Memorial Day is a day for remembering the ~850,000 soldiers who have been killed in combat defending our freedom and way of life. We Americans joyfully wish each other “Merry Christmas,” and “Happy New Year,” but what do we say on Memorial Day? I think it’s a day to remember those who gave their lives and to be thankful for them and for their families who have suffered. I think we should never forget the sacrifice they made so that the liberties and principals upon which our Nation were founded and the opportunities, peace and prosperity, that we now often take for granted, are sustained.
May God bless America, our Military and all worthy people everywhere, and may He guide our leaders, to do what is right for We The People, not just for themselves, so that we may become the proud Nation we once were. Each stone in the photo below is for a brave person who made the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we might live in peace. Let’s give it try and do our best to return peace and greater happiness to our great Nation. Thanks for reading this.
Teach Me… Don’t Just Test Me
A Teacher / Mom Wrote An Eye Opening Letter for Resignation. Parents Everywhere STILL Freaking Out.
Teacher Wendy Bradshaw had an educators change of heart when she contemplated her new baby would pass through America’s educational system someday.
It caused her to speak out with her personal experience as a teacher about how terrible that system has become.
Bradshaw worked and specialized in younger children in Florida’s Polk County. She explains that the strict standardization from the higher grades is making its way down to touch even pre-schoolers.
It has become almost entirely test-based learning. This forces teachers into narrower and narrower teaching plans. It is not conducive to productive learning. We don’t teach for life anymore, we just teach to test. We don’t teach “the child” anymore, we just teach the prototype.
After sending in her letter of resignation, Bradshaw posted it on Facebook where it has now been shared 75,000 times. It is shared in articles to 10’s of millions. Parents and teachers everywhere are freaking out at the damage being done. Please read her letter of explanation and resignation below:
To: The School Board of Polk County, Florida
I love teaching. I love seeing my students’ eyes light up when they grasp a new concept and their bodies straighten with pride and satisfaction when they persevere and accomplish a personal goal. I love watching them practice being good citizens by working with their peers to puzzle out problems, negotiate roles, and share their experiences and understandings of the world. I wanted nothing more than to serve the students of this county, my home, by teaching students and preparing new teachers to teach students well.
To this end, I obtained my undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees in the field of education. I spent countless hours after school and on weekends poring over research so that I would know and be able to implement the most appropriate and effective methods with my students and encourage their learning and positive attitudes towards learning. I spent countless hours in my classroom conferencing with families and other teachers, reviewing data I collected, and reflecting on my practice so that I could design and differentiate instruction that would best meet the needs of my students each year.
I not only love teaching, I am excellent at it, even by the flawed metrics used up until this point. Every evaluation I received rated me as highly effective.Like many other teachers across the nation, I have become more and more disturbed by the misguided reforms taking place which are robbing my students of a developmentally appropriate education. Developmentally appropriate practice is the bedrock upon which early childhood education best practices are based, and has decades of empirical support behind it.
However, the new reforms not only disregard this research, they are actively forcing teachers to engage in practices which are not only ineffective but actively harmful to child development and the learning process. I am absolutely willing to back up these statements with literature from the research base, but I doubt it will be asked for. However, I must be honest.
This letter is also deeply personal. I just cannot justify making students cry anymore.
They cry with frustration as they are asked to attempt tasks well out of their zone of proximal development. They cry as their hands shake trying to use an antiquated computer mouse on a ten year old desktop computer which they have little experience with, as the computer lab is always closed for testing. Their shoulders slump with defeat as they are put in front of poorly written tests that they cannot read, but must attempt. Their eyes fill with tears as they hunt for letters they have only recently learned so that they can type in responses with little hands which are too small to span the keyboard.
The children don’t only cry.
Some misbehave so that they will be the ‘bad kid’ not the ‘stupid kid’, or because their little bodies just can’t sit quietly anymore, or because they don’t know the social rules of school and there is no time to teach them. My master’s degree work focused on behavior disorders, so I can say with confidence that it is not the children who are disordered.
The disorder is in the system which requires them to attempt curriculum and demonstrate behaviors far beyond what is appropriate for their age.
The disorder is in the system which bars teachers from differentiating instruction meaningfully, which threatens disciplinary action if they decide their students need a five minute break from a difficult concept, or to extend a lesson which is exceptionally engaging.
The disorder is in a system which has decided that students and teachers must be regimented to the minute and punished if they deviate.
The disorder is in the system which values the scores on wildly inappropriate assessments more than teaching students in a meaningful and research based manner.
On June 8, 2015 my life changed when I gave birth to my daughter. I remember cradling her in the hospital bed on our first night together and thinking, “In five years you will be in kindergarten and will go to school with me.” That thought should have brought me joy, but instead it brought dread. I will not subject my child to this disordered system, and I can no longer in good conscience be a part of it myself.
Please accept my resignation from Polk County Public Schools. Best,
Teacher Wendy Bradshaw, Ph.D.
“Who Really Rules America and Your Life.”
This Cartoon May Change Your Thinking & Your Life. Please view it.
I should charge $100 or even $1,000 for this video, but this week, it is FREE. After all, this is a “Free Nation”… right? Sure it is! Watch the video…find out what you know…and don’t know. It may surprise you that a video can show you the “Truth,” and it will.
It should be required viewing in every school in the USA, middle school and high school, and maybe even college… hell… certainly college and students should be tested to ensure they know one of the most important things they can know about this country.
This 30 min video shows “Who Really Owns and Controls America” and how we got to this point. I call it “Cartoon Economics-History 101.” So, please turn off you video games and cell phones and watch this video and learn how it will affect you for the rest of your life… unless you “We the People,” change it. It is 29’55” video and just may be the most important things you will learn in 2017. You should really know how the system works.
Click on–> iTunes Post for Youngsters & oldsters–> http://jeffress.com/2017/01/03/cartoon-on-who-really-rules-america-and-your-life/ .
Pay close attention and learn what you have probably never been told before.