“Letting Go”…

I am now in the final weeks of my career as a public school teacher…🍎

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Reflecting on my thirty-eight years; I have taught so many children from grades ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade; dating back from 1972, up to the present.. I even had a wonderful opportunity teaching a college seminar for beginning teachers at the University of Florida, while on a sabbatical working on an advanced course work in counseling education…

I feel so blessed…touching the lives of so many children….

I did have to retire briefly for five years due to my health…However, I still was able to advocate for children in the court system during that time as a Guardian ad Litem…

Teaching, being an advocate for children has been my lifetime passion…

I have such mixed feelings about my retirement…

It is my strong belief that I am leaving at a time our bright intelligent children, especially those from poverty, who souly rely on our public education system are not being adequately represented…Our priorities for children are hindered by an emphasis on testing and collection of data…Our schools that teach children from challenging homes have fewer resources making teachers such as myself overwhelmed and devalued by being micromanaged…And making all this even more difficult;
fewer strong, young, professional teachers will no longer commit to such a rewarding career...

For this I have such regret…

As for myself…I will always feel the need to advocate for our children, and their right to a strong free public education…
And know that I really did make a difference!

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“New Direction”…

Google Email:

New Direction

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From: Janis S Sexton
To: Christopher Lake… teacher representative, Karen L. McCann… President of Alachua County Education Association

Details:

Dear ACEA:
I have appreciated being a teacher in Alachua County since 1972…On a personal level, for me, our district gave me that wonderful opportunity…
I am retiring this year and for these last 10 years, I  have been quite concerned with the direction our public education of children from poverty have experienced…

It is my belief and experience, these precious children have been so neglected…We have crowded classrooms with fewer resources…Yet demands are extremely unrealistic..
I feel our school district does not address the real issues…We are now going to close schools, shuffling our children, taking  more resources away…And I question how will that help these children?…
Young, strong teachers are so micromanaged…Will they make teaching a lifetime career?…And will those in charge want to acknowledge their dedication…with such unrelenting demands?…

Sadly I have kept quiet…however,once I do retire, I want to actively get involved…I can and do share my concerns on social media…
Thank you for representing us,
Janis Sexton🍎

From: Karen L McCann…President ACEA..                                                        To: Janis S. Sexton

Details:

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I am happy to hear that as a retiree you want to make your voice louder and will now have more time to become more active. I will see you at the ACEA retirement dinner in May, at least I hope.
You can join our union retiree group TRACE and start coming here for events .

Thank you for your love and caring of our most precious lives, our children.

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New Year…New Beginnings 2015

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It is my belief that each new year can be a chance to start fresh; an opportunity to reflect on what is working or what needs to be modified to help better achieve the the goals set for my students…

This New Year…2015…my final year of teaching, gives me my chance to give my students this opportunity to give it my all…

This New Year…with all the challenges and demands, my students deserve no less than the best…I can only advocate that those with the  power felt the same…

“Season of Love and Acceptance of Cultural Diversity…”

Our class and school makeup, represent a “Rainbow of Diversity”…

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We are fortunate to be part of a school district that is within a university community… Because of this population, many of our parents come from other countries to attend the University of Florida;
Our school characterizes a rich blending of cultures and ethnicity… We have had many children from such countries as : Asia, Central and South America, and Africa…
In addition, to such cultural diversity, many of our children come from biracial homes… I have come to the realization, because of this colorful “rainbow” of diversity; our children have a better understanding;

Moreover an appreciation of our similarities, and acceptance of our differences…

This time of the year,“Winter, a Season of Love and New Beginnings”, is the perfect time to facilitate and model through  a variety of activities blended into the curriculum; Those important values of love, acceptance and an appreciation of our differences… My first graders, are so very willing to accept and appreciate our diversity…

What an opportunity this makes!…

Through my teaching experiences, I utilize so many creative activities through literature, poetry, music and the arts to help teach these  essential values…We learn how we and other cultures celebrate this time of the year… We even take our children on a field trip to experience a ballet… the “Nutcracker”…Our children are dazzled by this experience…

My children write poetry as a  winter project to share with their family utilizing recycled Holiday Cards …They  write thank you letters to teachers and helpers at our school… We even put on a play to share with our bookbuddies…All showing our love and appreciation…

Through our creativity and the arts… Love and Acceptance of our differences is valued, appreciated, and accepted…

Related articles

South Africans Reflect On Mandela’s ‘Rainbow Nation’ (npr.org)

Over The Rainbow (beliefhope.wordpress.com)

“Thanksgiving…Everyday…”

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Being at a school with a diverse population, I have found this time of year is quite a stressful time for the children…In addition,with more expectations from such a demanding curriculum than ever before…So many of my children came to me struggling because their lives are so difficult..
As their teacher, I must keep the rigors of the classroom curriculum moving along with understanding and inspiration…I reach out to my young parents providing them with knowledge about providing their child a daily reading and homework time…Encouraging parents to put their child to bed at an early bedtime…I use myself as a role model for my parents and children…Because, I myself have to be ready for school by 6:30AM..I must be in bed by 7:30-8:00PM…I share so much of personal habits of organization with my children and their parents…
It is my hope that I will empower my children and parents to appreciate these values that will help their child to be successful in school…Some of my parents will, however many do not… Their child may struggle…

It will always be my responsibility to provide the safety and structure…Through this beautiful season of “Fall Holidays”…Providing Love and Giving Thanks…

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Florida Educators…

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Our future for Children and Public Education…Our leaders must advocate funding for teaching all children…We must not be driven by data and over testing…

Florida Educators Vote Your Job is on Facebook. To connect with Florida Educators Vote Your Job, join Facebook today…

First Week…Back to School…

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I have always enjoyed the Friday before the beginning of the school year to meet my new students and their parents…I rely on just that brief meeting to begin making an assessment, when parent and child come in to meet me…
One important piece of pertinent information gained from this meeting is that I can begin to assess those children that may be outgoing or those that may be quite reserved….

The first week of school is the crucial time when I focus on establishing… “Our Relationship”, one that lets my children know I will love them unconditionally; providing a classroom for structure to inspire learning, and moreover, feel safe to accept and appreciate our differences…No matter what is presented…The foundation for a successful year ahead…