Creative Education: Teachers are professional learners. Their true value is in helping students discover how they learn best!

creative-education:

adventuresinlearning asked if I thought this was true across the board.

 
I wish it were! Like students, every teacher has unique talents and skills. If all teachers used their subject area material to help students learn to learn, we would truly be turning students into life-long learners. Whether because of their teaching philosophy, fear for their job, inexperience, or lack of effort too many teachers focus on standards and grades instead of helping all students become skilled learners! If students are lucky, they will be exposed to a few teachers that inspire them to believe they can learn anything.

I wish it was too. I had some deep conversations yesterday, about why teachers have not stood up for learning, and their voice in education. One teacher I talk to, said it was even hard to rally her colleagues around issues of pay, and she was confused on how she would rally them around deeper issues of social justice in education, or helping to truly transform education. I truly want to be believe that all teachers come to this profession because they love learning and love sharing learning. I want to believe teachers come to the profession because they believe education can change the world, and that helping a student find their passion in life, is for the social good.

Though sometimes it seems we would rather talk about how to control our classrooms, how to keep children on task, and how to trick kids into covering the material in the text books. There is a lot of powerful voices on tumblr, and lots of powerful voices in the education world, and we have the numbers and the power to shape education, but often we would rather shut our classroom doors, post about reality shows, or talk about cute things to put on our classroom walls than deeper social issues. 

I wonder what it would take for teachers in mass to actually stand up for learning, for the love of learning, for the power of sharing our love of learning with others.

Maybe I am just naive, maybe it is just a job and just something we get though, that we do our best to give students a few skills and hope that they are successful in finding a jobs and buying houses and buying stuff.

I just think it should and can be more, that we can truly help to make the world be a better place, not just have better workers for the 1%.

Maybe I am just a radical, but I believe we need to stand up as teachers and truly change our profession from a profession of control and textbooks, curriculum and standards to one that is about helping others learn, to find their voice, to find their passion, to make meaningful change, to engage the world in a sustainable way, to connect with the wisdom and wonder of the world, while shaping new ways to live and be.

maybe I am just ranting, but this how I am feeling this morning. I think it is time for teachers to truly take back education, but I don’t really want it to look anything like it does now.

-adventure in learning ( a little confused and a little frustrated)

occupyedu:

I occupy education because:
The big picture is being shattered into smaller and smaller pieces.
We need less competition and more cooperation—now more than ever.
The labels we assign to students (and other people) become our blinders.
Learning “disabilities” may actually be wonderful gifts.
We become less human the more we allow ourselves to be measured, tracked, and reduced to bits of data.
Teachers and students are not robots.
Imagination—not productivity—is the engine of human progress.
“Normal” is a myth. Diversity is the truth.
Humanity will not survive the future without demonstrating compassion, curiosity, respect, and cooperation.
We can do better. We must.
Read the full manifesto here: ‘Disabled’ Students and Forgotten Frontiers: A Manifesto for All of Us.

This is one of the best ones yet!

occupyedu:

I occupy education because:

  • The big picture is being shattered into smaller and smaller pieces.
  • We need less competition and more cooperation—now more than ever.
  • The labels we assign to students (and other people) become our blinders.
  • Learning “disabilities” may actually be wonderful gifts.
  • We become less human the more we allow ourselves to be measured, tracked, and reduced to bits of data.
  • Teachers and students are not robots.
  • Imagination—not productivity—is the engine of human progress.
  • “Normal” is a myth. Diversity is the truth.
  • Humanity will not survive the future without demonstrating compassion, curiosity, respect, and cooperation.
  • We can do better. We must.

Read the full manifesto here: ‘Disabled’ Students and Forgotten Frontiers: A Manifesto for All of Us.

This is one of the best ones yet!


 Stop the Banks and Stop Banking Education
Speech by Bob Peterson, President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association on  Oct 15 2011 at the Occupy Milwaukee march and rally
 
I am Bob Peterson, President of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association and on behalf of the teachers union I want to let you know that we are behind the Occupy WallStreet protest today 100%.
 
For past three decades I have taught fifth graders the importance understanding fractions and percent. Understanding percent is an essential tool for recognizing inequality and in building the movement for a more equal and just world.
 
For the past month, heroic activists in New York City have reminded the world of the importance of percentage. The concept of percent — specifically 99% of us versus the 1% of them – is burned into peoples’ consciousness.
 
I say thank you to those courageous and creative activists.
 
But a social movement is not built on one encampment or rally.
 
