A letter from a teacher:

At the classroom level, every day matters, as experienced teachers reach out and teach not only academic content, but also social skills, problem-solving skills, coping skills…the list is endless, the individual needs are varied, and yes, we differentiate all of the time. However, now we need to document everything, keep the data charts and strategies current and ongoing, always targeting, assessing, testing, testing, and yet more testing, and this is all added to our jobs of planning engaging lessons, reaching every student, revising instruction, classroom management…what is my point? I want to be able to just do my job please. I don’t need mandates after mandates crammed down my throat. I don’t want a “one curriculum fits all” that stifles creativity. I loathe the micromanagement tactics in our schools, where students are forced to travel in the halls in quiet lines, where structure is essential to optimize productivity…are these schools or prisons? It’s obvious that corporate agenda is behind the scenes, forcing mind and behavioral control to prepare obedient workers who will never question their role in society. The Nazi mantra “work makes you free,” is frightening and should raise an immediate, collective alarm across the land of the free and home of the brave. It’s time to raise our voices and REFUSE to be threatened, and cowed into obedience for fear of losing our jobs. As an educator, I cannot keep going into a classroom filled with young impressionable minds and crush their spirits and creativity with the uniformity of a rote curriculum and brain-washing mantras being dictated by government and corporate entities that preach their lofty intentions but are evil and rotten to the core. Their God is money, and the human experience is crushed to produce a work population to work hard and contribute generously to keep the money wheel spinning so the 1% will never have to be held accountable for the harm they do. Did Bill Gates really make a joke about how he controls education? If this arrogance is not enough to ARM educators, then I’m afraid it is too far gone to fix. I do agree that every parent, every teacher, every administrator refuse to be part of this testing and evaluation regime. On a personal note, I feel like a total failure because as an educator, I am lost. I can no longer teach pablum and lies to my students, and it breaks my heart to slowly watch them steadily switching off their minds in the classroom. If you think they aren’t aware, think again. The stress is overwhelming, and it isn’t healthy to punish those who truly want to “teach.” I do have a choice: I can leave the profession I’ve been doing for 16 years. I just might end up doing this because if I don’t, it might kill me. Yes…it is that stressful. Thanks for reading.