Education, Educational Debate, expression, High Stakes Testing, Inequity, K-12, pedagogy, Public Education, Reflective Practice, social critique, Streams of consciousness, student centered approaches, Teacher Education, Teacher influence, Test Anxiety, Testing
The beauty found within teaching for me is something that has little to compare with. You see the growth, determination, creative, among other things of your students as they pursue their educational goals and dreams. These things are, at least for me, the most important aspects for why I do what I do. Seeing diamonds in the rough take shape and form all that you hope and more is so rewarding. I have had the privilege of seeing 6 years olds blossom into amazing teens, college undergraduates harness their abilities in ways that I wonder if they would have dared attempt during previous opportunities, and graduate students traverse the challenges of reclaiming their sense of direction within their educational journeys. All of this matters to me as an educator. There is nothing like it for me, even when many of my contemporaries deny our students the opportunities to flourish. The field of education requires remarkable women and men to serve as educational stewards for future generations of community members. No matter the background we have to safeguard ourselves from our own tendencies to undermine our expectations for and of the potentials of future generations. When I think of all of the students who I have taught, I find pride in the fact that, whether they realize it or not, I imparted at least a little wisdom and knowledge to them.
The educational conundrum is one that most public educators have some level of familiarity with. Whether you were an elementary teacher, as I was, or a middle school/high school teacher, seeing your students become more of they were and are has to touch your heart. Why else would you become a teacher?
Yet with all of this hope and promise, we find our schools and schools systems failing our kids in some form or fashion. The lack of support for our public schools, in certain areas of course, allows for others, who usually aren’t educational professionals to make decisions that are often uninformed yet have dramatic effects of the lives of young learners. Standardized tests have become the archenemies of most educators who have experienced third person test anxiety—witnessing your students get scared while taking the test.