We need to educate our neighbors, our children, and ourselves.
 
I teach my fifth graders that when this country was founded 100% of Native Americans were not allowed to vote. 100% of women were denied as well, 100% of enslaved and free Africans were prohibited and 100% of white indentured servants were all prohibited from voting.
 
But those people did not tolerate their oppression. They created social movements – the suffrage movement, the abolitionist movement, workers movement, the civil rights movement and won the right to vote and expanded political democracy.
 
But now those hard-fought democratic reforms have been hijacked by the 1%. Now we must fight not only to regain real political democracy, but to bring democracy to our economic system as well.
 
We must stop the banks and their cronies like Governor Walker from destroying our nation.
 
As a teacher leader I am working with other educators to stop a banking mentality from destroying our schools. The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire decried what he called the “banking method of education” where students are treated as bank accounts in which teachers deposit bits of information and then occasionally have them regurgitate what they remember on standardized tests.  Sound familiar?
 
Instead we should have a problem-posing approach to education, where both teachers and learners are encouraged to ask deep questions and connect education to their own lives and that of their community.
 
So I challenge the teachers who are here today and everyone else – because we all must be teachers and in this movement – to pose hard questions with your students and your colleagues.
 
Questions like:
 
Who are the 99%? Who are the one percent?
 
Why should we organize our society in such a way that 1% of the population controls 40% of the nation’s wealth?
 
Why should corporations have the same rights as individual human beings?
 
Why should the multinational banks in this community get bailed out with billions of dollars of tax payers money and pay few taxes while the children in this community go hungry, go homeless and go to schools that are severely underfunded?
 
 Why should there not be in every public school in this community a full time nurse, a full time phy ed teacher, a full time art teacher, a full time music teacher, a full time librarian and a full time social work and psychologist?
 
Why should the government and business leaders be allowed to continue to blame the schools for the lack of jobs in this community, when it was the captains of industry who in the 1970s and 80s moved tens of thousands of union, family sustaining manufacturing jobs overseas.
 
Why should the parents of the nearly fifty percent of children in Milwaukee who live in poverty not be have family sustaining jobs?
 
As a teacher I don’t tell students what they should think. But I do demand that they do think and I create environments where they explore and debate these deep questions.
 
It’s time to build a great movement to get the banks off the backs of the American people. It’s time to get the banks and their cronies out of the halls of government and it’s time to replace the banking method of education in our schools.
 
That is what democracy looks like!

I strive…

I strive for a public system of education that welcomes everyone and helps to create learning communities that support both personal and communal growth through access to life long learning opportunities be them through schools, homes, community centers, libraries, parks, or any place that people young and old can gather to share in the co-creation of learning. I believe that for a healthy democracy and community that the system should be publically funded…. and reject the ideas that we can standardized learning or teaching. We should look to support the wellbeing of all humans not just those who can afford it!


What do you strive for?….. #I Strive, #I envision #I am creating…

  
We need everyone in the effort to transform education. If you are for the well-being of kids and have visions of a more just and sustainable future, you are an ally. We need to start reaching out to all groups! Parents, students, teachers, policy makers, home educators, public, private, interdependent schools, community or alternative educators, and any one that cares.This effort will take everyone reaching out to each other and pushing forward based on the 40% we agree on. We have spent enough time fighting among ourselves, now is the time for action!


Here is a first version… co-created by Lisa Nielsen and myself!

Teaching Strategies That Work! (Just Don’t Ask “Work to Do What?”)

I highly recommend this piece by Alfie Kohn… I think this is very important in moving the education transformation discussion forward… here is my response this comment by raechel

Baloney. Here are a few reasons why:

Use of reward and punishment to control behavior is suspect? I agree with you on punishment — most research shows that what you get with punishment is short-term compliance with lots of long-term dysfunctio

­n. But reward? How exactly do you think a teacher should manage a group of 25 or 30 children? Charisma? Prayer?

And let’s talk about the objectives of education, what constitute­s teacher effectiven­ess. Profession­al educators can tell us that if you do y, x will happen. It isn’t up to them to decide whether x is the “right” thing. They can have opinions, as do we all, but it is the people who pay these public servants that decide what constitute­s effectiven­ess.

OK, you think the purpose of public education should be to foster “critical thinking” and “ethical decision making.” I say that’s not something I would trust most teachers to do; it’s my job as a parent. Bottom line, and I know this will tick you off: you don’t get to decide.

