I got a comment from an elementary school teacher in Idaho. She sounds like the kind of teacher I would want for my grandchild, who starts first grade this September. She knows what matters most.
She reminds me of Mrs. Ratliff, the high school English teacher whom I wrote about in my last book. I dedicated a chapter in the book to her. It was called “What Would Mrs. Ratliff Do?” She taught her students to read, to write, and to think. She had high standards, the standards she set. She had high expectations. She had a red pencil and she knew how to use it. She cared about her students and we knew it.
This teacher sounds like Mrs. Ratliff for the elementary grades. I hope that Tom Luna, the state superintendent of Idaho, doesn’t ruin her classroom by putting her students online. It would benefit the companies that got him elected, but it would cheat the kids. He should trust the professional judgment of teachers like this one.
|I am an elementary education teacher in Idaho. I have taught both 2nd and 4th grades, and have been in the profession for 20 years. As far as technology is concerned, I keep my young students away from it as much as possible. Instead, I teach them to be writers, mathematical thinkers, and great readers. I engage them and encourage them, and yes, I demand the best from them. When my students leave my classroom they are able to write paragraphs, letters, and stories with interesting words, proper format, and almost perfect punctuation-and most importantly they leave my room loving to write. I help them become lost in novels and learn from well-written stories. I show them how to find out information (without Google) and how to learn how to spell words (without Spell Check). They figure out how important math is in their lives, and they learn to enjoy being mathematical thinkers. They learn why education is important and how they will use it in their lives. They find meaning in learning; power in knowledge.I am confident that when my students use that fancy typewriter, fancy dictionary, and fancy encyclopedia, called a computer, they will be able to produce amazing things from it/with it because they have the foundation that will allow them to do so.I have my masters degree in technology, and I am very good at all things technology. But, I am only as good as I am because I learned to read, write, think, and do math from a good teacher, good parents, and good grandparents.Luna’s online education plan will cost a lot more than money. It will cost our students a real education. But, how would he understand that since he has never been a teacher.By they way, can you check into Apangea. It’s a program that Luna pushes in Idaho. It is an online math program that, in my opinion, is very poorly put together. Anyway, I wondered if that company gave him money too..or maybe he owns a piece of it. He sure is pushing it and promoting it and I wonder for whose benefit. Has he heard of the free Khan academy?-an excellent online math tutoring program.|