Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Brief Update with Good News!

I just received word from some of the senators on the Senate Education Committee that two bills have been killed/laid on the table by them and not recommended for the Senate Floor (which traditionally means it will not be brought forth).

1.  HB 370--The Bullying Law will stay as it is and not be ammended to remove cyberbullying from the school's responsibilities!

2.  HB 542--Compulsory education in the state of NH for students 6-16 will remain in effect!

Congratulations and thanks to all who have written--there is still a great deal at stake though, so please, if you haven't done so already, write about the other bills that are undergoing discussion--they will be up for a vote very soon!  Our senators are listening to parents and teachers, and this instills hope in me about what can be done by the people in a state like ours.

On Tuesday I have a meeting with Kelly Ayotte--so now it's time to bone up on national education news!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You Can Change the World (or at least the state)

On Tuesday, I met with Senator Jeannie Forrester (R)--the representative for my area--to go over education policy concerns.  I cannot express enough the importance of teachers becoming activists.  Because Senator Forrester is not on the Senate Education Committee, where many of the concerning bills are currently sitting, she was not aware of the language held in some of the lesser known bills that I have discussed on here previously.  Chances are your senator is in the same situation.  We pulled up each bill on and discussed the concerns teachers have in regards to each one.  It is crucial that we take the time to discuss these concerns with our senators BEFORE they reach the Senate Floor.

Senator Forrester was impressively attentive to our discussion and graciously gave me 45 minutes of her time, taking notes and asking questions.  She told me that she believes in discussing issues with the professionals who know best, and that in the case of these education issues, teachers are the professionals.  She wants to hear from us.  This is the general feeling I am getting from all senators--and so I urge you, once again, to write to the Senate Education Committee and your senator about the issues that are going to affect us on a day to day basis.  If writing the letter overwhelms you, I have form letters on the right hand side of my blog--please use them! 

At some of my presentations, I have heard teachers say, "I just figured the union was taking care of these issues."  While I believe we need to be unified in times of strife and attack, I want to let people know that the NEA has told me that they are not alerting their members to all of the bills on the table because it is too overwhelming.  But I believe that there are bills that aren't being talked about (like HB 216) that nobody is discussing that will get slipped in because we weren't aware. Furthermore, because the union is under attack right now, our individual voices are almost more powerful--we are seen as teachers and professionals when we approach individually rather than lobbyists.  This has a great deal of impact.  So pick your passion (or two!)--and I urge you once again to write to Concord.   Your voice has more sway than you think--elected officials, no matter what party, want their constituency to guide them through these tricky times.  Be that guide. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Day of Ordinary Heroes

Today I had the absolute honor to spend the morning at Southwick School in Northfield, NH where Tammie Turmel, the school's media specialist, hosted a day long visit by the beloved children's author, Jan Brett.  Every year  Jan Brett holds a Free School Visit Contest, and this year, out of the 70,000 applicants, Southwick School was chosen!  The students at this 3-5 grade school were nearly jumping out of their skins they were so thrilled to have her present.  First, Jan gave a talk to the entire student body, demonstrating how she illustrates and comes up with ideas for her books.

Jan Brett starts sketching a dassie (an animal from South Africa)

Adding details to her sketch

Speaking to the entire student body

Final dassie sketch
The fifth graders then presented a reader's theatre production of "Three Little Dassies" before everyone retired back to their classrooms, anxiously awaiting the moment when they would be able to meet Jan Brett individually.
Fifth grade reader's theater production of "Three Little Dassies"
In the library, I was able to steal a few moments with the author before she was rightfully overtaken by eager fifth grade adoration.  A few observations about Jan Brett:  she is attentive to all details, as every artist must be.  She observes and listens carefully, and when something catches her ear that might be interesting, she inquires more, and I am reminded of the old addage, "Be careful about what you say around a writer--you might become her next material."  She is a perpetual student of art, in awe of what others accomplish, and always studying her own work to determine how she can improve or be better.  She told the students that sometimes, even after her book has been published, she opens up those pages and realizes she could have drawn something better.  At 61, she is a picture of beauty and simplicity, and it is easy to see that her youthful appearance and behavior come from her active lifestyle--she raises chickens (see picture below--they came and visited the school!), runs in the Boston Marathon annually, and travels the continent for artistic inspirations.  While I equate Jan Brett with cozy afterrnoons on the couch with my children when they were small, after today, I have placed her in Hero Status.