Finally, about dependent variables: competent researcher­s consider carefully what they should measure — their DVs — based on exactly what they are, for purposes of the study, considerin­g to be the aims of education. It’s part of the investigat­ive, scholarly process. Know the DVs and like it or not, you know what people value and what they expect from educators.

Recently much has came out that shows how little rewards do to create long term habits or even basic results. See TedX of Dan Pink and Seth Godin.

Why shouldn’t teachers have a role in shaping their profession or helping lead the conversati­on of what it means to educate? It should be a partnershi­p between parents, educators, STUDENTS, and the community.­..

Teachers are both public servants and the public, they pay taxes, are part of the community and have children in the same system in which they teach.

Often the rich and text book/test publishers decide, they profit in not only defining what it means to be “smart” but they also profit in a failing system.

How is it a parents job alone to teach critical teaching and ethical decision making… one might argue that morals and values should be left to parents…­though I disagree..­. however ethics and critical thinking are just as important if not more (if you look at our current state of affairs) than math or science facts.

What Kohn is asking us to question what we really mean by what works, because if we allow it to be a mystery, we allow others to define it and change it when ever it suits their agenda.

We need to be better critical thinkers and questioner­s when discussing education and how to help children learn, be successful and create a world in which they would want to live and learn.

cooperativecatalyst:

(via Public Education is Anything but Free « Cooperative Catalyst posted by Adam Burk)
“This is not a very complex issue to date. Systematically, our public education system has been about training students to sit still and listen to the information politicians, administrators, and teachers have determined is important for them to know. Their job is then to repeat back that information to confirm its transmission. Our current educational reform climate does nothing to change this. However, it might just provide enough wiggle room for us to break free.
Our public education system continues to be a top-down system where federal politicians decide what will be happening in schools. The next level of control is the state, followed by the school board and superintendent, then the teachers.
The last person to ever be asked what it is they want to learn is the student. In a traditional school trajectory, perhaps only at the doctoral level does a student begin to articulate her own desires for learning.
Thus, currently, our standardized-testing obsessed culture is built-upon tyranny. It is declared the rule of the land by those in power, backed by the lobbyists of the billion-dollar-a-year plus education economy, and thus, everyone else’s livelihood in the system depends on following these orders. Administrators, teachers, and students, are all bound by the decree of what education is today. It is essentially a totalitarian system., as it requires complete subservience to the state.
Of course, some are able to escape this condition, and that option is called economic privilege and private school.
As the adults, the responsible ones in our system, we must begin to liberate ourselves and thus the children from this educational culture of oppression.”

cooperativecatalyst:

(via Public Education is Anything but Free « Cooperative Catalyst posted by Adam Burk)

“This is not a very complex issue to date. Systematically, our public education system has been about training students to sit still and listen to the information politicians, administrators, and teachers have determined is important for them to know. Their job is then to repeat back that information to confirm its transmission. Our current educational reform climate does nothing to change this. However, it might just provide enough wiggle room for us to break free.

Our public education system continues to be a top-down system where federal politicians decide what will be happening in schools. The next level of control is the state, followed by the school board and superintendent, then the teachers.

The last person to ever be asked what it is they want to learn is the student. In a traditional school trajectory, perhaps only at the doctoral level does a student begin to articulate her own desires for learning.

Thus, currently, our standardized-testing obsessed culture is built-upon tyranny. It is declared the rule of the land by those in power, backed by the lobbyists of the billion-dollar-a-year plus education economy, and thus, everyone else’s livelihood in the system depends on following these orders. Administrators, teachers, and students, are all bound by the decree of what education is today. It is essentially a totalitarian system., as it requires complete subservience to the state.

Of course, some are able to escape this condition, and that option is called economic privilege and private school.

As the adults, the responsible ones in our system, we must begin to liberate ourselves and thus the children from this educational culture of oppression.”

It is about relationships, stupid! « Cooperative Catalyst

humanscaleschools:

Human Scale Education is education in which People matter and therefore relationships matter. It is an built on environments that supports and develops many different types of relationships, including the relationship between:

  • teacher and learner
  • learner and learner
  • learner and knowledge;
  • learner and the journey for personal growth
  • the personal and community;
  • learning and living;
  • school and the community;
  • schools and democracy.

It is the connection between and tension in all these relationships that can provide an environment of growth and the mindful journey to understand why we are here and different ways to live together. The question of how to do this is complex, but we should at least start to try and create opportunities that allow the time and space to support these types of relationships.

