together at Aunt’s wedding… I was the flower girl…

However, overcoming my own challenging childhood… Parents divorcing early in my life…I was called upon to take care of myself…Due to my mother’s work… I had to get myself to school each morning…I was a latchkey child…In addition to that responsibility, I had a sister who was six years older, with mental health issuesI felt my mother was relying on me to look after her

My early life, definitely lead me to the realization….I had a tremendous need to helping others….

So, in my senior year of high school, I made the decision to become a social worker, and attend Florida State University, in TallahasseeIn sharing my decision with an uncle…It was he who suggested, becoming a teacher, because it would better suit me… He believed it was….

A more stable career for a young woman...

Following this insight; One particular day that I will never forget, in my senior English class at Miami High SchoolMy favorite, pretty, young teacher, Ms. Kempler, commented that she liked my dress!… She said that it reminded her of the University of Florida… It was the University’s colors of “orange and blue“…

Wow, I so appreciated her comment!.. Back then because of my personal life, I never felt noticedMs. Kempler did notice me!

Ms. Kempler had gone to the University of Florida; in a town called Gainesville… I had never even heard of, until this very moment…Well… my decision becoming a teacher, was made that day in 1966 my senior year, and go to the University of Florida, just like Ms. Kemper!

Thank you,

Dear Ms Kempler

Soon after, that February in 1967…my mother died unexpectedly, but before she passed…

I shared with her the news, in the hospital, that I was just accepted to the University of Florida, and made her a promise that day, I would go to college!

The road was definitely not easy…Living with friends until this challenging high school year ended… Graduation, and then working that summer in New York where my father was living…Monies earned would help with college expenses… College funds were minimal…

I would be beginning my college career alone … My best friend’s mother saw me off at the Miami Seaboard Train Station August,1967…I Arrived on campus in a taxi… aloneWatching everyone with their families , and I by myself and determination…

My early college school years were quite difficult… I was even told by a college advisor…I did not belong because of my test scores…Yet, I was determined to prove them wrong …And I feel so blessed…I was determined…I succeeded… Even getting married young, while attending college; and having my daughter,…

March of 1972 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education…

Doing it with self- determination and blessed with college grants and loans, and food stamps…

Then immediately, getting my first teaching job…April 1, 1972…Traveling 90 miles a day just to teach…

Now as I reflect on my thirty-eight years; I am quite proud of all accomplished…

I have taught so many children from grades ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade; dating back from “1972”, up to my last year, retiring in “2015” …And spending more than twenty-five years in first grade…

I also went on to get a Masters of Science in Administration from an accelerated program from Nova University…an opportunity I felt would enrich my teaching journey …

And then later, I even had a wonderful opportunity teaching a college seminar for beginning teachers back at the University of Florida, while on a paid sabbatical working on an advanced course work in counseling education…I felt like I was living dream my mother had for me…

And I have never looked back… Becoming a teacher was the most important decision I made to channel my passion for helping…

Thanks to my mother, and those that believed in my determination... I was teaching our young precious children!!…

How I hope my students can still remember back to the time they spent in my class so many years ago, and remember that love I have for them, smile warmly at some of the memories, and definitely have the confidence in themselves that they can amount to everything they put their minds”

And…now more than ever…I will always advocate for our children

“Reflections”… My Journey Does Continue…

First posted back in 2013…Almost ten years ago…I was close to my retirement in 2015… thirty-eight years dedicated to teaching young children…

Being reminded …

Teaching our children has always been impacted by the political climate…And back ten years ago… Funding definitely was an issue making our profession less of the regard it deserves…

And truthfully, even back when I began in 1972…We did have that critical moment because of the political policies of the sixties…

Integration and a strong focus on the young child were given that priority…

We were needed, and in demand!! We had so many of us wanting to become teachers…I was willing to travel ninety miles a day just to teach…

We had such Hope!!…I so believe, we go into teaching because it is a calling.. “our passion”…

Here we are, 2022…Our teachers are dealing with insurmountable obstacles… pandemic, staggered teaching… shortages with staff… political interference …

Yet, teachers still put their “Heart” into teaching!!

The joy I get from my children each year, has sustained me all these many years…

I have so loved their special writings and pictures; and personal, little notes…that some, I have even saved over the years…

That many of the momentos are displayed in my home and classroom that my children have given to me through the years…

I can even say that I do have a place setting for twelve, in “teacher mugs”…

I have truly loved reconnecting with former students, and I may still have that special momento they have given to me…

In fact, there are those special parents that I taught, now with their own children, at the very school where I am presently teaching first grade…

I feel such joy, I am still remembered…And see who they became!

All of which are part of my…World of Teaching, that resides in my heart and memory…

The joys of teaching are impactful… I feel so blessed to have touched their lives…

The Joys of Teaching…

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