Red tape ruins teacher's efforts to teach our kids.
Click photo to visit Educationvotes.nea.org and view video.

This past Saturday I did something I don't normally do. I published an emergency blog post outside of  my normal M-W-F blog schedule.

Saturday mornings are usually my in-office days. They are quiet and productive. I rise much earlier than my children, to squeeze in a full day's worth of work on client jobs prior to being 'Mom'. 
This works for me.

Unfortunately, this past Saturday morning it wasn't in the cards because at 2:11am I was startled awake by my son vomitting upstairs, in the hallway, outside of his bedroom door (yes- yuck). And, he vomitted at least 3/4 more times (yep, triple, quadruple yuck). We didn't get much rest, so I decided to silence the alarm and sleep in (as much as we possibly could).

In our house, the T.V. isn't on daily. Long story short, it's been a house habit since my 16 year old was born (and yes they are okay with this).  This rule changes though when a child is sick-and it simply doesn't exist, so the T.V. is on around the clock (I know what you're thinking, and nope, he didn't fake it; I've got the dirty towels and weak stomach to prove it). Anyhow, as I put the television on to search for something my poor little son could watch, I wasn't surprised to find that there really wasn't anything good on (another reason behind my house-T.V.-habit). As I listened to the weatherman predict more A-Typical Cleveland Weather I tended to his needs (which consisted of me chasing him back to the toilet, rubbing his back, while he purged his latest ice pop-yet again...should've stuck with the orange ones).

Some time later while we sat there on the bathroom floor, I heard the words 'Ohio' and 'Testing' coming from the T.V. Knowing he was fine (for now) I was drawn to the report of a 24 year veteran teacher in Ohio who is taking a stand against the (all agreed) ridiculous testing which is going on across the country (for her-and us-it's specifically Ohio but it is a nationwide problem). 

I immediately called my other two children in the room to listen - it took just seconds for us all to be nodding heads in unison…(we'd discussed this before).

There are some things we don't have much control over in this life: taxes, death, the economy…and sadly, education.

We have choices, yes- but not many. And sometimes the choices available to us aren't feasible.

Currently, America has several problems… we can all probably name about a half a dozen right off the bat. Education is one of them. No matter who tries to 'reform' it, we still have problems. No matter who tries to fund it, we will still have problems. No matter who tries to lead it… OH, wait, if more parents and teachers and students could help lead it (by just being heard) we MIGHT have a chance at true success… No?

But well…I guess that's just a pipe dream right? We're just the little people. Our titles make us the small fish swept away by the current…. We don't matter. Even though we are the ones supposedly being served by the system… (bitterness anyone?). Yes, this Pollyanna is indeed bitter…

Small Fish-Big Game:

Even though the teachers are the ones who are IN the schools TEACHING (or at least trying to teach)- 
Even though our children are the ones being dragged around like rag dolls and forced to 'try this system' and 'test that one' like guinea pigs-
Even though we are the parents, stuck in the middle, not sure if we have a chance, choice or voice in the whole thing - 
Even though ours and many other citizen's tax dollars pay for these so called 'systems'-

We can't do a thing to help…


That's what I thought too, until I heard about this teacher stepping out with a petition… and more so after I read every single  comment on her Washington Post article (where 99.9% of people were supporting her-including my daughter). It made the last two years of my wondering, and our many family discussions on it, come into better light.

I've been tired of this, this veteran teacher is many years tired of this, my kids and their school teachers of tired of this, and if any principal says that they AREN'T tired of it, they're lying… because they're merely small fish just like me and you (but in their case, they're desperate to keep their jobs) . 

The one thing I always say to every one of my children's teachers when they make efforts to connect with me on their student (and my child), is that "I appreciate every ounce of energy and passion that they pour into their students and teaching, regardless of the hoop-jumping and red tape they must endure while doing it". Honestly, my heart goes out to them.

Please read Saturday's post. I hope it will inspire you to get involved in any way you can. It was published in order to gain support in signing the petition and raise awareness, just as much as it was to help Dawn Neely-Randall voice her frustrations (which by the way are absolutely and positively held by many other teachers, parents and students around the nation, just read the comments and see the 1453 petition signatures as of the time I signed it).


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