Tag Archives: teachers

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21st Century Vocational Education

Recently I joined parents and students in our high school auditorium to view the documentary Beyond Measure. The film profiles several school districts, their teachers, administrators and students, spotlighting the tired side of a standardized educational system driven by assessments and testing.  Then the filmmakers give us a taste of what could be by introducing those who dared the system — teachers who refused to give state mandated tests; teachers who tossed a cardboard box, wires, and a few robotics manuals at their students and said, “Build.” Administrators who asked their staff, “How can you be an effective teacher and how can I support you in that endeavor?” Continue reading

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Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

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Mid-April, leaders in Illinois agriculture education met in Springfield to discuss an epidemic plaguing the nation. We don’t have ag teachers. In fact, according to the National Teach Ag Campaign our country is operating at an annual deficit of 400 … Continue reading

God Bless Teachers

The past three days of my not so glamorous life have been spent at the kids’ elementary school and the All-Star Book Fair.  I volunteered to coordinate the week-long event, and am learning that a book fair takes some serious coordination.

But that’s not the point of this blog.  The point is that I love teachers.

I love teachers because after spending three days behind school doors and interacting with every class and teacher on a very basic level, I am in awe.  I am in awe of the teachers’ patience, their ability to absorb so many hugs, soothe so many scraped knees and scratched egos, and in the process manage to teach manners, math, science, reading and basic life skills.  When did we start requiring all that from our teachers?!  And all in less than seven hours a day.

These days a teacher must know how to handle behavioral, mental, emotional and physical conditions of students in one classroom often with only a part-time aide.  And that understanding and handling doesn’t end with the student but extends into the child’s life outside the school yard.

They are asked to meet specific learning standards in all their lessons, keep the students’ attention, challenge the kids who need to be challenged, guide the students who need an extra hand and do all that without a textbook because the funds aren’t available to purchase books for the class.

Let me temper the praise with this.  I am aware of the naysayers and their criticism.  I know not all teachers are great; not all farmers are great; not all carpenters hammer straight either.

I know that not all situations are as dire as they seem.  I know that politics are played in schools as much as they are in Washington, and I know two sides exist in every story.

But I also know this, as a parent, I appreciate these men and women, the ones who show up each day not because this is just a paycheck, but because this is what they do, much as My Farmer farms because that is what he does.  I appreciate the custodians, the aides, the cafeteria staff, the secretaries, the administrators, the tech guys, the librarians, the crossing guard, the recess supervisors and the teachers who show up and do the best they can with what they’ve got.

Kudos to you.  Kudos to you.

Read more 30 Day blogs starting with My Generation.  And follow more of my 30 Days of the Not So Glamorous Life of this Farm Wife: