A teacher of over two decades has recently offered her resignation claiming that the “disturbing era,” in which we live, has contributed to a school system dedicated to numbers and statistics rather than the children. Saying that she cannot provide her children with the necessary skills to learn from the newly excessive curriculum, she has had no choice but to quit.
Susan Sluyter has been a teacher for 25 years and claims to have bore witness to and extremely disturbing sequence of events. Unraveling right before her eyes, she has seen both state and federal governments place unreasonable demands on children in effort for higher marks as a nation.
Seeing the effects of these ludicrous additions, Sluyter has come to the realization that she cannot play a part in the harmful effects that this evolving system definitely has on students. Perfectly outlined in her resignation letter, she writes:
“In this disturbing era of testing and data collection in the public schools, I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children.”
Sluyter conveys that she has effectively watched her responsibilities, “[swing] away from a focus on the children, their individual learning styles, emotional needs, and their individual families, interests and strengths to a focus on testing, assessing, and scoring young children, thereby ramping up the academic demands and pressures on them.”
Her resignation letter also made it clear that students were learning things, that just a few years back, were being taught to students a few grades above their level. Because of this, she states that it became increasingly clear that students were acting out in an unclear effort to express that they were being pushed too hard.
Further explaining her theory, she wrote, “I recognize many of these behaviors as children shouting out to the adults in their world, ‘I can’t do this! Look at me! Know me! Help me! See me!’ This however seems irrelevant to those pushing students harder and harder every year.”
The irony here is that those that push for such demands are either law makers or members of an educational board that, in no way, interact with the student population. Seeing the steady decline of her students, she was forced to quit in order to ensure that the destruction of tomorrow’s future did not fall on her shoulders.
Sluyter explained, “Each year I have had less and less time to teach the children I love in the way I know best — and in the way child development experts recommend. I reached the place last year where I began to feel I was part of a broken system that was causing damage to those very children I was there to serve.”
Expressing her frustration further, she also conveys that this is not only affecting children, but the staff as well. Delving into the matter she states, “Now, I believe there needs to be a system of accountability for teachers and administrators, but I have seen no evidence that this method (though it takes an enormous amount of teachers’ time to fulfill the requirements) would actually show anything about the quality of a teacher’s work within the classroom and with the children.” She then argued that the accountability however shouldn’t be at the expense of the children.
Wrapping up the informative and insightful piece she writes, “Teachers everywhere are seeing an increase in behavior problems that make classrooms and schools feel less safe, and learning less able to take place. Children are screaming out for help. They are under too much pressure and it is just no longer possible to meet the social and emotional needs of our youngest children. They are suffering because of this.”
Read Ms. Sluyter’s full letter here.
What do you think – are we pushing children too hard in the name of prestige, or is this just the lethargic nature of a specific teacher? Let us know in a comment below.
(h/t: The Blaze)