You cannot escape the political campaigns if you turn on TV to a news broadcast, read the paper, or check out the news of the day on Google, Yahoo, etc. We have been hearing about politics and promises throughout this long process we have for determining candidates. What is so difficult, besides the nasty words and name calling, is trying to determine whether or not what each candidate says is true. It seems that data can be manipulated to fit each candidate’s agenda and we are left wondering what is true and whether we can count on any of the promises that the candidates make.
Sometimes, I feel that public education is filled with the same kind of run around that we get from our political candidates. Indeed, it is true that our education system is tied to politics. Who has dictated the PARCC and other mandates for measuring student progress? Why are politicians and administrators listening to companies who promise to correct our ills if only they buy the products offered? Shouldn’t they be listening to us?
We teach those children whom we have been given. It is not an easy job, but we do believe in the children we have. You know in your heart that a smaller class size can be a big help, especially in districts where the children lag behind. I spent a lot of time with the children, modeling how to work independently and in small groups, so that I could pull a few at a time for extra help or enrichment during center time. I bet you do too.
If childhood is a journey, not a race, then children need time to grow and develop. I have a fantasy where expensive testing is eliminated and money put into classrooms for smaller class sizes or extra support for the teacher. Anyone out there listening?
Check out available workshops at our website at www.njake.net. John Farrell will be in Westfield on Thursday, April 28 and Mary Ann DeSapio will present "The Brain, the body, the joy in learning" in Edison on Thursday, May 12.