Saturday, July 6, 2019

Summer Part 1

Summer so far has included camping, snuggles, exploring new parks, fishing ponds, playing in the river at Silver Creek Falls, puppy playtime and getting my tooth pulled.  There is still a lot of fun in the works but we are off to a great start!

Thursday, May 30, 2019


This kid is growing up so fast.  Here's a look back on his year of Preschool.  Next year he will do 3 full days at North Clackamas Christian School.  We are excited to watch him continue to grow and learn.  He's already asking when school starts again.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

You can't put a band-aid on broken

You can't put a band-aid on broken!

Our current education system is broken.  It's been operating the same way for decades.  More and more responsibilities keep getting added on to the education plate causing resources to be spread sparingly where they once were plentiful.

The basics of education hasn't changed in decades. However, many other factors have.  There was once a time when students came to school for reading, writing and math support.  Religion helped support the emotional learning.  Dr.'s helped support students health; As did society, walking more, chores around the house and property, pick up sports games with neighbor kids, etc...  Behavior support and guidance came from family, church and society expectations.  Families fed their own children and communities stepped up and helped when a family fell on hard times.

However, much of the above now falls on the school system.  And as it's been added to the plate of education, resources to support it has not.  Therefore money that was once spent on extra classroom teachers to keep class sizes down are now spent on behavior specialists.  Money that was once spent on art is now spent on snacks for students who don't have any at home.  Money that was once spent on PE and Music teachers is now spent on programs to help teach emotional and social growth.  More money is being spent on transportation funding to get students to and from school safely because of how communities have grown.

Teachers go into every year with an open mind.  Excited to see their new class, watch the students come together like a family for 10 months and grow tremendously.  Teachers still feel bittersweet every June as they say goodbye to those kids they saw more often than their own family.   Teachers find ways to rejuvenate over the summer so they can have a fresh start and do it all over again.

I think, at this point, it's easy to go with the common solution; Education needs better funding; more money.   However, I don't believe this is the case.  At it's current state, I believe Education is broken and money is simply a band-aid.  I'm not sure there is enough money in the world to put into education to make it run smoothly under the same structure anymore.

Education needs a complete new look; a fresh out of the box format.  There's the old saying, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got".  That's where I feel we are in education.  Time to shake things up. Time for a new structure and format.

I don't have the answers.  I don't know the laws, politics, and other things that go into it all.  I know how to care about students and families.  I know how to write engaging lessons for all students.  I know how to create a warm and welcoming environment in my room.  I know on May 8th, I will NOT be walking out advocating for a band-aid. Our future generation deserve more than a band-aid.   I will be at my school, working, fulfilling my contract and duty to serve the students and the community for which I was hired for.

I would love to see the state redraw district boundaries.  I see schools and communities where kids are bused quite a ways to one school and district when there is another school much closer to them but it's in a different district.  I believe redrawing boundaries across the state, could be a start.

With as much social and emotional needs with see with students, do teachers need to stay with the students for more than one year?  Should we look at growth instead of age as an indicator?  Should we have students start school once they are 7 years old, so they have time to be a kid without as much pressure academically?  Should we add more play into our schedules so kids can learn authentically?

Should we provide more teacher training and professional development to our teacher aides and then put them in a classroom full time, with the teacher and class numbers of 45-50, still keeping the ration of student to adult 1:25 but having two adults to co-teach and work together to support all students?

How can we increase newborn and toddler parenting classes, early childhood education and daycare availability to help kids have what they need socially and emotionally upon entering school?

I feel like it's time to admit that our current system is way past needing a band-aid and have some crucial conversations about a restructure for education.  On Wednesday's when everyone 'Wears Red for Ed' I find myself often in 'Blue for new'.  Our students deserve a system that works.

You can't put a band-aid on broken!