If you are a teacher – tell your story here:
Posted May 19, 2012
A Teacher’s Story
I am a teacher in Cook County. I have taught for over 20 years. I am vehemently opposed to these standards. I was told by my principal that my questioning these standards is unprofessional and that I should just be quiet about it. I argued that in the past (who knows now) we have taught children to question what they don’t understand. The principal implied that I’m supposed to sit down and accept this. I also reminded the principal that I have done all that is asked of me on my job concerning common core despite my disdain for it. I might add that this can be quite difficult at times.
The money is already being spent on professional development days to align present curriculum with CCSS. Every teacher in my district has spent two days out of the classroom to do this. The money spent on substitute teachers is astronomical. My district cannot afford the technology or textbooks that will soon follow.
Most teachers simply feel this is another flash in the pan. They only know what they are told. At lunch the other day a colleague told me that there is a lesson plan website where you can just paste common core lessons. Creativity in teaching is not encouraged. I was met with ‘surprise’ when I stated that I can come up with my own, better strategies for teaching based on the students’ learning style. There is a movement towards identical instruction for every kid.
this story was updated on May 10, 2013 – Wayne, Illinois
How I spoke out when I was banned from volunteering at my children’s government-run school
I was banned from volunteering by Wayne Elementary’s principal and spoke out publicly at the school board meeting in the hopes that I could be re-instated as a volunteer parent. I have two daughters that attend the school, one in 1st grade and one in 2nd grade.
The circumstances that led to my banning are these:
Incident 1: My husband, wrote a letter (text can be found here:http://www.bwlibertyordeath.net/science-enviromentalism/regarding-an-arctic-tale/) to my daughter’s 2nd grade teacher concerning the movie “An Arctic Tale” that had been shown in class. Narrated by Queen Latifa and produced by the producers of “An Inconvenient Truth”, it presents man-made global warming as established fact. We objected to this being taught to 2nd graders. When I asked the teacher if she received the letter and would like to discuss it, she responded angrily that “No, I really wouldn’t.” She ultimately e-mailed a non-response that stated that the film fit in with “Common Core and vocabulary,” and referred us to the principal.
Incident 2: Both daughters began receiving homework from the “Second Step” program, designed to teach “empathy and emotion management”. We objected to the school crossing over into a realm that should be reserved for parents. Upon further investigation I learned that the “Second Step” curriculum is provided by “The Committee for Children”, “a nonprofit working globally to promote children’s social and academic success.” The organization has an entire page dedicated to LGBT issues (see: http://www.cfchildren.org/advocacy/bullying-prevention/thats-so-gay.aspx). I believe there are many parents who would find it objectionable that U-46 is purchasing curriculum from this organization. When, at the end of my volunteering time, I said to the teacher, concerning “Second Step”, “I’m not super comfortable with…” I was cut off with, “Fine, whatever.”
Incident 3: Our 1st grader’s class was instructed to read aloud the poem “Earth Day” (by Jane Yolen). The first stanza begins “I am the Earth and the Earth is me”, and continues from there. The poem constitutes earth worship and pantheism. I wrote a respectful letter to the teacher asking her to consider our objection when choosing future curriculum. The principal told the teacher not to respond to us; that the principal instead would.
Meeting 1 with principal, April24: The end result here was that I was banned from volunteering because I had been spreading “negativity”, since I had forwarded my husband’s letter to two other teachers, and because I had attempted to address some of my curriculum concerns with the teachers during my volunteer time. I went home and composed a blog detailing these events. (Blog can be found here:http://www.christianconservativeresistance.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-i-was-banned-from-my-childrens.html).
Meeting 2 with principal, April 26: The principal had asked for another meeting with us, suggesting that an agreement could be reached. Instead of discussing an agreement, the principal informed me that she had found my blog and was contacting her legal department concerning it. As of tonight, no further communication has been received from the principal and that is where this issue now stands.
After speaking out at the school board meeting, the principal reversed the bann and I have been invited back as a volunteer at school events.