Her Last Day of Teaching First Grade. – Anon

“Her Last Day of Teaching First Grade.” Anonymous via Diane Ravitch’s Blog.  August 24, 2013.  Retrieved from: http://dianeravitch.net/2013/08/24/her-last-day-of-teaching-first-grade/

A recently retired teacher recounts her decision to retire along with a touching last day exercise which resulted in a comment made by a student that made all the sacrifices worthwhile.

I was absolutely floored.

That’s when I knew how much I’d miss teaching. That feeling of molding a group and helping them become better together than singly – that’s amazing.

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Tribute to Teachers and Mr. Paul Harvey – K. Griffin

From my opening day speech.  Thanks to Dr. Hoadley, the Dublin School Board, and all of you “in-the-trenches” making the world a better place everyday.

“My Tribute to Teachers and Mr. Paul Harvey”

 …And on the 9th day, God looked down at His paradise and caretakers and said, “To have a just world you will need to be educated.”  So God made a Teacher.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, greet the children at the door, be positive role models, be entertaining, creative, innovative, and inspirational.  Somebody willing to offer extra help, sponsor a club, attend a basketball game then eat dinner, then grade and plan for the next day well into the night.”  So God made a teacher.

He said, “I need someone who understands that education is for bettering lives, not just test scores.”  So God made a teacher.

“Teachers will need to have a sense of humor about snotty noses, soiled pants, classroom interruptions, bubble-sheet tests, eternally-changing curriculums, meeting upon meeting, crazy helicopter parents, and being asked again-and-again at the most inopportune times, ‘Can I go to the bathroom?’”

God said, “I need somebody who will have a profound impact on the world around them and be OK knowing they will never know exactly what that impact is.  Somebody who won’t make a fortune, but who will make a difference.  Somebody whose only special interest are the children sitting in front of them.”

God said, “I need somebody willing to put the needs of others’ families ahead of their own, willing spend their own money for another child’s supplies, willing to go hungry in the afternoon so someone else’s child won’t.”   So God made a teacher.

God had to have somebody to help students deal with divorce, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, loneliness, addictions, depression, sexuality, anxiety, disabilities, bullies, and language barriers and then be able to teach, and challenge, and motivate, and inspire.

God said, ”I need somebody who never dreamed their choice of profession could cost them their life but if confronted not hesitate to protect the ones they call their children.”

And so on the 9th day, God made a teacher.

Teachers are the O-Line. – K. Griffin

Teacher Appreciation Day

Common Core, assessments, assessments, assessments, data, data, data, just do-more-with-less, monitor this, document that, evaluations, RTTT, IEPs, 3rd Grade Reading, student growth measures, and aaaaaaaah!

Feeling appreciated is tough.

My high school football coach called the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers the “glory boys”. These were the players who scored the touchdowns, would get all the praise, and have their names printed in the papers. But if the offensive line broke down, if the blocks weren’t made, the touchdowns would be non-existent.

Teachers are the offensive line of life. We build lives. We begin with basic reading and socialization skills and continue all the way through advanced physics, health, computer science, foreign language and the arts.

Teachers are responsible for giving every person the basic skills necessary to be part of our society and providing opportunities to allow them to be more than that. We take a human being and make them a person.

Your students will remember that you challenged and encouraged them. That you gave them extra help, made them laugh, and were there when they needed you. They will remember that other than their own parents, no one cared more about them than you.

Most great offensive linemen rarely get their names in the paper, but as sports buffs look back at the great teams the importance of the O-line stands out more and more. Without an offensive line the quarterback gets crushed. Without you, well, one can only imagine.

My letter to Superintendent Elam. – K. Griffin

Dear Superintendent Elam,

I thank you for your courage in standing up for students and communities.  I know other school leaders are scared to publicly disagree with elected officials for fear of being labeled partisan and possibly even threatened with a politically motivated investigation, as you were.

If only everyone would understand, as you have, that bad policy is bad policy, regardless of who proposes it.  As Americans we have the right to question policy, especially when it infringes on the basic civil right of providing a quality education to children.

We should not accept, TEA Party policy, created by ALEC, that weakens our schools by taking locally voted tax dollars and giving them to secretive, corporate backed charter schools whose owners are more interested in turning a profit than in educating students.

Thank you again for your courage, leadership, and foresight in our quest to provide a better education to our children.

Respectfully,

Kevin Griffin
Dublin, OH

My View: Above all, teachers are in it for the kids. – D. Krache

Krache, Donna.  “My View: Above all, teachers are in it for the kids.”  CNN – Schools of Thought.  December 17, 2012.  Retrieved from:  http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/17/my-view-above-all-teachers-are-in-it-for-the-kids/?hpt=hp_t2

The author, a past teacher who comes from a family of teachers, reflects on the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT and questions why teachers do what they do and why they refer to their students as “my kids”.

They’ve dipped into their own pockets for lunch money for kids who have none; they’ve given rides home when someone else forgets; they’ve miraculously produced a pair of gloves for a kid who spends recess with hands in pockets; they’ve listened to a child who needed to express fear or sadness.

For some kids, the kindness extended by teachers is the only kindness they know. It’s not a requirement of the job, but it’s something many teachers do, never giving it a second thought.

But when did it become part of a teacher’s job description to protect the lives of their students and risk their own?

They will remember you.

Neil Armstrong wrote a letter to his math teacher for her retirement.  Diane Ravitch wrote about that letter and one of her readers turned it into a poster.

Why I Hated Meredith’s First Grade Teacher: An Open Letter to America’s Teachers

Beers, Kylene.  “Why I Hated Meredith’s First Grade Teacher: An Open Letter to America’s Teachers.”  August 20, 2012.  Retrieved from: http://kylenebeers.com/blog/2012/08/20/why-i-hated-merediths-first-grade-teacher-an-open-letter-to-americas-teachers/

The author, an ex-teacher, reminds todays teachers of their importance and the impact they have on students.

We give our most precious and priceless to you – dear teachers – each year, knowing you will teach them, but also hoping you will care for them, help them discover how very much they matter, watching over them, and being there when they have been hurt by the ones who won’t let them sit at the “popular” table – and then you do just that and they fall in love with you. It shows up in different ways, as they grow older. But it’s still there, this deep affection and respect. And, certainly, it’s harder to forge those bonds when there are 150 students instead of 22, when the day is fragmented into 45 minute segments, when education seems to be more about the test than the child. But I promise, underneath that bravado of the seventh grader or swagger of the tenth grader you will find that small first grader who wonders, “Will my teacher like me?” And when that child – that teen – knows that you believe he or she matters, then that student will do most anything for you.