I just had the most interesting and unproductive PD ever. Pre-K teachers in this city are M-A-D spells MAD about the new expectations being put on our grade level. I’ve never seen so many 30-year veterans and first-year teachers united about anything. They really let the Early Learning office facilitators have it about how it’s outrageous to be expecting 4 year olds to be adding numbers, understanding tens frames, and writing sentences with proper capitalization, punctuation and spelling, on lines. Like, uh, DUH! We were supposed to be learning about Common Core and how “it’s coming” to pre-K, but there aren’t even common core standards for pre-K since not all districts have it, so I think it’s really ridiculous. The standards are basically the same as for kindergarten and even those are, some of them outrageous. I listened to several 20+ year veterans talk about how unhappy they were with the new curriculum and the changing expectations for early learning. There’s hardly any time for play and everything is just… so… serious. I have seen when play goes too far in the opposite direction, but there is an in between and people were happily meeting it before NCLB came along.
We, as the teachers, shouldn’t have to rise up and basically stage a revolt to get people to hear us. No one has ever asked us, just, generally, what works or doesn’t work for us with our age group. The people who design the curriculum seem to read all the latest research and then instruct us to do the exact opposite of what it says. Some people are lucky enough to have administrators who can take this grain of salt, who have some understanding of ECE, but most of us aren’t that lucky. Including, of course, me.
These unfounded, rising expectations, when coupled with the lack of evolution or reform when it comes to what designates children as deserving of special services, along with the lack of focus on social development and life skills, makes me not want to be a pre-K teacher anymore. I don’t know what pre-K is like in other places, and teachers in my PD group were saying that other pre-Ks are not so absurdly rigorous and pencil/paper/assessment/test/high stakes/preparing for the standardized test Bmore kids take in first grade. But I just don’t know.
All I know is, for once, I wasn’t the most outraged person in the room. It felt awesome to have people with 20 years experience on me voicing my exact same opinions. Makes me think there’s some merit to our struggles.
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- semper-spes-est said:I’m hoping something of the sort facilitates enough union among teachers and our education system gets back on the right track.
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