These types of relationship are not served by organizational systems that do not allow people to get to know each other as the unique persons they are. They are not supported by rigid, narrow paths of learning and experience, by power hierarchy that showcase a lack of trust and respect in people.

It calls for a relationship of persons not a relationship of power.

The factory/market driven system of schools supports a narrow version of  life’s possibilities. I believe there is a more holistic, caring, artistic reality to humanity that deserves to be given a chance to develop and evolve and that a school built on authentic relationships is the best way to support this transformation as a society.

If relationships are the first step to transformation, how do we create environments where these types of relationships can be developed or supported? I believe the first step is creating an environment rich in generational and experiential  diversity that is scaled to allow people to know each other and feel known. This would mean limiting narrow age groupings and engaging wide ranges of adults to share, dialogue with, and mentor students. Opening the classroom to the world and really honoring the idea that school is not the “preparation for life, but life itself” as John Dewey famously said, by allowing children (and adults for that matter) to interact with more people.

We would need larger chunks of time to really know each other. This might take the form of advisers or mentors who stay with a student for a least a looped period of 2-4 years or like even like Waldorf teachers from 1-8 grade. It is not a formula to be placed on all schools or one perfect method but it is worth thinking about.

It also means really understanding that it is not always easy to have authentic relationships, because doors can’t be closed, students ignored, behavior issues/ incidents can’t be swept under the rug. Instead we begin to deal with reality of being human. It means teachers must not just be knowledge based, but engage in an on-going process of reflection and growth themselves. Teachers have to be authentic and open.

It makes the world of school a lot more complex, but I would argue it will ultimately make it a better place. One that will not be able to be judged by test scores, but instead by the well-being of the people in the community.

So what do you think…. can school be organized to support and develop relationships or is all this Utopian or not our job….?

cooperativecatalyst:

(via Lessons from History for Educators (Guest Post by April Jaure of the Bartleby Project) « Cooperative Catalyst)
One glaring example of this is the standardized testing movement. Though school funding, teacher jobs, and even student advancement rides on these tests, research has failed to show that these tests are a good measure of what students actually know, or that they accurately predict future success. Many decry the deep roots the testing industry has in its profitability for the test makers. John Taylor Gatto, author and former New York state Teacher of the Year, writes:
The frequent ceremonies of useless testing–preparation, administration, recovery–convert forced schooling into a travesty of what education should be; they drain hundreds of millions of days yearly from what might otherwise be productive pursuits; they divert tens of billions of cash resources into private pockets. The next effect of standardized testing is to reduce our national wealth in future generations, by suffocating imagination and intellect, while enhancing wealth for a few in the present. This as a byproduct of “scientifically” ranking the tested so they can be, supposedly, classified efficiently as human resources.
Because Gatto feels that standardized tests pervert education he started the Bartleby Project that encourages students to peacefully refuse to take part in preparing for or taking the tests. You can read his full statement on the Bartelby Project here.
Given the high place of standardized tests in the education today, what can one classroom teacher do to preserve the integrity of education for her students? Or what can a simple parent do to improve education for children across the country, or even in his own city for that matter?
To answer such questions we must recount the examples from history I shared at the beginning of this post. Firstly, I think these examples tell us that, when necessary, be a little subversive (or sometimes a lot subversive). John Taylor Gatto has often written about breaking the rules, bending the rules, and finding ways around the rules in order to foster authentic learning in his students.
The second thing we learn from these examples, is that while it is great to work for change on a grand scale, it’s important to remember that when it comes to the future, those of us who spend our days with children have a greater influence over that future than the superintendents, the rich and powerful test-makers, the politicians, and the policy-makers. So have some hope. And try to remember the potential of each simple, every-day interaction with a child.

cooperativecatalyst:

(via Lessons from History for Educators (Guest Post by April Jaure of the Bartleby Project) « Cooperative Catalyst)

One glaring example of this is the standardized testing movement. Though school funding, teacher jobs, and even student advancement rides on these tests, research has failed to show that these tests are a good measure of what students actually know, or that they accurately predict future success. Many decry the deep roots the testing industry has in its profitability for the test makers. John Taylor Gatto, author and former New York state Teacher of the Year, writes:

The frequent ceremonies of useless testing–preparation, administration, recovery–convert forced schooling into a travesty of what education should be; they drain hundreds of millions of days yearly from what might otherwise be productive pursuits; they divert tens of billions of cash resources into private pockets. The next effect of standardized testing is to reduce our national wealth in future generations, by suffocating imagination and intellect, while enhancing wealth for a few in the present. This as a byproduct of “scientifically” ranking the tested so they can be, supposedly, classified efficiently as human resources.

