Yes, I’m a fool, and yes, I keep doing their dirty work. As a teacher in NY State, with no other job opportunities or a nest egg to retire with, I am going to be doing the ‘dirty work’ of implementing the CCSS. Yes, I know it’s not good for kids. Yes, I know I could always just resign. Yes, I’m aware that I don’t HAVE to keep doing their dirty work, but I also have mouths to feed, bodies to clothe ,and I have grown accustomed to living indoors.
These links will give you a look into the “dirty work” that teachers all across NY, along with me are being asked to do on behalf of reformers that haven’t listened to our voices at all. There were no teachers involved in the design of these reforms, and even worse NYSUT, AFT, and NEA have been rallying behind them. It’s easy, I believe, to rally around something when you have no idea what it means in a classroom. For my primary grade students, it means an almost wholesale loss of “free play” – a critical part of their social and emotional development. It means that every child should be at the same place at the same time, which flies in the face of anything that we KNOW about child and brain development.
I feel I must make it clear that I am not opposed to ‘standards’. I am opposed to standards that have been created and forced on us simply for the PROFIT of textbook companies, test publishers and educational entrepreneurs. There has been little to no thought about educating the “whole child”. The end goal is to raise test scores – not to be concerned about a child’s emotional well-being.
I may not be able to walk away, although at times I’d like to, but there are things I CAN do. I can inform my colleagues of the flaws in the CCSS and our test obsessed environment. I CAN attend rallies. I CAN tell parents what I think. I CAN post the following in my classroom: