I retired two yeas ago to spend more time with my eleven grandchildren. But my heart would no longer allow me to damage five and six year-olds in the name of "best practices" and "rigor." I could no longer conduct my classroom knowing I was damaging children emotionally and academically and remain true to my calling. For example, I was required to sit a child down prior to or on the first day of school and ask them to spell five words or read a list of sight words. Those children are left feeling dumb--or at best--believing they know so little and have so far to go. Teachers like myself, try their best to make assessments a game and convince the young child that they have done their best.
Children should walk away from that first week of school thinking this is the best and safest place in their whole world...this teacher loves me.
They should want to learn; not hate school after two weeks. Teachers are loving, unselfish people that chose the most noble profession--not because of wealth or status--but because they love children and want to help them. This teacher did! This BOD member did!
So when I hear people make disparaging comments about teachers while saying "its all about children," I must question (and have been questioning) his/her expertise or motive. "It is all about children" should be more than a sound bite for the media--more than words. It is not believable if the actions do not accompany the message.