Is This Possible? Lesson Plans for Babies?

How creatively crushed can children get?

Diane Ravitch's blog

I am by nature a skeptic. I don’t believe whatever I read. I want proof or confirming sources. In the past few years, I have heard that Common Core pressure has created bizarre demands on children and teachers. A reader posted the following comment. Is it true? I don’t know.

“I have a friend who does Head Start…her “class” is birth to 14 months and she has to write lesson plans and kids have to meet “benchmarks”….got to be college and career ready from the womb.

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I Have No Value.

I came it this realization over the past year, which is the number one reason I have a new job for the fall.

Value is very important to an art teacher because we are called to share art with others.  We do not do it for the money or the recognition;  it’s the small things.  The smile on a child’s face when they paint for the first time.  The smile and presentation of their smock as they enter the art room.  The tears you see when they mess up and the smile when you show them that artists never mess up.  We always mean for that to happen, it’s the artistic license we all have.  This is what an art teacher experiences everyday, this is what I cherish and remember as I reflect on my years in the classroom.

I know my students value me, I am the art teacher, it is almost a given that 80% of students love my class, much like the gym teacher that has 98% of students eating out of their hand.

Contrary to my students, I HAVE NO VALUE TO MY ADMINISTRATION.  I do not improve reading comprehension. I do not increase math fluency.  I do not teach the writing process.  I do not teacher math computation.  Art is not mentioned in my schools’ improvement plan, in our mission, vision, or anywhere else of importance. On paper, I am a wasted teacher unit. (Yeah, I have tears in my eyes.)

So, to decrease the waste of my teacher unit, I have to incorporate writing into my classroom.  I have to push into math classrooms and help other teachers.  I am forced to go to professional development that will never improve my class.  I stand cleaning paint brushes wondering, why do I do this when no adults care?

This is me.  But, if it were you, how would you feel?  Would you want to go to work?  Would you be able to greet your classes with excitement?  Would you be able to sit and listen over and over and over and over again how other classes are important and yours……silence?

Yeah…… I HAVE NO VALUE, but if you step outside “THE BOX.” And you look at the big picture.  Art is more important than anything you will ever learn in Math and ELA.  The act of creating is key to a successful society and my students create everyday that I can teach art.  Crazy thing, I can teach math while creating art.  I can teach reading and writing while creating art.  Art is that all-inclusive class where you do it all and HAVE FUN TOO!

I am valuable and an asset to every school building in Delaware.  We need to wake up and see all Creative Educators for their value to society!

IT’S PERSONAL, not business!

You’ve Got Mail, comes to mind.  Tom Hank’s character puts Meg Ryan’s character’s bookstore out of business.  You know the story, big bad business takes over the little guy.

What bothers me about this scenario, is that it is happening in our schools, in our classrooms, and in our conference rooms.  FYI: EDUCATION IS NOT BUSINESS!!!!  But, over and over again, I see this objective view in education.

Example 1: Students are human beings with personalities, likes, dislikes, and opinions, strong ones.  So, why do we, as the educational system, reduce our children to numbers on a page, scores for the school to make AYP (adequate yearly progress).  Children are labeled, sorted, re-sorted, and discussed to find the right mix, the right balance, so improvement can occur.  I am all for personalized education, but it should be based on the needs of the student, not the system.  Why do I have to explain to my students that I have to collect data about them, to prove I can teach?  THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.

Example 2: Teachers are human beings with personalities, likes, dislikes, and opinions, strong ones.  So, why do others, the system and administration, reduce me (since I am a teacher) to satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  Why do I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt why I decided for my students to create turtles instead of frogs?  Why do I have to explain how creating pinwheels fits into my yearly scope and sequence?  Why do I have to sit in a room with three administrators and listen to them tell me, all alone, that creative play in my classroom is “meaningless” because it is not assessed?  THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.

I create turtles because I love them.  Pinwheels are fun to make!  Creative play is awesome and as a professional, certified art educator, in the state of Delaware, I should be able to choose what works and doesn’t work in my classroom! THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.

Education is personal.  Education is about educating individual people to improve their futures and in turn improve the future of society.  Individuals become teachers to share their love and passion for a wide variety of topics in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of artists, scientists, plumbers, engineers, and teachers.  Research and data?????  I guess it can be used in education, but it is not the end all, be all in education.

The end all, be all  IN EDUCATION is happy, creative, empowered teachers teaching, inspiring, and pushing eager, engaged, willing students.  Plain and simple.  IT’S PERSONAL!!!!!!!!!

Another One Bites The Dust…

 An end to another school year, but this school year is a little different.  I have resigned and taken another teaching position in another school district.  Change is good.  I know the landscape of education in Delaware isn’t the best, but different grass is what I need.  Change; with a renewed sense of excitement and promise for a better future.