Here I am....up on a soapbox....I will probably get a nose bleed from being so high up....and you guys should know up front that I hate heights....but I have to do this. I am sad....very sad. I just had a fellow teacher come into my room, crying. She is a good teacher....and works hard with the kids. She has been teaching for almost 15 years and is a dedicated teacher....and at the end of this year...won't be hired back.....and that is so very very sad. She is not going to be hired back....because she is one of those teachers who fell between the cracks when No Child Left Behind hit the world of education. She has a teaching degree from an accredited university.....but when all was said and done....not enough hours to be a Highly Qualified teacher. So she had to take a test....called the Praxis. She has taken it now three times....the problem is that the Praxis tests on all areas of science and she only teaches Physical Science. She has missed passing the test each time by less than 10 points. Well...it is time to take the test again in a week....and if she fails it....she will be released from her contract. That is a travesty. We say we want good teachers teaching our children.....yet we are throwing a good one away...because she is struggling to pass a test. This teacher I am sure is not the only one.....there are a lot of us oldsters out there that this may apply to.....the difference here is that this teacher is my friend and I admire her tremendously and right now my heart is breaking for her. I am a member of our local state organization...AEA (Alabama Education Association)....she is not....but she still came to me to see if we could do something.....and I got all our people involved checking it out. There has never been a case where a teacher has challenged No Child Left Behind so no one knows what to do. I just know that this stinks out loud. Yes, I realize that she could have taken the test numerous times and possibly passed it but in her defense I too have test fright. I don't do well on standardized tests. Had I not had a Masters degree and taken the earlier versions of the teacher tests I too would be in her shoes. In the world of education there are many injustices and this is just another one in the pile. You definitely don't go into this profession for the money....I didn't. I had some kind of warped sense of wanting to save the world. I am one of those social worker teachers. LOL. And no matter what the little posters say....you don't go into this job for June, July, or August. Those are just months when we go to training for the job we have for the other nine months. Our school begins at the end of July with a week of teacher training and then the students arrive the first week in August. I usually spend two - three days a week during the summer in my room getting it ready....painting bookshelves, cleaning walls.....so that the kids can write on them during the school year. I had a parent tell me once that they thought I was way over paid for what little I did. I offered to trade jobs with her for a day.....or better yet...let her come and shadow me for a day.....she took me up on it. She is my biggest fan now. We, teachers, do not set out to Leave a Child Behind....something happens sometimes along the way....and it just happens. It is not always what has happened in school....a good bit of it deals with the baggage they bring to school with them each day......but whatever....a good teacher is going down....and I am sad.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.