Let me tell you, I am a passionate teacher and I am so fired up about our current state of education- the current state of our country really. First I want to say that I was truly inspired by your article in the Saturday evening post because I was finally able to read something about education, and teachers in particular, that was right on! I am so often disappointed by what people assume and say about teachers, but I really felt like you explained things in a great and accurate way. I then watched an interview you gave and it all makes so much sense.
I work in a VERY strict district, Madera Unified, and I find myself so constantly disappointed going to work every day. I want kids to love school and be inspired, but I am constantly shut down and forced to teach in a way that makes me feel like merely a robot in a test driven system. I cannot believe, in first grade, how often I am testing these kids. Not only that, I can’t blame the kids for being bored!! I can only imagine what 2nd through 6th grade must be like. Teachers are literally scripted down to the finest details in how they have to instruct lessons, all to gear kids towards passing tests. I have so much I want to say, and so much I want to learn about our public education system. I am a free-spirited person who lives life with the understanding of what is just plain “not right” and what is best for the whole of a person and the whole of a society. Our country is so individualistic and we are not looking out for the best for our children. It has become too much of a business.
I don’t know what I expect from you in this email, nor do I necessarily think it will even be read, but I had to say something. I have not felt inspired for some time. This is my 6th year of teaching and I feel like I’m in a burning house with no windows. I don’t know how to proceed, but I know what I am doing every day does not feel right. I want to inspire thinkers, “whole” people who care about others, and provide enriching experiences to those who have very few opportunities. I am taking part in the stifling of passion and creation, and I can’t stand it. If you could lend me any words of wisdom or knowledge I am open. I want to take part in action, I just don’t know where to start. Not only that, I am exhausted from working so hard, and you are right, the teachers who work their asses off are so underappreciated. I feel like a fool sometimes doing what I do with so little respect.
Thank you for being passionate about this issue! I want to be too! How can I be part of it? What can I do?
1st Grade Teacher