"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

And Yet Another Teacher Says "Enough"

Here is another letter from a teacher disillusioned with Common Core and other special interest education reform mandates.  I don't know where this teacher is from, but she might as well have been from Missouri because, well, we are ALL "common".  How will DESE spin this letter?  What will be different in Missouri since we are all under the same mandates?

 From bgfay750blogspot.com and I am a teacher, and I am tired:

by savanna

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

              -- William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
I am a teacher, and I am tired.
Tired of coming home every night angry, abused, and insulted.
Tired of being treated as a child, as a robot, as a steppingstone for politician$ and publi$hing companie$ to make more money.
Tired of ignorance littering the air: “the Common Core is an exciting time in education!” or “APPR is just showing off the wonderful work you already do!”
Tired of being told to “wait it out,” that the “pendulum will swing the other way eventually” while witnessing the casualties pile up – causalities with names and dreams and futures and the RIGHT to the BEST EDUCATION we can give them.
Tired of being afraid to stand up for what I know is right for our kids and our country because I am afraid of losing my job and being unable to pay my bills.
Tired of my superiors being afraid to stand up for what they know is right for our kids and our country because they, too, are afraid of losing their livelihood.
Tired of wanting to be better, volunteering to do additional work, and watching helplessly as any progress I have made is brushed aside by the newest educational reform acronym.
Tired of being told, “Ohh, sorry, but my hands are tied,” accompanied by a half smile, a shrug of the shoulders.
Tired of spending hours of my life documenting and sorting and filing instead of revising and learning and improving.
Tired of wasting taxpayer money on binders and tabs and computer paper and ink.
Tired of being a taxpayer, watching as my money is spent on binders and tabs and computer paper and ink instead of STUDENTS and STUDENTS and STUDENTS and STUDENTS.
Tired of paying my student loan bills and nostalgically remembering that I chose to be a teacher, that I wanted to teach, blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead.
Tired of my two degrees and experience and individuality being ignored and devalued.
Tired of knowing what’s best for my students, but being told NOT to do it.
Tired of telling the best and brightest young people NOT to be teachers – and meaning it.
Tired of being told that if I love literature, then I’d better choose another profession.
Tired of Googling “what can I do besides teach?” only to close out of the browser every time, knowing there is nothing I’d be better at or love more than what was formerly known as “teaching.”
Tired of living in a country where my dream job no longer exists – where “teacher” is now synonymous with data-collector, test-prepper, script-reader, automaton.
Tired of grappling with the notion that I now have a job instead of a life or even a career.
Tired of disillusionment poisoning even the best of days.
Tired of telling my students that they will be heard if they support their arguments with evidence, yet knowing in my heart that that is a lie.
Tired of worrying about my own future children, who will either be numbers under this developing “educational” system – or dealing with the wreckage of a failed, expensive national tragedy in which all of the best teachers have either abandoned this sinking ship or remain on board as empty shells, whispered voices, gasping for air.
I am tired, but I am still here – and there are many of me.
Join us.  Say something.  Do something.
Our collective future depends on it.
The only suggestion I have is a revision for the last line.  "Our individual future depends on it".  Common Core proponents, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and edreform friends already have a lock on the collective future.  It's the individual future that's bleak.


  1. The problem is that you are waiting for the collective to rescue you. I was a social worker- and I had to quit, and be poor and start all over again. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. And I have an expensive- 4 year degree, that is worthless, because I didn't want to just hand out welfare checks. I am sorry you are tired. But now you need to do the right thing, for your country, and you need to stop supporting people who are talking to you about some collective utopia. God bless you. You are in a hard place, but it will get better. Be courageous.

  2. Frankly, your approach to teaching is probably as fruitless as the one you criticize.


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