I am allocating portions of my summer to prepare for a role change at my school next year. (Don’t be too impressed; I get some compensation). I am going to be a Reading Teacher for students who need reading intervention support. In preparation for this, I am consulting different best practices and reading for my classroom, (and also for my certificate- which is almost done!)
I came across this quote in a report from NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) that caused me to feel inspired and validated in my hopes as an educator, so I thought I would share it with you:
“Unlike assembly lines that discard materials that can’t guarantee a predetermined uniform result, public schools don’t discard any child. Children can come hungry or filthy; they can speak English or Spanish or Vietnamese or Hmong; they can be athletic or clumsy, artistic or musical; they can be black or white, Latino or Asian; they can be gay or straight, rich or poor; Muslim or Jewish or Christian or Hindu or atheist. They can know a lot or a little. In public schools, teachers take students as they are, respect all as they are, and promise to teach all, as they are. It might be the plaque on the Statue of Liberty that says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ but it’s public schools that live that message daily.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that the teachers in our midst do live that message daily. We’ve forgotten that the best teachers are thoughtful, creative, independent thinkers, not passive, restrained script-followers; these teachers teach from a cornucopia of pedagogy, choosing the right instructional strategy for each student; these teachers value the probing question from the curious- even angry- student far more than the right answer from the passive one. The best teachers and principals demand that those kids receive the same rigorous education we want for all kids, the rich education each student deserves. Those teachers and principals- the ones I see far more often than not- stand boldly against such bigotry, such racism, such low expectations. Those educators will lead this nation in true educational reform. In so doing, they will remind us of all that is lost with the genteel unteaching of America’s poor.” –Kylene Beers
Amazing. While we take summertime to bask in the sun and restore ourselves from the incredibly hard work we do, be encouraged for the good work yet to come.