Jan Brett & her chicken

Jan, her husband, Joe, and their chicken

 The real hero of the day, however, for the students of Southwick School, is Tammie Turmel, the media specialist who entered the school in the Free School Visit Contest.  Tammie has entered the school numerous times, and was so excited to get the news that they had won!  The day was executed perfectly due to her diligent overseeing.  Congratulations to her and her colleagues on such an honor!

Tammie Turmel, Southwick School's Media Specialist

A lovely visit with my own children's idol
After a quick trip back to Holderness where I taught my afternoon classes, I then drove over to Plymouth State University to hear Dr. Marianne True's inaugural lecture as the Stevens-Bristow Professor of Education.  Dr. True was the 1989 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year, and since then has become a highly respected educator known statewide for her dedication to the field of education.  Her talk reminded us that relationships within schools make all the difference.  She told us a story about a group of at-risk students she had chosen to work with when they were 14 and 15 years old.  Seven years later she contacted those same students to see how the program had affected their futures, and every single 20/21 year, when asked why they thought they were included in the program, told her that they knew they were chosen because their teachers had seen them as potential leaders.  This story is so powerful to me--it is a reminder that first of all, student perception is not always accurate, but more importantly, that sometimes when we stop and give struggling students a little more attention and give them new opportunities, their raised self-esteem might take them further than we can imagine.  Dr. True, as always, in her articulate, engaging manner, knows how to teach an audience full of educators.  She is the hero of many--from those of us in the classroom to her students who are just beginning.  She is what we all strive to be, and I thank her for being that role model for so many. To read about her award, you can visit

After the lecture, I had the surprising pleasure of visiting with my very effective 7th grade English teacher who is retiring this year after 40 years.  Forty years in the classroom--can we think of any greater hero?  And tomorrow she is visiting with my own personal hero, Tom Coverdale--the inspiration for my teaching career--my high school English teacher.

Jan Brett--published author.  Dr. True--distinguished educator.  Tammie Turmel--accomplished media specialist.  Natalie Murphy--veteran teacher.  Just another day full of amazing inspirations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chester Academy Visit

Today I had the pleasure to visit Chester Academy, a K-8 school in Chester, NH of about 600 students.  While I was disappointed that the 6th & 8th graders were out of the building (those are my people!), it was such a pleasure to walk the halls and see the classes in session.  Again, I was reminded of the importance of collaboration, because as always happens when meeting other teachers, I left there with some more new ideas in my pocket.

In the fifth grade, students had a visitor from the Audobon Society, who met with small groups.  The presenter had crickets, a frog, and some sort of constrictor snake that gave me the shivers as she wrapped it around her neck.  The kids were enthralled.  Across the hall, the other 5th graders were on a mobile computer lab, funded by a grant a group of teachers had written, on a "virtual" field trip to Yellowstone National Park.  Fourth graders sat with serious looks on their faces giving their teacher their full attention as they did Science NECAP preparations.  Second graders talked to me about how they don't get along with their older brothers.  Third graders were sprawled around the art room undertaking different projects and collaborating in groups.  A seventh grade reading group met in a small room, and a boy told me the story of his broken collarbone. 

After my tour, I spoke at the faculty meeting about "Classrooms Without Walls,"  but as I reflected on my way home, I realized that this faculty is already practicing this.  They had visitors in the school.  They had can drive signs up in the hallway.  The sixth grade was at science camp.  The eighth grade was in Boston.  They were already blurring the lines between the classroom and the community--and I wish I had realized that earlier and applauded them for that. 

I am so grateful to schools who are allowing me to come in--it is nothing short of an honor to witness the wonderful things that take place in all of our schools in New Hampshire.  Much thanks to the faculty & staff for the stimulating conversations that lingered right out into the parking lot.  It is extremely appreciated on my part.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Five Small Acts of Boy Wonder In a Day

Google "boys in education"  and your search will provide you with a list of titles that indicate that boys are in crisis in education. There are more boys in special education.  There are more boys who fail school.  There are more boys who receive discipline at school.

