Posted in Thoughts About Children

Children’s Safety…at School… GunViolence…

 

I would never have imagined gun violence would be such an issue for our children’s safety at school…

I would never have imagined that those in power would not want to do what it would take to make our schools safe…

And I would never believe those Republican, elected officials here in Florida would vote on arming teachers with a gun as an appropriate solution!!!

It is sadly all about the money and politics ; most definitely not about our children….

Since this rise in gun violence ….The powerful NRA’s (National Rifle Association) control over members of Republican members of Congress…here in Florida and the United States…has had such a detrimental impact…

Due to their monetary influence over Republican lawmakers…. We do not provide a real control over gun ownership in our Country…Nor are we providing the necessary resources and funding for those who act out with violence because of mental illness…with a the proper medical treatment…

According to Campus Safety Magazine’s article… October 2018 Edition…titled:

The K-12 School Shooting Statistics Everyone Should Know

In 2018, there were 82 school shooting incidents in the United States, the highest there have ever been since 1970…

K-12 School Shooting Statistics…
There have been 1,300 school shooting incidents since 1970…
2018 had the greatest number of incidents since 1970, with 82 recorded incidents.

The next highest year was 2006 with 59 incidents….
2018 was the highest year for the number of victims killed, including the shooter, with 51 killed….
California, Texas and Florida are the top three states in the U.S. with the most incidents….
669 incidents occurred outside on school property and 588 occurred inside the school building.

Most school shootings occurred in the morning….

Our children are scared!!!

We now have a growing population of children that have lived with this fear throughout their school career:

Children may have directly been involved with such violence;  They may have  become  aware of such school violence through talks at home, school, friends or even the media,  Their school may even have monthly practice drills if a shooter were to come on campus!!

And now because of the powerful NRA,  Florida lawmakers have voted allowing teachers to use a gun at school…..

Waiting for the Republican, Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis to sign into law…

This is definitely not the solution…There may be lawsuits…ahead…

Our children must be a priority...

Posted in Thoughts About Children

2019…When will our Children be that Priority?

When will educating all our children be a priority?

At the beginning of my teaching career in the early seventies… schools were finally integrated and and the funding of federal programs such as Head Start…were in place to provide the necessary resources to help with educating all children that were in need ….

I was so inspired and hopeful to be a part of this moment…We were giving our children opportunities they never had before….

However, progress slowed down in the nineties due to the enactment of “No Child Left Behind”… by then Florida Governor Jeb Bush…

This policy would continue through the millennium and into the present….

Even with the Obama administration, who too, was a proponent of privatization and the charter school movement…Monies that had once been allocated to our public schools were now being funneled back into private schools with our tax dollars;
Affecting many of the necessary resources and programs that had been in place, providing our children… a chance for that strong, public education….

We in turn began utilizing into the curriculum, thanks to Bill Gates and his Foundation… Core Curriculum, a developmentally inappropriate curriculum; which included the use of a sophisticated battery of standard testing…

Trying to bridge this learning gap associated to those children who struggle …

Now resulting in an inappropriate program with more objectives and standards for children to master…With fewer resources to meet those standards!

Then, just before President Obama left office, finally realizing our children in public schools deserved more opportunities to achieve success, he signed:

The Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 that governs the United States K–12 public education policy. This new law was to replace , the No Child Left Behind Act, …This was to be that wonderful opportunity for all children…

Continue reading “2019…When will our Children be that Priority?”

Posted in Thoughts About Children

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 exerciseHowever, 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!!!

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…

Our Season of Thanks….

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

“What will Happen Now?…

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Being an eternal optimist… I must keep my positive outlook… 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 say…

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, made me work extra hard, paying my way with loans and grants for my college education; I was always hoping to provide them with insight …and guidance… Our young children want and must need to know…from us…In order to succeed….

Now that 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 those 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 children, nor really caring about the effect..

As I witnessed first hand in volunteering for Hillary’s campaign this concerns me what kind of 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… I realized…We were all ready working together to get Hillary elected as our President…… I must be positive and hopeful… Those of the many of us; 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 really is their future….!!!

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

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…

 

 

Posted in Reflections, Thoughts About Children

“So Thankful…”

647b4b8fb9c8a4ef71bb0be298e0513d.jpgBlessings for opportunities…

I feel so blessed to have been a teacher for many years… back when  all children could have the same opportunities because of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s….

Hopefully, now since my retirement…We will see a resurgence in providing for all our children those same opportunities because of the passage of…

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Posted in Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Fresh Start…

wpid-488b1c8fcac7474375e033493e2586f6.jpgThe school year 2015-2016 has begun…And I am “not teaching”…

I have such  mixed feelings about this… “How I love the children”…I had hoped the rhetoric about “children and their right to a strong education” would have come to reality by now, after my forty plus years… But sadly this is definitely not so…

In my teaching experience, children from diversity and impoverished homes…. these last eight years of my career I have observed they are “Our” forgotten…

How my children so wanted to learn,  but because of overcrowded class size,  fewer support personnel; and moreover unrealistic, developmentally inaproppriate curriculum with too much testing…  I felt quite frustrated  and even anger…

Our children, our Future deserve so much more…

This beginning school year, I had to visit my “school” to volunteer and check on my “children”, as I promised…

Well, I observed that our school is tackling more demanding challenges; Higher numbers of children because of school closings, not enough personnel to handle the demand, and more expectations…

So this will continue; Until our Government answers…But will they ever listen?…

And I will always speak out!        Until..