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Sad times in educationPosted Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at 6:30 AM
I originally wrote this blog late one night on December 3, 2007. Of the 368 blog entries I've written over the years, this is my favorite, because of the comments it elicited from readers. The blog was so negative and depressing that I never intended to leave it up, but the discussion was so good that I did. Today, the topic we discussed is SO relevant, in light of the Nov. 4, 2014 election coming up. If you think amendment 3 is a good idea, read all the teacher and parent comments that followed my blog. I think you'll change your mind.
Tonight I got a sad call from a teacher friend of mine, and I'm feeling a little blue about it. I won't keep this blog on here long, since it'll really be a downer at this time of year.
I feel helpless at times like this, when they call to talk with me like we used to when we taught together. Get together at lunch and share our problems. Things always seem better when you talk with a good friend. I hate that I can't be there for them, but I'm so much happier now that those years are behind me.
I used to be able to give them advice: Just hang on - It'll get better. You go through times like this, but they don't last. Now that advice doesn't seem to work anymore - what with the way things are going in the classroom.
She wants to quit teaching after only 12 years. It's all getting her down, and I don't know what to tell her. Her school didn't make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and some of the counselors and administrators are in a panic, telling them that if they don't make it next year, some of them could lose their jobs. She's wondering if she should get out now, move on, do something else, at least for a few years. The classroom will lose a talented, creative teacher if she does. I hate to see a gifted teacher go into another field.
Teaching is no fun anymore. They can't teach - They just get ready for tests, tests, and more tests. Where's the joy of learning? Surely this is not what's in store for the future.
They used to be able to rely on the older teachers, go to them for advice, for stability. Now those teachers are leaving, fed up with all the new rules and the constant pressure.
I don't know where we're going, and I fear for what lies ahead for all those bright young teachers, who entered the field of education with such hopes and dreams.
From the dark and gloomy hills of Tillman, this is your local rural journalist, Madeline, signing off...
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at email@example.com.