I have a boy myself, and his innate intellectual curiousity, desire for constant motion, aversion to reading, and sharp sense of humor have completely transformed my teaching.  He makes me think about the classroom in ways I hadn't before.  And while boys are occasionally exhausting (yes, I'm completely generalizing here), oftentimes smelly, and sometimes too bumbly for the classroom, for me, they are incredibly rewarding to teach.

I was reminded this today as I sat in the small room between my classroom and another while the health teacher did "the talk" and showed "the movie"--first to boys and then to girls in my room.  On one side of me, the boys entered health class.  Desks got bumped into.  Somebody complained that one of the boys took his pencil again.  Somebody tripped and fell down.  Scraping noises and bangs erupted. Loud voices filled the room, overpowering the health teacher's voice.  It took them several minutes to get situated and sitting down.  Meanwhile, on the other side of me the girls entered French class, where they sang a little French greeting and began to answer the teacher's prompts in sweet, angelic voices well before the boys had even found their seats.  I sat and listened to the two different experiences happening, and while the girls sounded much easier to teach, the boys sounded more...real?  fun?  challenging?  I'm not sure, exactly, what it is, but when sixth grade boys come into a room they bring such life with them.  It got me thinking about what they bring to an ordinary day...and here are just five small acts of boy wonders today:

1.  Birds, long awaited in this cold, damp spring wake me on this Monday morning.  I sit in the near dark with a cup of tea, pouring over student papers and my heart swells with pride when I see the quality of one boy's reflection that he is so honestly providing me.  I wish I could thank him right then.

2. When our visiting author, Cynthia Lord, passes around her Newberry Honor plaque, she tells the students that if they would like, they can place their hand over the silver emblem and make a wish.  I watch a boy, whose fervent desire is to become a writer, quietly place his hand over the emblem, close his eyes, and silently move his lips before passing the plaque to me.

3.  At hearing just this morning that a boy is unexpectedly leaving leaving our school, the cafeteria director makes whoopie pies for all of his classmates to say goodbye, and to let him know we'll miss him for an impromptu party after lunch.  His classmates gather around him to say kind things and I can tell that this experience is difficult for them.

4.  A first grader comes around the corner and bumps into one of my sixth graders--a boy of smaller stature than myself--and says, her eyes as wide as quarters, her voice filled with awe and respect, "Woah.  A big kid."  The student stands a little taller, realizing that he is looked up to, literally and figuratively.  A smile breaks across his face.

5.  Thirty kids stand on the edge of a field stretching, their legs covered in goose bumps, their butts wet from the damp ground that they stretched on, and the oldest boys--the leaders of the group--begin a congratulatory cheer for our final track team member coming in from his first run.  They let him know--finishing is what counts.

I learn daily from all of my students, but today, I'd just like to pay honor to the boys in our classrooms and lives.  They always make things just a little more interesting, and sometimes don't get recognition for that.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Common Core Standards and What's at Stake

