President Trump is definitely not a proponent for children, and those who rely on our public schools for their education…

Just the fact his selection of Betsy DeVos , an unqualified, billionaire who has strong ties to religious, private schools…as secretary of education….
I knew our public schools were in trouble…

With the fewer resources and funding this administration has taken from public education…and putting those funds into privatization…

And Now…this week at the State of the Union, post Impeachment… President Trump had an opportunity to vindicate the past…

 

He most definitely did not… He made his State of the Union Speech…a bid for his reelection….His little regard for our public schools calling them government schools…is absolutely disgraceful!

Taking this momentous occasion as an opportunity to stage a young student, who he said attended a public school,  to be a recipient of the Education Freedom Scholarship…so  she would be able to attend a private school…(Which is reportedly false)
…She is already  attending a prominent private school!He then revealed that he
for wanted Congress to fund 1 million dollars to that Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act- for those worthy students….Adding:

“Because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government schools!
 
 
He also urged Congress to pass legislation,
creating a 5 billion federal tax credit program that would fund scholarships to private and religious schools… benefitting individuals and donors…
The scholarships would be funded by individuals and businesses who want to privately donate but who would then receive a federal tax credit…

 

The President did call for more vocational and technical education at the high school level…And  the importance of the constitutional right for prayer in schools...

 

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union, said in a statement: “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos have made no secret of their antipathy for public education. Rather than strengthen the cornerstone of our democracy and the chief enabler of pluralism and opportunity, they choose to defund and destabilize it. No amount of rebranding vouchers and privatization as ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’ changes that...

 
 
 
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In State of the Union, Trump makes clear his aversion to public schools – Article by Valerie Strauss…from The Washington Post..

Posted in Mission, Reflections

School Spirit…

With the beginning of a new school year, and the start of my second year since retiring…I am ready to reflect on those many wonderful memories …

The one I do hold dearly is that all through my thirty-eight years…I truly appreciate my children allowing me such a wonderful platform where I could utilize my unique sense of drama and creative talents into my teaching..

In today’s 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 with passion to inspire them utilizing my enthusiasm and my strong sense of spirit…

They were a wonderful audience where each day was unique… And led to my success I felt 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 right on by….

Teaching the children of today, has certainly become much more serious… than just the “play”… I have needed to become a strong, positive role model… incorporating “my spirit’ to get their attention…even to manage behavioral issues…

For many of the children, I was their one positive constant in their lives… Utilizing my drama and creative spirit to reach them, even for that moment…Hopefully touching their lives forever…

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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…

 

 

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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“Letting Go”…

Posted in Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Begin Again…

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Summer will soon be over for me, as I always like to start back early to set up my classroom…

Starting back earlier than the required time, gives me the much needed time to plan, organize, and utilize my creativity hoping to make it a “great year”…

I have found through my many years of experience;

Setting up a well organized classroom is fundamentally crucial to the success of the beginning of a new school year…

Supplies are essential, and I do hope my new students will be able to contribute…However, because our school has such a diverse population, I do realize, and understand many will not be able to help…We teachers do receive a small  budget, so in order to provide for our children, we do have to pay for much of our supplies out of our own pocket…

I can always hope after the many years of teaching, we would have the necessary funding and support for our precious children and our public education system…

I do love utilizing my creativity in decorating the classroom…I do believe a classroom, especially with young children, should be warm and inviting…one that will inspire
learning…

My hope is to have such a classroom, even with all the rigors and demands…My children will want to learn, and want to return each and every day!

Posted in Reflections

Spring Break…2014

A week to rest and recharge…  My Children need that time for a break too!

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I do have concerns with many of my children… They have a week off to be in very unstructured lives… Many do  not eat well, nor sleep well…  I do try to instill and empower them with the desire to make safe choices, I try to provide reading and math work to do over this break….But of course they are little ones, and I do worry…