Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing


It has been one dizzy week. Dizziness comes in many forms. Dizziness may be experienced, physically, socially, spiritually, and intellectually.  I’ve been trying to cope with each one of these forms of dizziness all week.

Without going into too many details, I’ve been experiencing bouts of vertigo this week , due to Miniere’s  Disease.  I don’t want to go into details about these physical experiences of dizziness.However, I will share that it has quite literally shook me to the core and has me rethinking and researching alternative remedies to my infliction. It has also set the tone for my views this week.

It seems our ‘social agenda’ seems to be a little dizzy this week as well. Watching the GOP debate  and campaign in South Carolina this week my head was spinning the hypocritical  statements and reactions I was witnessing.  Who wasn’t thrown a little off-balance when a very evangelical audience was applauding Newt Gingrich and his  feigned outrage that his failure to honor his sacred vows of marriage  were being questioned? Or that we would be witnessing a campaign that supports throwing people off  any social service support they may need. Have we really reached a point, that a Presidential Candidate can actually say that we are a nation of entitlements and the audience goes wild? Talk about our world being turned upside down.

Spiritually, it has been a week with some odd turns. I’ve been reading  Republic of Noise and I’m beginning to experience that inner feeling of validation.  Even though, I’m in the beginning of this thought provoking book, I’m seeing a serious  contradiction to some of the classroom practices that we as teachers are being forced to do to fulfill ‘Standards’. I am also questioning my own inner feelings of solitude and whether or not I’m actually in tune with it.  I’m on shaky ground here, I know, sharing on Twitter, Facebook, or this blog.

Intellectually, I’ve been experiencing tremors that have caused me to reach out for rationality that will steadily guide me. Yet when I discovery that the Virginian Legislature is trying to prevent third grade teachers from teaching any subject other than Math and English Language Arts I nearly fell over.

When NYS Gov. Cuomo threatened to hold off funding to schools unless negotiations between teachers and districts agree with his views, he quite literally declared that collective bargaining rights in NYS were worthless. My head was spinning with questions of how does a democratic Governor attack collective bargaining.

This week I’ve had to test, pre-test, and coach students to prepare them  to take standardized tests in April. Every mandated minute of test prep, takes an equal amount of time from learning.  Those of us in NYS have discovered, that this year’s tests will encompass many more questions, requiring more student written responses, and even though more time is given, not enough time is allocated for a student to perform adequately.No wonder students across the country hold their heads when teachers announce another test is on the way.  Don’t be surprised when we are all labeled failures due to this year’s unfair attack (test). Our world is being turned upside down.

I’ll be searching for solutions to my physical dizziness this week. Trips to specialists are on the agenda. However, I’m really concerned about the wobbling and confusion that has been surrounding us all. Will we find adequate remedies to our national dizziness, or will we all fall to our knees when vertigo hits us all?

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