There are so many damaging education bills before the New Hampshire Senate right now that writing about them in a new light is becoming a bit daunting.  And while I have sat down several times to write this article, each draft sits on the page looking up at me with its preachy face, loaded down by educational, stale jargon.  Dry and boring, or not, here is my attempt at outlining more concerns:
Earlier this week I attended a meeting with educational stakeholders about the Common Core Standards (CCS) and their adoption in the state of NH.  In July of 2010, well before this current legislature took oaths of office, the State Board of Education, who in New Hampshire has the authority to approve and implement standards at the state level, adopted the Common Core Standards.  However, the House has decided to overthrow this authority with HB 164 in which it states, “The ‘common core state standards’ developed jointly by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers shall not be adopted by rule pursuant to RSA 541-A, or included or implemented in any way in the New Hampshire curriculum frameworks, or used as a measure of an adequate public education, without prior approval of the general court.” (RSA 541-A, in case you are wondering, outlines the procedure of adopting rules for agencies—so this bill is saying even though 541-A says how to adopt a new rule, we’re telling you not to bother.)
This stops the past few years of work that the Department of Education has done dead in its tracks and creates several larger issues for our state.  Since money is what gets most people’s attention rather than the quality of education when we are discussing schools, let’s start there.  Currently, New Hampshire assesses students through the NECAPs—the New England Common Assessment Program—in partnership with Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island.  All of these states have adopted the CCS and are working together with the other 40 states that have adopted the standards to create an assessment tool.  This leaves New Hampshire alone, and we will now be responsible for creating and paying for our own assessment , which will cost millions of dollars.
At the meeting, the president of the State PTA spoke up and said that the National PTA supports the adoption of these standards because they ensure that high standards are set nationwide—parents want to know that their children receive a quality education no matter where they live.  I know that I have had children move into our district and be either very far behind because the curriculum they had in another area wasn’t as rigorous as New Hampshire’s or they have been incredibly bored because they had already covered that material at an earlier grade level.  This frustrates parents.  They want consistency and adequacy across the board, and who’s to blame them?
University and college program directors attended the meeting as well, and they spoke to the fact that the CCS focus on college preparation and real world readiness—our current standards do not.  The university system is frustrated by the discrepancy in student performance and the amount of remedial work that freshmen are requiring.  They hope that these new standards will better prepare graduating seniors for the post-secondary world.
The military was also present, and the Sargent who spoke said that the military is behind these standards for a couple of reasons:  1. On a personal level, their families move every couple of years, and they want to know that consistency in rigor is present.  2.  They are finding that only one in four  17-24 year-old recruits are fully qualified to join the military because of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test and/or physical health.   They are investing a great deal of money and time in remedial work so that their soldiers can be prepared.  They, like the higher education programs, hope that a common curriculum will better prepare their recruits for the intellectual expectations the military has on them.
Teachers also spoke at this meeting, saying that the CCS are much more comprehensive and transparent than the GLEs (Grade Level Expectations) that are currently used in NH.  We like that technology literacy is included and that writing across the curriculum is included.  We think the CCS are easier to navigate than the GLEs, and while they mostly align with our current standards, they feel more updated and real world applicable. 
So why has this become a controversial issue?  House members are insisting that this is a federally mandated curriculum.  In fact, it is a state-led initiative that received a great deal of input from New Hampshire.  House members say that it is the nationalization of education.  Nationwide we are hearing an outcry for educational reform, but when we collaborate together as states, saving time and money, it’s called “nationalization.” But can one argue that a child in rural Nebraska should not have the same expectations as a child in Boston or another child in Oregon?  Nowhere in these standards does it tell teachers how to teach or what resources and materials to use—we are allowed local control here and are able to use resources that best suit our student demographics.  But what this says is that every seventh grader in Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, Idaho, etc. should be able to write a narrative piece of writing across the nation.  How the teacher approaches that—what materials he or she uses—how he or she grades those pieces of writing—that is local control.  And while the bar is being raised for some states, it is at nearly the same level for New Hampshire.
A larger issue at hand, however, is that the House of Representatives has handed a bill over to the Senate Education Committee that undermines the authority of our State Board of Education—which is one step closer in the process of eliminating the Department of Education entirely (something they have also looked at this year).  RSA 193-C grants the SBE the authority to create state standards.  It also creates an oversight committee made up of members of the House and Senate Education Committees, a member of the House and Senate appointed by the speakers, and members of the House and Senate Finance committees.  There are checks and balances put into place already, yet this rogue legislature is determined to eliminate them.
This issue is now in the State Education Committee, and Senator Stiles, the Republican Chair, stated at our meeting the other day, if parents, teachers, and community members are opposed to the legislation proposed in HB 164, they need to contact the Senate Education Committee and their own senators as soon as possible.  The committee will be deciding very soon if this bill will be coming to the Senate floor.  Please act now!
Here is the link for the CCS so you can peruse them at your leisure:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Introducing...the 2012 Nominees!

When you put a group of teachers together, their proclivity toward collaboration erupts.  This was once again evident as I moved through the crowd to meet the 28 2012 TOY nominees.  I heard ideas being spread and saw them scribbled down in notebooks.  As for myself, I latched on to a man who was working with parents in a way I am attempting in a pilot project next year.  I had a thousand questions for a teacher whose school is moving towards standards based grading.  I got a quick rundown on ways to use Glogster.  I was fascinated with the way a school integrates arts.  Teachers naturally teach, and today, in Concord, I was taught a great deal by these wonderful, talented educators.  When given the opportunity to dialogue, we learn from one another--and this should be kept in mind for those greater gods in charge of professional development.  Some of my most inspired ideas come from after hour conversations with the math teacher next door.  Teachers thrive on's what we do best.  And I am so grateful for those who shared with me today.  Thank you!

