Mission, Reflections

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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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…

 

 

Mission, Reflections

“Great Teachers” …2016

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It is my belief that teachers do not need a script to teach…They are born with a passion …to teach…

I have learned through the many years in the classroom that teachers may be technologically skilled…

However, the greatest teachers are quite unique with their skillful use of their creativity, and knowing just how to balance the necessary and fundamental skills that today’s teachers are required to teach;  essentially knowing the background, abilities and styles of their children;  And moreover, what is truly important, given all the constraints and demands of today…

“That Great Teacher” is the master of his or her class…

Today’s concerns and demands influencing and impeding the efforts of “That Great Teacher”  and the success she or he will have with their children, is the powerful political agenda…

This  political agenda does not want to provide the monies necessary that it takes for teachers to be successful

This  lack of money impacts Public Education today…What concerns me the most that those in charge with this power,  know so little about educating children, in addition to their biases and disinterest  with  the knowledge  of the fundamental needs of our children and moreover, the talents teachers of today must have, if children of today are to be successful….

Putting it simply…Politicians do not want to provide resources available to lower class size, and provide teachers the necessary resources to teach successfully… In addition to  requiring a the developmentally inappropriate curriculum that includes over use of testing and data collecting…They want to privatize education taking the necessary resources  away from Public Education…wanting it to fail…

With all that is not  happening In Public Education; those born with that passion for children and their  unique talents for teaching, may not even go into teaching, nor stay for very long…due to all these constraints and demands…Veteran teachers such as myself…can not wait to retire…

And now…There is  a new hope in 2016… Thanks to President Obama signing and putting into law…  the passage of  , , , , v….

With The Every Child Succeeds Act, no child will be left behind… Hopefully, every child could be successful and have the same opportunities…Great teachers with all their passion and creativity will be able to meet the needs of their children…

A new hope for 2016….and the future for our children’s right to a strong education…

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…

, , , , , , , , P, ESSA obama signing (2)

 

 

 

 

Mission, 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..

Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

My Time is “Now”…

This is my “now”…I am in my final week of my thirty-eight years as a teacher, advocating for our children, dating back from 1972…

So many memories; so many lives of my precious children I have touched…

My feelings about my retirement are mixed…

However I will and must continue this fight advocating for our children and their right for a strong public education…

I have dedicated this passionate journey for them!

Our Children… With my love and passion…Thank you for all you gave to me!

Janis Sexton…

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