I am a Teacher, and I’m Worried

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I am a teacher, and I’m worried.

I am worried about cursive handwriting.  It’s gone.  The powers that be have decided it is no longer needed.  How is that possible?  How can anyone say that all people shouldn’t be able to read and write in cursive?  Does this mean that our children will not be able to read birthday cards sent by their grandparents, or historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, or even a scribbled grocery list?  This bothers me.  And will they be able to sign their names the first time they take out a loan for a car or a house?  They say computers are making cursive handwriting obsolete.  I don’t believe that… not at all.

I love my computer, there’s no denying it, but computer blah, blah, blah.  Computers are not the answer to every problem in the world.  They will never replace the emotion in a written letter or the flare of an exquisite signature gracing the bottom of an important document.

I am a teacher, and I’m worried.

Art is disappearing from our schools…along with hand-painted t-shirts and zip-loc bag ice cream, science and social studies.  They are vanishing before my very eyes.  Children, especially very small children, need to be creative.  They need to paint and color and imagine.  We are stifling their creativity by stealing what little time they once had to explore.

I’m a teacher, and I’m worried.

Parents are vanishing from our schools.  I don’t see them at lunch anymore, and because of the need for more instruction time, they are rarely in our building for anything else.  We need our parents.  We need them to care about our school.  When we lose our parents, we will become a body without limbs.  Somehow there has to be way to meet all the standards placed upon us while still involving the most important key to a student’s success.  Without parental involvement, we’re all doomed.

I am a teacher, and I’m worried.

I’m worried about the ‘product’ we’re producing.  Will this all work…Common Core and PARCC, etc., etc.?  Will the children really be so much smarter or will it end up being just an experiment on our children?  And what if it doesn’t work?  How will we help them recover?

I feel anxiety and stress because I don’t like the changes – so is it just me?  Just my problem?  My self-induced anxiety?  I’m worried because the world is changing quicker than I care to keep up.  I want my students to grow seeds in a cup on a sunny windowsill.  I want them to create artistic masterpieces they envision.  I want them to learn about the planets and St. Patrick’s Day and the seasons and past presidents.  I want these things so I squeeze them in when I can, but will it be enough to keep the sparks alive in their creative minds while filling the knowledge bank on the other side of their brains?

I am worried but I will try not to worry.  I’ll try to focus on each day, each moment, instead of a bleak, scary future.  I’ll turn my worry over and pray for balance.  Balance to teach what my heart knows is right while fulfilling every demand before me.  I will teach first graders prepositions and regrouping, and I will do my best, but I won’t give up the search for balance.

Balance that holds us steady instead of flinging us into untested ideas.  Balance that keeps in mind the needs of the child, not the need for a test score confirmation.  Balance that looks at the whole instead of the minute.  Balance that includes common sense and empathy, growth as well as understanding.

I am worried, but I won’t lose my balance.

9 responses »

  1. You know I just said myself a couple of weeks ago that I don’t feel welcome in the school anymore. The teachers we have had in the past have invited us in for various things but this year no invitation has come, not even for parties. I feel left out and it has really affected me and my child. I understand that school is there for the child to learn but I always thought it was to develop social skills as well. However, as much curriculum as the teachers are expected to teach, there isn’t time for the fun part of school anymore. It truly is sad. Kids are hating going to school more and more because they have taken that fun away. Thank you so much for writing this because you have just voiced many many peoples opinions and I commend you for doing so!!!

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