And now comes the tough part... after meeting all 28 nominees, we had to choose 8 semifinalists.  What a difficult task.  After sitting, talking, and reading with the selection committee, I am even more so humbled by this award.  We had to eliminate 20 dynamite teachers today, and I am afraid that somehow we missed somebody.  I told everybody today though, and I would like to reiterate this--that teachers do not pat one another on the back enough, nor do we pat ourselves on the back at all.  So to be recognized--to have a nomination at all--is an absolute honor.  Congratulations to all of them.

Below are some pictures of only a handful of nominees...unfortunately, I was slow on the uptake with the camera & got involved in too many great conversations to document everybody...sorry if I missed you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Restoring the ELA Teacher's Soul @ NELMS

After spending the past few months speaking, studying, and writing about policy, legislation, and education as a bigger picture, teaching about regular ol' Reading Workshop at the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) Annual Conference in Providence this weekend, felt akin to coming home.  While I have enjoyed the new professional challenges this year, and eagerly take on the future, sometimes returning to my roots--which for me is how to teach reading and writing effectively to middle school students--is invigorating and comforting. 

On my second day in RI, I had the pleasure of finally sitting in on Rick Wormeli's workshops and he gave me so much to think about, my brain actually hurt by the end of the day.  During the first session he addressed standards based grading--something I've given little thought to over the past couple of years because it frightens me to make the transition even though on the surface it sounds logical.  It is a conversation I will bring back to my team as I struggle with the logistics and philosphy of it.  There is much more reading and studying to do on the topic in order to do it well and it represents a huge shift in grading philosophy.  And, as we all know, when bringing philosophical changes to your classroom, gradual and thoughtful change is best.  The second session he taught was about homework.  Our faculty has discussed homework practices, and while we had discussed the impact homework has on family life, Wormeli gives his adoring crowds more things to think about.  For example what about not grading homework? (This goes back to his standards based grading--if the final grade does in fact represent whether or not a student has successfully mastered a standard, then why do you grade the work that builds up to it? And if they don't do the homework, won't that, in fact, be represented in their summative assessments?)

So much to think about is a reminder that our profession can never remain stagnant--there is always something new to consider, something to challenge our beliefs,  and something new to read, (because of course, the bookstore lured me in so I now have a new stack of professional readings). But in the end, I feel restored.  Sometimes it's good to just be HCS's ELA teacher sitting in classrooms learning beside other teachers who grapple with and care about the same issues.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Everyone's an Activist

The metaphor couldn’t have been more clear—while I met with the governor’s educational policy assistant yesterday in the state house and then traveled over to the Department of Education to attend my first Professional Standards Board meeting, blue skies that allowed the sun to actually warm New Hampshire ground brought up my spirits.  I felt hopeful and determined; empowered and ready.  But after a long day of meetings, as I drove home, outside of Concord, rain showers met me and closer to home I encountered the snowstorms that are beginning to define our northern spring.  It was a reminder that here at home we have a lot of work to do in the name of education, and that sometimes we have to battle under cloudy skies—both literally and figuratively.
Expressing teacher concerns to Christen Laver, in a small room off from the governor’s office, I was emphatically told that the Senate and House members appreciate hearing and need to hear from their constituents and that it is our responsibility to let them know if we support or disagree with a bill that is up for vote.  Some of the bills, like HB216 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) that gives our school boards control over evaluation and method of instruction in classrooms, have received absolutely no feedback from the educational community.
Other bills to pay close attention to and voice in on:
·         HB2 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) which allows public employees to become at-will employees at the expiration of a contract.
·         HB429 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) which lowers NH’s dropout age from 18 to 16.
·         HB542 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) which removes compulsory education from NH, making us the only state in the nation and the only location in developed countries without compulsory education.
·         HB219 (retained in committee) which creates a committee to study the abolishment of the Department of Education.
·         HB370 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) which removes language from the new “Bullying Law” allowing schools to deal with cyberbullying—even if it impacts the school environment.
·         HB0164 (passed by the House, now in the Senate) which says NH cannot adopt the Common Core Standards without approval of the court (which it is not giving).
Please please PLEASE spend some time on reading up on bills that will affect our schools and write letters to your senators and representatives.  If the bill has passed either the House or the Senate, now is the time to write your letters.  If the status of the bill is “retained in committee” it is suggested that you wait until the summer to write your letter, as that is the time the groups will review those bills.
Do not assume that other people are going to be the activists.  It is our job, as parents and teachers, to express upon Concord that cutting New Hampshire schools off at the knees is absolutely unacceptable.  Please take a few minutes to find out who your representatives are and write to them so they can begin to actually represent you.

