Parents, I hear you

Parents, I hear you.
I know that you entrust your precious children to me every day and I know that is sometimes hard for you. Know that I take that responsibility very seriously because I am a professional and I care.

Parents, I hear you.
I know your little preppies shouldn’t be sitting at desks learning how to write letters between lines. I know that when I read a story to them and they sit spellbound that I break that spell by making them analyse the story and write a sentence about it. I know about readiness and it breaks my heart when I see your concern that your preppie can’t seem to learn his sight words. I know that play is how young children learn. I’ve been to university. I’ve read all the evidence. I want your children to learn incidentally through play and in their own time. However I must follow the curriculum and formally assess them because it seems that makes me accountable.
I hear you when you tell me that all the homework is creating stress in your family and I’m truly sorry. Once again I have taken away their play. I would much rather they baked biscuits and climbed trees and were allowed to be kids.

Parents, I hear you.
I know your children are stressed and feeling under pressure from all the assessment I am making them do. I don’t want to be a data collector. I want to spend time engaging your children in real learning. I know this data tells me nothing new about the strengths and weaknesses of my students yet I have no choice.

Parents, I hear you.
Every day I go to school and do things which I know aren’t right. I am an educator. I know how to engage children and make learning fun. I know how to figure out the needs of my students without testing them. I am frustrated beyond belief with what I am being asked to do. I feel guilty that I am placing undue burden on my students. But I smile and pretend everything is ok because when I speak out no one listens and I certainly can’t tell you.

Parents, I hear you.
I hear what you are saying. I hear you when you tell me about your concerns and fears. I also share those same concerns and fears but my hands are tied. I am bound by employee code of conduct. I can’t tell you what I want to tell you. I need you to be the advocates for your children.
I understand that your children are precious because for six hours a day they are my precious children. They are OUR children and we need to fight for them. We both want them to be the best version of themselves that they can be. We want them to love learning and to be full of joy. They deserve that. We need to be on the same team. Please help us fight for our children.

Politicians, I hear you.
You want to be globally competitive. Test scores and data are the way you feel we can measure success. Success CANNOT be measured by standardised tests. Teachers do not like standardised tests and we certainly don’t use the results from them to judge the success of a child. All these tests simply add to the stress and anxiety that our students are feeling and detract from valuable learning time. And when will you realise that children are so much more than their academic results? We are doing our children such a disservice. Our current education system is in crisis. Teachers know it, parents know it. Teachers are suffering, children are suffering. So why aren’t you listening? I beg you. Please listen.

Kathy Margolis

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