Because Gatto feels that standardized tests pervert education he started the Bartleby Project that encourages students to peacefully refuse to take part in preparing for or taking the tests. You can read his full statement on the Bartelby Project here.

Given the high place of standardized tests in the education today, what can one classroom teacher do to preserve the integrity of education for her students? Or what can a simple parent do to improve education for children across the country, or even in his own city for that matter?

To answer such questions we must recount the examples from history I shared at the beginning of this post. Firstly, I think these examples tell us that, when necessary, be a little subversive (or sometimes a lot subversive). John Taylor Gatto has often written about breaking the rules, bending the rules, and finding ways around the rules in order to foster authentic learning in his students.

The second thing we learn from these examples, is that while it is great to work for change on a grand scale, it’s important to remember that when it comes to the future, those of us who spend our days with children have a greater influence over that future than the superintendents, the rich and powerful test-makers, the politicians, and the policy-makers. So have some hope. And try to remember the potential of each simple, every-day interaction with a child.

Creation of the Anxious Child

cooperativecatalyst:

I never saw a multiple choice test until I decided to become a teacher in America.  Having gone through the Danish school system, of course, there were tests but they happened at the end of the year and were written and oral exams, not just fill in the bubble and the machine will take care of the rest.  The first time I took a multiple choice test was for placement exams for my education degree, at first I thought it was fun, after all, all you had to do was fill in a bubble?  I didn’t have to explain or even comprehend, I could just guess?  Breeze through and forget about it all afterwards.  Throughout college I studied, after all, I am an overachiever and yet whenever I came across the multiple choice test my spirit instantly died.  I was glad that it didn’t affect my  teacher, only myself and my grade, because I would doubt myself so much on some of the answers, meant to be tricky, that often I wouldn’t even know what to put down even though I knew the material.

We forget to think about how it must feel for kids to be solely responsible for teacher’s pay and jobs.  How must it feel for students that if they do poorly on a test it will directly affect the teacher that they love?  Kids are not stupid, they are aware of what is happening around us, how politicians and “reformers” are asking their test scores be part of something bigger.  For this text-anxious child that knowledge would have been the nail in the coffin.  People say that with this knowledge students will do even better because they will want to protect their teacher, to show off what they know.  No child goes into a test trying to deliberately fail, at least not most, and yet placing that pressure of someone else’s livelihood and dream is just too much for children to bear.

What are we doing to the children of America?  What pressure are we placing them under?  How can we force them through more rigorous assessment to get them ready for the future when that could mean that their teachers no longer get to teach.  We worry that America is too anxious, too many kids are being diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks, depression, and other pill-needing maladies.  And then we wonder what happened?  Why are all these children feeling so pressured?  Why can they not cope with “kid stuff” – well look at our schools and what we do to them.   Education is no longer for the kids, it is for the politicians.

Cross posted on my blog

duckfoot's foray into life (& cooking): why should everyone get an a?

I think your logic is a bit off on this. life is not golf, and to the victor does not come the spoils…. the more powerful and greedy, the more willing to push down and hurt others…often comes the prize. Competition has a place and with a mindful and balance approach can be use to motivate for a short period and  burst of success. But for every success story of someone that succeed using competition, results driven methods, Darwinian style choice is the people that were stump on and destroyed, not because they didn’t work hard or were not smarter, more skilled or more passionate about their work. No they lost because they were not willing to be let the means justify the ends…. or often just didn’t have the power or money or status to succeed over those who did…

The real world you speak of, is not right just because it is can be repeated day in and day out by powerful people. I don’t know one person who when they die says I am so glad I know that I got a “A” on all my tests, or I could tell you that I succeed more than you because you got a “c” and I got an A!

I am sorry but grade are as pointless in school as comparing life to golf.

No everyone should not get an A, not because it promotes less rigorous learning as you suggest, but it does not promote learning, nor growth nor understanding. It is a tool nothing more nothing less. We as a society and a human race survived for a long time without grades… and please don’t tell me the greeks and roman were less successful than us because they were never able to measure their learning by a letter or a number. 

Sorry if this comes off as a rant, but I have done research into the history of grading and believe removing them for learning would be the first steps in making education more useful and more humanistic for all.

