I so much appreciated Tom Snyder’s point of view in his Valley Voices piece (Mar. 7) on the decline of teaching. I thought I would teach until I was about 70, but I retired at 59 because of the same things he mentions: No Child Left Behind, testing, restrictions on my curriculum, Smartboard.
It wasn’t fun any more. When will I have time to do rockets? Batik? Tool day? There are about 1,000 people out there who were in my class (6th grade) for a year. I bump into them continually, and they never say, “Wow, I sure loved those math lessons,” or history book, or whatever. They remember the week in Yosemite, they loved going to our house to make and bake cinnamon rolls. What do you remember fondly from sixth grade?
Don’t think we neglected the basics. Our scores on testing were very good, I think because the kids liked school. It was a fun and interesting place to go and they learned a lot.
Let’s not drain the humanness out of teaching. Every teacher should be different. Tom Snyder said the joy was fading. Is that what we want in our teachers?