Diane\'s Blog

Martin A. Olszewski

Diane,

My name is Martin Olszewski and I am a kindergarten teacher for a school district in Western Pennsylvania. This is my second career; I chose it. The 2011-2012 school will only be my 12th year teaching, but it may be my last.

The current course of public policy with regard to public education can only lead to the final demise of this institution and the profession I love. No one test score can possibly measure the true knowledge of a student let alone the teacher that taught the material. I am truly tired of endless beating and maiming of my profession and the lack of respect that I encounter daily.

My decision to enter this field was long and hard. I have a learning disability that caused me to struggle in school. My mom went back to finish her teaching degree in order to help me through school. Her desire to help me was the final piece of the puzzle that made me realize my true calling. My desire to change lives and love of the profession are just not enough I suppose. Ultimately I will be judged on whether the children in my class can pass a test, regardless of where they start the year, all are expected to perform equally.

I am deeply saddened by the turn in attitude toward teachers. We are the enemy and the root cause of all that is bad in this country. That is the image that both parties have put out there and the image that has stuck. What a shame that a profession as honorable as teaching is denigrated here and revered in any other country on Earth. I am just so sad. I’m just writing you to say thanks for being a beacon of light for all of us who have worked hard to make a difference. I don’t know what I will do or where I will go, but I do know that I have made a difference and changed lives. I will always have that as my reward. I appreciate your time.

Sincerely,
Martin A. Olszewski