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Kindergarten Teacher Quits over CC!

Posted by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:25 AM
  • 23 Replies
This just broke my heart! Our nation *NEEDS* caring teachers such as this one!


Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data — not children. I quit.


Susan Sluyter is a veteran teacher of young children in the Cambridge Public Schools who has been connected to the district for nearly 20 years and teaching for more than 25 years. Last month she sent a resignation letter ( “with deep love and a broken heart”) explaining that she could no longer align her understanding of how young children learn best in safe, developmentally appropriate environments with the testing and data collection mandates imposed on teachers today. She wrote in part:


I am writing today to let you know that I am resigning my position as PreK and Kindergarten teacher in the Cambridge Public Schools. It is with deep sadness that I have reached this decision, as I have loved my job, my school community, and the families and amazing and dedicated faculty I have been connected with throughout the district for the past eighteen years. I have always seen myself as a public school teacher, and fully intended to work until retirement in the public school system. Further, I am the product of public schools, and my son attended Cambridge Public Schools from PreK through Grade 12. I am and always have been a firm believer in quality public education.

In this disturbing era of testing and data collection in the public schools, I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children. I have experienced, over the past few years, the same mandates that all teachers in the district have experienced. I have watched as my job requirements swung away from a focus on the children, their individual learning styles, emotional needs, and their individual families, interests and strengths to a focus on testing, assessing, and scoring young children, thereby ramping up the academic demands and pressures on them. Each year, I have been required to spend more time attending classes and workshops to learn about new academic demands that smack of 1st and 2nd grade, instead of Kindergarten and PreK. I have needed to schedule and attend more and more meetings about increasingly extreme behaviors and emotional needs of children in my classroom; I recognize many of these behaviors as children shouting out to the adults in their world, "I can't do this! Look at me! Know me! Help me! See me!" I have changed my practice over the years to allow the necessary time and focus for all the demands coming down from above. Each year there are more. Each year I have had less and less time to teach the children I love in the way I know best--and in the way child development experts recommend. I reached the place last year where I began to feel I was part of a broken system that was causing damage to those very children I was there to serve.

I was trying to survive in a community of colleagues who were struggling to do the same: to adapt and survive, to continue to hold onto what we could, and to affirm what we believe to be quality teaching for an early childhood classroom. I began to feel a deep sense of loss of integrity. I felt my spirit, my passion as a teacher, slip away. I felt anger rise inside me. I felt I needed to survive by looking elsewhere and leaving the community I love so dearly. I did not feel I was leaving my job. I felt then and feel now that my job left me.

It is with deep love and a broken heart that I write this letter.

 

Sincerely,

Suzi Sluyter

  

undefined

by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Molimomma
by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM
2 moms liked this

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM
But to hear tell from other teachers still in the system, what you're talking about is wrong. It isn't like that at all.



Quoting Molimomma:

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 

Radiating2
by Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this

That is very sad. Such a disservice to this newest generation.

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM

What are they saying?

Quoting kirbymom: But to hear tell from other teachers still in the system, what you're talking about is wrong. It isn't like that at all.
Quoting Molimomma:

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 




I will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.


I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.














bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM
3 moms liked this

CC is truly disturbing to me.  I've been helping a boy learn math at our church co-op.  What they are doing to these kids is reprehensible.  Sigh.  I do understand that with CC the teachers are now required to teach a full understanding of the concept instead of just wrote memorization of the facts.  And Yes that's a good thing.  However, the class is learning 6 different ways of multiplying 2 digit numbers At The Same Time!!!  WTH?  All it is doing is confusing them!  "Find the friendly numbers."  That was the instruction.  What in the world is a friendly number?  I could explain it, but it makes me angry.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM
Well, some are saying that the cc is a great start to fixing what is wrong with the educational system and others are saying there is nothing wrong with the system its the kids who refuse to learn. I can't begin to tell you the stories I've heard from teachers extolling the virtues of the ps system.

Quoting paganbaby:

What are they saying?

Quoting kirbymom: But to hear tell from other teachers still in the system, what you're talking about is wrong. It isn't like that at all.



Quoting Molimomma:

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM
1 mom liked this

Okay, I can see that. So far *Fingers crossed* 7yo dd hasn't had an issue with it yet.

Quoting kirbymom: Well, some are saying that the cc is a great start to fixing what is wrong with the educational system and others are saying there is nothing wrong with the system its the kids who refuse to learn. I can't begin to tell you the stories I've heard from teachers extolling the virtues of the ps system.
Quoting paganbaby:

What are they saying?

Quoting kirbymom: But to hear tell from other teachers still in the system, what you're talking about is wrong. It isn't like that at all.
Quoting Molimomma:

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 




I will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.


I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.














mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM
So sad.
kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:10 PM
I was talking to a sister in law day before yesterday and she is through the roof upset (angry) that her pre~k is being sent home with over an hour and a half worth of homework and over two hours for her 8yr old boy. With no instructions. She said they spend about 5 to 10 minutes on the actual work but the rest of the time they prepare for how to take tests. When her some came home more than half a dozen times with f's she checked his work and found out that his answers weren't wrong but were marked wrong because he didn't get it the same way that was supposedly shown in his book. She helps him do his homework every single day. Plus she has 3 other kids in ps doing either average or below average.


Quoting bluerooffarm:

CC is truly disturbing to me.  I've been helping a boy learn math at our church co-op.  What they are doing to these kids is reprehensible.  Sigh.  I do understand that with CC the teachers are now required to teach a full understanding of the concept instead of just wrote memorization of the facts.  And Yes that's a good thing.  However, the class is learning 6 different ways of multiplying 2 digit numbers At The Same Time!!!  WTH?  All it is doing is confusing them!  "Find the friendly numbers."  That was the instruction.  What in the world is a friendly number?  I could explain it, but it makes me angry.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM
She is smart with a smart mamma!


Quoting paganbaby:

Okay, I can see that. So far *Fingers crossed* 7yo dd hasn't had an issue with it yet.

Quoting kirbymom: Well, some are saying that the cc is a great start to fixing what is wrong with the educational system and others are saying there is nothing wrong with the system its the kids who refuse to learn. I can't begin to tell you the stories I've heard from teachers extolling the virtues of the ps system.

Quoting paganbaby:

What are they saying?

Quoting kirbymom: But to hear tell from other teachers still in the system, what you're talking about is wrong. It isn't like that at all.



Quoting Molimomma:

That's why I didn't go back after I had my son. I have an Early Childhood degree. I graduated in 2001 and taught for nine years. I NEVER ever thought I would decide to stay home. I loved teaching but I went to school when the catch phrase was "developmentally appropriate" now nothing is developmentally appropriate it is all graphs, data, interventions, computer programs and pounds and pounds of tests. I wanted to do learning centers and integrated thematic units but that all has gotten phased out for worksheets, seat work, bell work, exit slips and of course the tests...endless tests. And homework! FOR 5 YEAR OLDS! Bananas. My husband and I have gone several rounds of why I don't want to go back to teaching. He still doesn't understand but at least he is starting to realize how Common Core & No Child Left Behind has changed the entire system/environment. And at least he agrees that homeschooling our son is a good idea, at least for the lower grades. 

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