Sunday, May 1, 2011
On the same day that I took my 10 year old girl to see "Wicked" the musical, I read about our state's draft regulations for teacher and principal evaluation that involves a "value-added" formula and a recent NY Times article about a "value-added model" used in New York City.
On our drive to the theatre that evening, "Uprising" by Muse pounded these words pounded over and over in my head - "they will stop degrading us... rise up and take the power back".
How? I wonder. How will they stop degrading our teaching profession, and how will we rise up and take the power back so that students can learn?
During the musical, Elphaba spoke aloud my thoughts in "Defying Gravity" - "something has changed within me, something is not the same". I really had believed for years that teaching alone was worth my time and energy, whether it was English language arts instruction or character education in general. But now, I really don't think I can ignore what's WRONG, just plain WRONG - spending gobs of money for "experts" to tell me how and what to teach, then cutting arts and music education, blaming teachers for standardized test scores and threatening jobs, ignoring poverty, ignoring student learning needs at home and in the schools, ... the list goes on. This NPR story "Rage Simmering Among American Teachers" and interview with Diane Ravitch expresses a lot about how I feel.
My daughter has said since she was about 3 years old that she wants to be a teacher. (Her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins - teachers.) Sitting next to her at the musical, I wondered how I could show her to defy gravity.