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A concerned member of the human race

Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Generation of Teacher Thank-You Cards?

In a recent post entitled, "What NYC Teachers Do Every Day," I  presented some samples of cards and thank you notes received from students between 1994-2004.  The value students place upon their own education differs so markedly from the value-added model.  It isn't even funny.
More than 91.7% of New York City teachers were rated highly effective or effective for the 2013-14 school year, according to results released by the state Education Department.
From the Daily News, December 18, 2014
Can't Be the Test or Its Cut Score, Right?
Must Be the Stupid Teachers!  Better Fire Them All!

Given the attitudes and philosophies underlying the current ed. "reform" movement, can you imagine the next generation of teacher thank you cards when the schoolyard bullies rule?  Here's one I propose:

But on a happier note--because there always is at least one:  In the past week, I dug through some additional stacks of paper.  Here is one of several more recent examples of student notes, proving that happiness still smiles through the last two years of educational deformity.  

The letter below was put in my mailbox by a soft-spoken Tibetan student who sat in the back of my very large ninth-grade global-history class, 2013-2014.  I often called on her, encouraging her to project her voice a little more.  And, still, I never strained so hard to hear someone's ideas.  She volunteered for an extra project.  She brought her dramyin to class one day and demonstrated how to play it as part of a presentation on the culture of Tibet.  The world comes to meet me at my school.  It is one of the reasons I love my school.  It is one of the reasons I keep growing as a teacher.  It is one of the reasons I return to teach.

p.s.  I am by no means the "coolest teacher ever."  But it only goes to show that no matter where you teach, and whether your clientele be students, your children, a sibling or a pet, there is probably some soul somewhere convinced that you are the "coolest teacher ever"!  And when the evaluation comes to you direct from the heart of someone whom you respect, it is so much more meaningful than a VAM score!  Put that in your thoughts and think it, as you return to work today!

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