Tag Archives: students

I am a Teacher, and I’m Worried


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  Does this mean that our children will not be able to read birthday cards sent by their grandparents, or historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, or even a scribbled grocery list?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.



I teach first grade.  Never before have those words held quite as much meaning as they do right now.  After the utter heartbreak of last Friday, I went back to work on Monday and found it so very hard to concentrate and simply do my job.  We were told to greet our students in the hall, to put on a happy face and welcome them all to school.  Of course we did – we would have whether we had been asked to or not.  We greet them every day, that’s what teachers do.  I smiled at each one, said good morning, but I was so very distracted.  I kept watching their faces, thinking of what I would do if someone tried to harm them.  I kept thinking of how I could protect them if a mad-man was in our building.  Those children are my kids, my students.  It almost made me sick to think of them being harmed in any way whatsoever.

Monday was a long, hard day.

Oddly, there were no questions.  Not one asked me about it or had a story to tell.  I praise their parents for keeping them shielded from the horror of it as much as possible.  The only words I got were at the end of the day.  One of my little fellows saw a parent in the building, one who had on the proper identification by the way, and he simply asked, “What is that stranger doing in our building?”  I knew where the question stemmed from but there were no direct statements about the horror of Friday.

My heart aches for the babies in Connecticut, for their parents, for the other students and teachers who survived.  I pray they can find peace again, that one day going to school will hold excitement instead of fear.  Dear Lord, please ease their painful memories.