Thank you to Ruth Ayres at Discover. Play. Build. for hosting the Celebration Link up. I invite you to visit her site to read other bloggers' celebration posts.
Yesterday morning, I got the news that according to the state of Ohio, I am not adding much value to my students' education. I'll admit, it wasn't a pleasant way to start my day. I slogged through Friday's field trip and parent teacher conferences as the image of the graphic showing my "incompetence" randomly popped up in my mind. I drove home feeling defeated.
And yet, in the bottom of my gut I felt a little nudge.
I tried really hard to conjure it up.
It was buried deep.
As the night wore on, that nudge grew.
And then it exploded...
into my very being.
I am angry. I refuse to let an assessment that was never meant to be evaluative of teachers define me as an educator.
I am angry that my colleagues who are excellent teachers feel beat down, disrespected, and hopeless.
My celebration amidst all of this? I am choosing to celebrate my convictions which are stronger than ever.
I believe in kids and I will never give up on my kids. I promise each and every one of them to know them as learners, meet them where they are, and build from there. If something isn't working in the classroom, we'll get it figured out.
I believe that kids need to do real reading and writing. While they're at it, they're going to think deeply too. I will not give in and create a test prep environment in my classroom by replacing authentic reading and writing with fill in the blank worksheets. My kids will leave my room with a love of reading, writing, and learning.
I believe my kids need to be problem solvers. It's ok for them to struggle a little. I want them to stretch their thinking, consider different possibilities, and learn from their mistakes. We will not spend our day doing skill and drill activities.
I believe that there are so many lessons to be learned in my classroom that cannot be answered in a 4 point extended response: be kind, stand up for yourself, take risks, be respectful, take responsibility for your mistakes, follow your passion, and never stop learning.
I promise myself that I will go to school on Monday with a better frame of mind, because not only do I believe in my students, I also believe in me and all the other great educators who are doing everything in their power to give kids what they need. (And it's most likely not going to be found by filling in a bubble sheet).