Assessment should be student driven and student used, to help them assess their own learning and give them the vocabulary and tools to communicate where they need further learning or more guidance either through teacher driven lessons or more focused self learning. We never receive grades outside of a school setting or at least I don’t remember the last time I did.

I challenge you to think a little broader about the impact of grading and look for examples of where your philosophy has made the world and the reality we live in better. I willing to be challenged also and offer this as my own personal opinion based on both personal research and my own experience in both graded and non-graded classrooms. I don’t mean this to be an attack on teachers who grade as I know it is a reality that most teacher have no choice in, but do believe it is worth a mindful discussion.

-adventures in learning

duckfoot75:

i grew up old-school school. (yes, i said ‘school’ twice.) i am a graduate of the bell curve, the old-standby of the grading scale that states for a given population, a certain percentage will fail, a certain percentage will pass (barely), and another certain percentage will excel. this grading…

#bloggermarch Signs of Passion - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

cooperativecatalyst:

This is a section from one of the growing number of posts in support of the #BloggerMarch and Save Our School march… please add your posts to the comment section on Cooperative Catalyst and use the tag #bloggermarch on Tumblr. Please help spread the word. I will try to post selections from as many posts as possible!

Our Voice will be heard! If you can’t march, do your part by blogging, or commenting on other’s posts, or by just visiting the Save Our School website or Cooperative Catalyst over the next week!

To think about the key reasons involved in marching on the nation’s Capitol—and the range of messages those reasons might generate.

You have to be pretty angry—and convinced that things are seriously headed in the wrong direction, a runaway train of bad “reform”—to show up in Washington D.C. in the middle of the thick, steaming summer and demonstrate. Everyone has a triggering passion, and those furies are diverse. The Save Our Schools movement is fed by many streams, and is not ideologically pure. It’s a kind of “big tent”—with the common value of certainty that the current policy direction is grievously wrong, and must be stopped.

So—there are lots of things that could appear on signs:

  • Pleas for sanity on rampant, unnecessary testing that does nothing to improve instruction or learning, but is filling the coffers of testing companies.
  • Worries about losing curriculum tailored to real kids and real towns as the Common Core Everything sweeps across the nation (prodded by federal RTTT dollars).
  • Anger over publicly funded (but privately supported) charters scooping up kids and resources that belong to communities.
  • Righteous indignation over the move to dump experienced (and more costly) veteran teachers in favor of two-year adventure teachers.
  • Demands to return decision-making to those closest to kids and classroom: parents, teachers, school leaders, the community.
  • Skepticism about top-down, mandated reforms that haven’t produced solid evidence of success—by any measures.
Save Our Schools: Why I March — Seasoned Teacher Tells Us Why

cooperativecatalyst:

This is a section from one of the growing number of posts in support of the #BloggerMarch and Save Our School march… please add your posts to the comment section on Cooperative Catalyst and use the tag #bloggermarch on Tumblr. Please help spread the word. I will try to post selections from as many posts as possible!

Our Voice will be heard! If you can’t march, do your part by blogging, or commenting on other’s posts, or by just visiting the Save Our School website or Cooperative Catalyst over the next week!

I’m marching on July 30 because parents are entitled to a voice and they deserve to be heard.

I’m marching because our children deserve libraries in our schools with brand new books instead of books that should be in children’s bedrooms for bedtime stories.

I’m marching because children deserve playgrounds and shouldn’t have to look out of their classroom windows at a soccer field that is private property where they are not allowed to play.

I’m marching because mothers should be sleeping at home instead of in a field house.

I’m marching because this school and field house should have been torn down years ago and replaced with a modern air conditioned facility full of not only a library but up to date technology and facilities.

I’m marching because our children – our future – deserve better than this.

I’m marching because in the United States of America, schools should be caring for our children instead of competing for diminishing resources managed ineptly by dysfunctional bureaucracies that do NOT place what’s best for kids above all.

Seasoned Teacher is from the midwest and teaches special ed. She’s been teaching for several years and is intimately familiar with curriculum design. She’ll be attending the Save Our Schools March and Conference in late July, 2011.

I am no longer teaching but guiding. I have carefully constructed learning questions and activities for each student. The students are working collaboratively with each other on differentiated learning activities and producing a variety of evidence. They don’t look to me to tell them how to show they are learning but choose how to learn and how best to show me they are learning. They no longer seek me for the answers but look to the array of resources I have provided for them. I am no longer the source of knowledge but merely another learner in the room. Soon I will become invisible and the students will take complete control over their learning. My life as a teacher will cease to exist and a whole new one will replace it.