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View Diary: Speechless: K-2 School Cancels Kindergarten Show Because it Does Not "Prepare Children for College" (105 comments)

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  •  I am a retired teacher..... (10+ / 0-)

    I taught for over 40 years in public schools.  Mostly I taught 6th grade, but in my final seven years I was the media center/library/tech person as I had my MA in the area of ed tech.

    However for most of my years in the 6th (and occasionally 5th) grades, I did shows with my students.  Most often it was a team effort with our three 6th grades working together as a team.  I directed, one of my teammates did set building with students who chose that area.  Another did the program, lighting, spotlights (old overhead projectors), and helped with costuming etc.
    We did musicals.  Most often they were educational ones we bought. A few times we wrote our own from a story we read.  The music teacher and the PE worked with me on the dances, staging, singing etc.

    I was fortunate to have a principal(s) over the years who supported and loved the arts.   It was an amazing team building, life skills building activity we did for a quarter.  We used their PE/Music time as well as Language Arts time as we got close, and after school when possible (busing made that difficult so we had to use class time).  In those days, we, the teaches actually got to set up our schedule, do our units based on the district curriculum but we could choose the order in which we did things, the time we allocated and it was flexible (it was like they actually believed teachers were professional and could be trusted).

    Often our shows were about historic figures like Abigail Adams, or current events (Earth day and the environment).  When the play was performed, we teachers sat in the audience and the students did everything themselves (after the principal introduced the show).  They did the curtains, lights, handled glitches as needed without us helping (and it was so hard to sit there...but it was like coaching gymnastics or skating..once they are on, it is THEM doing it).
    To this day, when I hear from students most will tell me who they were, what they did in "the play" and how much that meant to them.   When I left the classroom, the testing was starting.
    I am glad I retired/left the classroom before all the mandates because I do not think I could go along with the robbing of children of the valuable experience of the arts; as well I cannot tolerate the "canned" lessons designed for improving test scores.  That, to me, is not education.  That is training.

    I believe the whole testing nonsense, the push for scores is just another way for the right and their corporate lords to destroy public ed so they can make more money off of poor children; ie use failing schools to destroy teacher unions, insist on charters, vouchers and defunding/privatizing education.   In the end, they know the tests are nothing but "scores by zip code" and there is no real attempt to improve schools in the areas that need the support. It is just so sad to me.
    Of course those who lose the most are the children, like the kindergarten students whose performance are much more important that many understand.....as well as the older children who can learn to work as teams, surprise themselves and their parents/teachers with talents that may have been hidden.  Some of my students who were not so outgoing in class came alive on stage and blew us (teachers and parents) away.  For some students with low self esteem being a stage director or handling the lighting themselves was transformative

    I have wonderful memories of how our class came together as a team for those shows......and parents loved it.  For some parents it was THE thing that got them to come to their child's school.

    Sigh.  I just weep for what the corporations and their power are doing to education, because clearly few of our elected officials from either party value public education.

    “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

    by Jjc2006 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 06:20:11 PM PDT

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, FloridaSNMOM

      But I weep not just for what the coporations and their power are doing to education but for this whole damned country.
      Last in equality, last in health care, getting to be last in taking care of the most vulnerable of us, ect ad nauseum.
      And like you wrote, few of our elected officials give a damn about us.
      They are only in power to serve their masters, the elite.
      And guess what that makes Obama?  
      I can't write it I will get HR'd.
      What a waste he has been on the things that count for the 99 percent of us.

      Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama did not just pick up that 3:00 am phone call, but, as has been noted, he mostly stayed on the phone making war and sending out drones for his entire terms in office.

      by snoopydawg on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:40:05 AM PDT

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