Posted in Public Ed, Teaching Career

Resolution #3: Educate Yourself

A series of resolutions for 2018…

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #3

  • Educate yourself.

BUT I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME

Teachers are overworked and overstressed. Often teachers go home after a difficult day at school and spend an hour or two on planning, assessing student work, or on piles of mostly meaningless paperwork.

A few hours later, after a rushed meal, minimal time with family, and a night of not-enough-sleep, it starts over again.

Weekends are a bit better…time to catch up on everything.

It’s no surprise, then, that teachers feel like they don’t have time to find out what’s happening in the politics of public education. They only know that it seems like each year there are more and more restrictions on what and how they can teach, more tests for their students, fewer resources, and larger classes.

Meanwhile, the forces of DPE (Destroy Public Education) continue to move forward increasing funding for charter schools and unaccountable voucher schools by diverting public money from public schools.

THE ARGUMENT FOR EDUCATING YOURSELF

Make the time.

I know…I’m retired. I don’t have to get up and face a classroom of kids every day. It’s easy for me to say. I get it.

But things have changed since I retired. I can write letters and blog posts, and argue with legislators in support of public education and public educators, but I’m out of date. A lot has changed since I last had my own classroom in 2010. I don’t know what today’s classrooms are like in your school.

Teachers, this is your profession, and it consists of more than just the time you spend with your students. I would ask you to think of time spent educating yourself about what’s happening in education as one part of your professional development.

The political world of public education will

  • affect your students and your children, if you have any, as they progress through school
  • affect you and your economic status while you’re working and in retirement
  • affect how many more years you will be able to teach
  • affect how large your class sizes are
  • affect your academic freedom
  • affect what you teach, how you teach, and how often your students have to pause their learning to take a standardized test.

Right now, legislators, most of whom haven’t set foot in a classroom since they were students, are making decisions which will affect you, your students, and your classroom.

This is your profession. You owe it to yourself, your students, your future students, and your community, to educate yourself. Be the lifelong learner you wish to see in your students.

[If you’re not a teacher, you owe it to yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, and students of the community, to educate yourself. What happens to public education affects your children – and all of the above – and your community.]

WHERE TO START

Here are some places to start (feel free to add more in the comments)…

Read Books (in no particular order)

Read Blogs (in no particular order)

Listen to Podcasts

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1

  • Read aloud to your children/students every day.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #2

  • Teach your students, not “The Test.”

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #3

  • Educate yourself.
📚📡🚌

Author:

Retired after 35 years in public education.