I’m hoping this letter will be published. I have submitted it to local newspapers across our state. This is the FULL version, as some papers have a word limit that recquire me to cut much of this:
In the course of a year and a half, I have found myself thrown into the midst of what is one of our nation’s greatest grassroots movements. I could have NEVER imagined, eighteen months ago, what my life currently entails. My love of being in the classroom, the thrill of watching my students grow and learn, building relationships with them and my colleagues, would have been replaced. Five years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to return to my roots, where my love of public education began. What a thrill to teach in the same district with those I have longed admired. Teachers like Bill Hoyt, who just recently retired after 45 plus years in the same position, and was the first teacher to start me on the path of loving music and the clarinet. Also, for great mentor teachers like Eric Stemle and Maryanne Bocquin, for instilling in me a love of the English Language and literature. What has caused this deep reflection, and what, might you ask, has replaced that long held passion to teach in the classroom? It was the desire to be the best teacher for my students that lead me to take a training class on the Common Core State Standards in July of 2012. Being thrilled for the improvements that it could bring to education, I began to dig deeper. With copious research, I realized that there is MUCH more to “CCSS” than just a new set of “rigorous” STANDARDS. Discovering that what I had moved back to this community for was changing and gone would be our unique way of educating students, I felt compelled to help stop this change. I hope you can spend this coming parent teacher conference week contemplating education and the wonderful things that happen on a daily basis in our local schools. I also hope you will take the time to see that there is much more than what our school district can tell you about Common Core. They honestly don’t have a reason to see another side to it, or even think there might be a reason to mistrust the process that brought it to our schools or the creators of it. I am now able to speak openly about the growing controversy, without repercussions, and openly educate on both the pros and cons of Common Core. Sadly, the research shows that the cons greatly outweigh the pros. If it was just about better standards I would not be writing this and speaking out against it daily. It’s satisfying to realize that my passion for education is still alive and well but just taken on a new face! Educate yourselves as teachers do not openly speak out!
Sweetwater School District #2 Teacher (2009-2012)
Green River, WY