Did she return to teach or to test prep?
Nancy, author of Se Hace Camino Al Andar, taught high school English for a few (4? 6?) years in the Bronx. She worked in a project with other teachers from other schools, and with some non-teaching staff development types, and in that capacity was the first to (accidentally) tell people from my school that I blogged. And where I blogged. No harm, no foul. But I do remember that.
Not necessarily in this order, Nancy got married, had a kid, quit teaching, bought an apartment in a neighborhood that sometimes conveniently forgets it’s in the Bronx, moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, had another kid, went back to teaching.
And here I am, kept her blog in my reader even when it was just adorable kid shots, but now we are back in school. And Nancy’s stuff from years ago, her blog posts, I thought they were a little dry, professionally-focused, not so political, and not so slice-of-life. Or maybe my memory’s playing tricks. In any event, she’s in a strange place, not a new teacher, but not a veteran, fresh eyes and dry behind the ears. Earlier this week she was professional, but in a personal way, and today she went a little ed politics:
I feel like kids today just seem to know less, or something. We’re spoon-feeding kids so that they’ll pass the standardized exams, and the trade-off is that kids seem to be lacking higher-order thinking skills and the ability to see things figuratively. And if you try to remedy this, as a teacher, everything goes off the rails and suddenly, you’re faced with the danger of students failing the exams, and so you go back to teaching to the test. It perpetuates this endless, vicious cycle.
I know the idea. And it is right. Just seemed more powerful coming from Nancy.