Closing out another school year means a time of reflection and evaluation. This year was challenging and frustrating. Those two words have popped up several times through the year. Many times feeling and knowing my hands were tied was difficult. Working with fine guidelines of students with IEPs and 504s are a bit nerve wrenching and aggravating. Writing referrals and feeling clueless of the student consequence. Shifting through all of that, one question remains, at what cost to we advance a student to the next level? A bonus check? Avoiding an upset parent? Higher number of graduating students? Get rid of a trouble maker? This school year has left me scratching my head. Is this the profession I have signed up for or have the standards and morals of schools decreased?
Education has made some significant changes throughout the years, giving school districts higher standards. Are these standards too high that it would force us into a corner and corrupt our morals? Districts and administration are pressured to advance or “push” students to the next grade and graduate. Everyone becomes a number. Many of times students are not ready, but they quickly become a number that needs to be in the positive column. The students are not numbers, we are not numbers. The teacher plays an important role in shifting the focus from numbers to lives. The classroom is a playing field where the teacher must educate and inspire learning within each of their students. They must light a passion in the student to desire change and improvement. Our focus becomes clear when we erase what is around us, factors we cannot control and work with the young lives in front of us. That is what really matters, which is why we signed up to do this profession. The desire to make a difference and mold young minds is why we do what do. Losing sight of that can be like get stuck in a spiderweb, everywhere you look or move you get stuck on another piece of the web.
Going into summer, focusing on the young lives that have been impacted and changed. Our change starts with one student at a time. We have to remain focused and keep our eyes set on the goal, educate and inspire.