Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yesterday morning, there was a double homocide down the street from where I live. When police arrived, they found a couple dead in the front seat. In the backseat, they found the 3 year old cousin of the girl killed. Now, I don't remember much about my life when I was three, but I know that who I am today was shaped during that time. This event was a stark reminder that I do not know what a child in my classroom has experienced in his/her young life and neither do the politicians and administrators who want to measure our impact as teachers with a standardized test. If all I had to do was teach, that wouldn't be an issue. But somedays I spend more time being a mother, counselor, mediator, cheerleader, doctor, etc. than I do actually teaching. It is our job to create a safe and loving environment for our charges and often that requires time spent on "life" issues. I know that standardized testing is important....I just wish it wasn't more important than the children we are teaching. They are not machines who can turn their lives outside of school on and off. They are wonderful little human beings who need to know that while education is critical to success in life, it does not outrank basic human needs - safety, acceptance, purpose and love.