To follow bills & their status:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Column

Here is April's column as appearing in Foster's Daily Democrat.  It will also be in the Record Enterprise, and I sent this one out as an op ed piece to newspapers not running the column to hopefully spread the word.

April 5 Democrat Column

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March 31st Rally for Education Speech

On Thursday, March 31st, I was proud to address 500-600 educators and education supporters who arrived on the state house lawn.  Because the teachers waited until 4 pm, after their school day was over, they did not get the coverage that the thousands of protestors who thronged there earlier in the day had received (in fact, I have yet to find any coverage).  But, it was a moment of solidarity for all.  I was not only able to visit and hear the stories of teachers from around the state, but also an old high school friend who is now the captain of the Professional Firefighters of Concord, some of my son's teachers, my own colleauges from Holderness, and even my high school teachers! The work put into the organization of this event was impressive, and the time given on a school night was necessary.  I know there were many more educators who wanted to be present and were not able, but they should know that they were represented on this raw, March afternoon by enthusiastic parents, paraprofessionals, legislators, fellow educators, and of course, the honking horns and cheers from passersby.
Below is my speech (approximately...I'm not known to follow my words exactly!) with a link to the video.:

NEA Rally Speech

It has become clear over the past year that there is general public outcry for educational reform.  And if our leaders would stop and put their ears to the ground, they would hear the teachers and unions supporting this reform.  We say yes.  Absolutely.  We are teaching in an outdated system that does not fully support the 21st century student or family.
But reform and destruction are two entirely different beasts.
And have no doubt—what our leaders are bringing us, after hours, behind closed doors, is destruction.
Eliminating collective bargaining can be seen as a guise for educational reform—and that is certainly the tone of the public reaction that supports this motion.  Without collective bargaining, schools can let teachers go without using evaluations.  They can fire teachers or lower their pay because of test scores.  It is the easy way out.  Who needs to study teacher effectiveness or merit pay or tenure?  Who needs data?  This bill simply allows schools to fire teachers at-will without any backed up reasoning.  It will make our jobs insecure as our school boards and communities ride with political winds and swinging pendulums.
I’m standing here today though not just to protest the implicit elimination of collective bargaining.  But to say that I am angry about how our government is approaching education.  Our house of representatives has decided to put into place the cornerstones of destruction for NH education.
Policy makers want successful schools, yet they brought forth bills dismissing mandatory kindergarten and the exclusion of arts in state curriculum.  I thank the Senate for not passing these bills and for being the voice of reason.  I hope they can continue to do so.
Because policy makers want successful schools, yet they have passed a bill lowering the dropout rate from 18 to 16.  But that is not even important anymore, because they have also passed a bill eliminating compulsory education.  Yes, next week our Senate will vote on whether children aged 6-16 can be required to attend school.  And if children don’t, districts will no longer have the jurisdiction to oversee a curriculum.
Policy makers want successful schools , yet the house has passed a bill that tells school boards—volunteers who do not have to have any background or experience in education—that they have the right to tell their teachers what they can teach.  How they should teach it.  And how they should asses their students.
Policy makers want successful schools, yet they are proposing we abolish the department of education. 
Policy makers want successful schools.  So do teachers.  But our government has stopped listening to the professionals.  We are being dismissed, vilified, treated as though we are not experts in our field.  And while we are famous for doing what we are told, taking pendulum swings in stride, closing our doors and spending our days with the students we are invested in because that’s what we love, there is a limit and we have reached ours. 
It’s time to listen to teachers.  It’s time to stop the destruction.