Parrot in a Cage
My year has changed drastically with the state moving to the common core curriculum. I'm now unable to do crazy movie projects like I used to but am still finding ways to sneak in smaller projects involving writing and movie making. I'm still trying to think of something new for this year as it's getting harder and harder because of what is now required of me to teach- I must teach four book units that require research and multiple writing assignments. By the time we finish those, there's little to no time left to do anything else. I don't know if I shared this with you but this was our mini-project that we did last year involving "Unity Day". One of ex-students came up to me (who had lost her brother to suicide due to bullying) and asked if I could make an anti-bullying/ Unity Day video to raise awareness. I really think it was our best work as we took my students' actual experiences and translated them into something beautiful on film. Let me know what you think and I'll let you know if I come up with something new!
As for now, I'm feeling like a parrot in a cage.
It literally broke my heart to receive this email from one of the most innovative, creative, dedicated teachers I've ever known! I wrote back to him:
Here your district has one of the best, most innovative teachers I've ever met, doing incredible things with his students, far surpassing the CCSS, helping students develop 21st century skills at very high levels, developing many of the multiple literacies I promote, having students highly motivated, learning at very high levels and making authentic and valuable connections to parents and the larger community!
Then they stupidly step in and force you to stop all that so you can do the mind-numbing, marching through he curriculum!
Another teacher published this in a blog post entitled Why I left a profession that I love.
Here are some of these reasons: consistently increased expectations with consistently less time and resources provided to meet them. Lack of teacher expertise informing educational decision-making. Repeated emphasis on the importance of professional collaboration without consistent time allotted to do so. Ridiculous hours spent filling out paperwork for compliance reporting, new accountability, and increased budgeting scrutiny. So much time wasted on standardized tests and an outdated, damaging 100 point grading system. All with the paradoxical verbal message trumpeted that learning, not grades, should be the focus.
There is widespread frustration among teachers.