This lady should not have to wander about looking for work--
She has served her time in far away places and prevailed.
FWD via Jim Hardin
To receive Freedom Page mail, put "Subscribe"
as subject to firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "W.G.E.N." - email@example.com
Subject: ED: Testimony of a Teacher
From: Lynn M Stuter - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact this lady and ask for the teacher if you think you would want to hire her.
Subject: ED: Testimony of a Teacher
The following was sent to me via my internet website. This teacher speaks to the very heart of the problem with education reform. LynnS
I am returning to the USA after 10 years of teaching in an ESL, self contained 7th grade classroom in a rural mission school in the homelands of South Africa. The first year that I taught and lived amongst the Xhosa people I had to re evaluate my own westernized philosophy of education. Each day I faced children with dyslexia, ADD, and physical and emotional traumas that would have institutionalized them in the USA. However, none of them wore any labels, only the desire to learn.
I found out that year that I didn't have to lower any standards or create alternative tests for those less fortunate. I set the benchmark for success for the highest learners and achievers and watched in amazement as collectively the class helped each other to achieve the best in each other. It was the most rewarding teaching experience anyone could ever have imagined.
The cherry on the cake was when these children from dirt poor, dysfunctional families, were accepted into previous all white schools. While there, they astounded their teachers as they continued to not only keep up but surpass their privileged peers. Today, in three of these nationally prestigious schools, our alumni hold the top positions in academics, leadership and social service.
How did they get there? First, they wanted to achieve. Then they were shown how, by hard work and lots of practice in the "core" areas. Then, they willingly helped with our optional Saturday school classes as peer tutors, research leaders (hard copy and computer) and detention momitors. They had been given responsibility, learned how to lead and share and therefore care for one another. With each passing year I was astounded as the incoming classes themselves pushed the level of excellence and expectancy even higher! It certainly kept me on my toes to keep up with them!
I am now back in the USA as my parents are getting on in years and want me closer to them. I want to carry on in the teaching profession while back in the USA. Therefore I went back to my state's dept. of Ed to get my certification updated. It was there to my shock, that my master's degree in Ed and my fifteen years of continuous teaching as am elem. school teacher meant nothing without the results of the newly legislated "Teacher Proficiency Assessment Exams." ( This is not the general subject assessment tests but a PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT.) Only with passing results would I be able to apply for state certification and therefore be able to apply for state or private teaching assignments.
Now, I have no problems with the need to have teachers be proficient in academic areas and be tested psychologically. However, I do have a problem with a test that only lets the correct answer be one based on the modern jargon, buzz words, or trendy philosophies being pushed about in the educational field. I had never heard the buzz words: "inventive spelling" , "backwards learning", "OBE" until I looked at the objectives for this assessment test.
My sister, who is also a teacher, and I sat down to look the sample questions over. When we got to the section on evaluating a child's writing, we both independently noted the same three areas the child needed help in the revision process. However, when we looked at the sample answer, we were totally wrong. Misspelled words were not to be looked up in a dictionary and then corrected. The punctuation errors were not to be pointed out, nor altered. Finally, the subject verb agreement were not to be addressed either. What was to be addressed was the objective. Johnny must be able to write a response, in the form of a paragraph relating to Halloween. Hence, when he chose to reveal his feelings about the activity and expressed them in his own style, he was given a commendation rather than remediation.
Now, Lynn, how am I supposed to pass a test like this? It seems that the only one who really can is the student who has been under the university's institutional thought and philosophy! Therefore, the universities are doing what we in traditional schools were always told to avoid....teaching for the test! This does upset me. If I fail the test on this Saturday, my steps of recourse are to enroll in the university to become "programmed and updated" in the objectives I am non-proficient.
At least I won't be ignorant of OBE because of the information you reported on
your web site. Thank you. Keep up the good work!